Readymade garment workers on Sunday staged demonstrations in different parts of the country to press home their demands, which include allowing them to join work, clearing arrears and ending job cuts.
Industrial police said workers from 13 garment factories demonstrated in Dhaka, Ashulia and Gazipur.
Of the factories, Jamitik Knitwear, Rising Next Fashion, Jumar Fashion and Vatican Knitwear are located in Ashulia on the outskirts of the capital.
The other factories are Walk Field, Panasia Clothing, Riviera Composite Industries, Ayesha and Galiara Fashion, Viyellatex, Radisson Washing and Tamanna Garments which are situated in Gazipur.
Workers of some factories in Ashulia and Gazipur staged demonstrations demanding that the authorities allow them to join work, said Amzad Hossain, superintendent of police (Operations and Intelligence) at the Industrial Police headquarters.
"The owners are not willing to allow all workers to join at a time.They want to run their factories with a limited workforce to ensure social distancing and health and safety of the workers," he added.
Amzad said most of the factories do not have enough work to involve all workers.
According to the Industrial Police data, workers of 175 garment and textile factories are still unpaid. Of them, 84 are members of the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) and 69 belong to the Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BKMEA).
Dragon Sweater employees demonstrate for arrears in the capital
About 50 employees of Dragon Sweater staged a demonstration and blocked traffic on a road in Malibagh area, demanding payment of their about 11 months of arrears.
"The employees demonstrated in front of Abul Hotel at around 12:30pm," Abdur Rashid, officer-in-charge of Hatirjheelpolice station, told The Business Standard.
"Then, the company chairman called them to his office to solve the matter," he added.
Dragon Sweater's Assistant General Manager (merchandising) Tareq-Ul Haque said, "We have not been paid for the last 11 months. The factory authorities are taking time in the name of discussions.
"After a meeting with the chairman Mostafa Golam Quddus, some officials were paid a part of their salaries for July last year," he added.
"After the chairman had agreed to pay about 70 percent of the salary of July last year, we did not receive 30 percent and 50 percent of salaries of last year's May and June respectively," said Baladil Amin, another assistant general manager (merchandising).
The protesters said they had no idea when they would get their remaining salaries.
Employees also submitted an application to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on April 24, seeking a solution.
The Business Standard contacted Chairman Mostafa Golam Quddus but he did not respond. He is a former president of the BGMEA.