The Jatiya Dokan Karmachari Federation has called on shop owners not to lay off employees illegally and ensure the security of life for sixty lakh shop employees across the country.
"Shop employees are living amid insecurity of health, job, and salary. Health security of all shop employees working across the country has to be ensured, and stop laying them off illegally," says the platform, putting forward a 10-point demand at a human chain in front of the Jatiya Press Club on Friday.
The demands include having an 8-hour daily work shift and overtime allowance for extra work, appointment letters and identity cards, two festival bonuses, one-and-a-half-day weekly holiday, compensation for workers injured or killed in workplace accidents, and paid service benefits with attendance sheets and service books.
At the event, shop employees alleged that many shop owners are paying half or less salaries to employees, showing an excuse of poor sales due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Most shop employees did not get any bonus in the last two Eids and thousands of shop employees are being laid off without any reparations.
Speakers at the human chain said there are 60 lakh shop employees working across the country. Shops, shopping malls and departmental shops remained closed for a long time due to the Covid-19 pandemic. But now, despite the reopening of all shops, shop owners are not paying attention to protecting the health of employees, while their employees have to remain in close contact with all kinds of people, putting their health at high risk in the pandemic.
They also said management of their health security is very weak. People concerned have not ensured Covid vaccination for shop employees yet, despite repeated appeals for vaccination on a priority basis, given their high risk of Covid infections.
Dokan Karmachari Federation President Rafikul Islam Babul, General Secretary Amirul Huq Amin, Vice President Kamrul Hasan were present at the protest human chain.