Workers of Padma Wears Ltd, a garment factory in Chattogram Export Processing Zone (EPZ), protested by blocking the road on Wednesday, demanding to be paid wages due for the last three months.
The 300 or so factory workers protested in front of Bay Shopping Center at the Chattogram EPZ intersection in the morning.
Moshiuddin bin Mesbah, general manager, Chattogram EPZ, confirmed the veracity of the protest by the workers of Padma Wears to The Business Standard.
Mohammad Ibrahim, general secretary of the Padma Wears Limited Workers' Welfare Association, said that no workers have been paid their monthly salaries since February and the owner did not even pay the full salary for January.
"The owner closed the factory without paying an Eid-ul-Fitr bonus, service benefits, and provident fund money. Currently, the factory owner is a fugitive. We protested on 29 April demanding our salaries and other dues. But we are not getting any decision from Bepza, the Bangladesh Export Processing Zones Authority," Ibrahim added.
According to Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA), Padma Wears Ltd, a BGMEA member, used to produce shirts, jackets, T-shirts, and pants.
According to Bepza, 1,100 workers were employed in this 100% export oriented garment factory since its inception in 2005, as per the latest statistics. The factory has been laying off workers since February this year and the factory is in the process of being auctioned off.
Chattogram EPZ Manager (Industrial Relations), Md Hasanuzzaman, said workers staged a protest on Wednesday morning and lifted the blockade after an hour.
"Padma Wears has been laying off since February. The owner of the factory, Nasir Uddin Sohag, is a fugitive at the moment. Bepza authorities are auctioning off the factory and on 24 May, there will be a factory inventory," he added.
Padma Wears Ltd was contacted multiple times on their landline phone number for comment, but they could not be reached.
About the road blockade, Superintendent of Police of Chattogram Industrial Police, Mohammad Solaiman, said workers were removed when they tried to block the road on Wednesday morning, before they could cause a traffic jam.