Around one lakh people working in various shops and other commercial entities in Bogura have not received their March payments due to the nationwide shutdown imposed to curb the novel coronavirus outbreak.
Raton Roy, general secretary of Bogura Sadar upazila shop workers union, said around one lakh store workers in 12 upazilas of the district had become unemployed since March 26, when the shutdown was imposed.
"Most of them get their wages on Thursday each week. For the last three weeks, they have been running their families with their savings. Some had to borrow money from others," he said.
The union's Organising Secretary Enamul Haque said there are at least 50 markets and around 3,000 small and large shops in the one-kilometre area in Satmatha, the centre of the city.
Most of the 20,000 store workers here have not received their March wages, he said.
A few shops – Shari Palace, Mamun and Brothers, Ruposhi Bangla, Lucky Cloth Store and Achol O Bina Cloth Store – have called their workers and paid the wages, Enamul added.
Bulbul Ahmed, who has been working in Makka Cloth Store in Sahir Uddin New Market for 28 years, said he had not got any wage for the last three weeks.
Another worker Jahangir Alam said he usually takes the salary between Saturday and Thursday.
Now I am empty-handed, he said.
Ratan Kumar Sinha, who works at an optical shop in Court Chattar, said his family wants relief as he has been out of work for the last three weeks.
Bogura Deputy Commissioner Fayez Ahmed said, "We have requested Bogura Chamber of Commerce and Industry leaders to solve the problem."
"I hope, considering the adverse situation of the workers, shop owners will pay the outstanding wages."