The workers of a factory in Ashulia have staged a demonstration demanding an increase in wages and payment of salary and bonus.
The protesting 59 workers of Yong Jin International Ltd on Saturday (16 April) morning claimed that the employers reduced their wages as the women workers disobeyed the instructions of the factory authorities to not wear hijab.
Fedous Alam Talukder, the supervisor of the factory's W-4 section, said, "About a month and a half ago, the factory authorities instructed 54 women workers in my section not to wear hijab or burqa at work, citing safety issues. But the workers objected to this."
He said in the following month after the incident, the wages of the workers were lower compared to other months.
"I think our wages have been reduced as we did not follow the instructions of the authorities," he added.
Asked about the amount of their previous and current wage, Ferdous said, "Actually we work on a production basis and the owners never informed us about the work rate. Earlier the workers used to get Tk10,000 to Tk12,000 salary per month but they got only Tk5,000-Tk6,000 last month."
When contacted, the factory's administrative officer (human resources) Imran Hossain said the claim about hijab was not true and the workers are trying to make it an issue.
"The Chinese owner had said that safety risks could be avoided if the length of the hijab were made a little shorter. But the workers are mispresenting it," he said.
He said following a discussion they have reached a solution over wage hikes and payment of salary and bonus.
The authorities will pay all dues and bonus next week, he added.
ASI Md Milon of Industrial Police-1 said that due to work shortage the last few days, the labourers were paid less last month, which created complications.