Ready-made garment (RMG) industry workers, Wednesday, protested layoffs by barricading the Dhaka-Mymensingh highway. The blocked traffic on the highway later resumed its normal flow after police intervened.
Until Wednesday, 638 RMG factories had reopened in Gazipur.
Meanwhile, workers resumed production as the factories reopened on a limited scale in Narayanganj. Nearly 200 apparel factories reopened in the district in the last four days with 40 to 50 percent of their workers.
RMG labour leaders alleged that many of the factories do not have thermal scanners, nor have they provided the workers with face masks and gloves. However, no apparel worker was reported to be infected with Covid-19 until Wednesday afternoon.
The Business Standard's district correspondents reported this.
Additional Superintendent of Gazipur Industrial Police Susanta Sarkar said workers of Tex-Tech Garments turned up at the factory gate Wednesday morning. The garment authorities barred 60 workers from entering, at the gate, after taking their identity cards.
"The workers became agitated after waiting for hours. Subsequently, the agitation erupted among other workers over the termination of the 60 people waiting at the gate," said the police official.
The workers took to the adjacent Dhaka-Mymensingh highway after staging a brief demonstration at the factory gate. The demonstration halted traffic and police intervened in the afternoon.
Safety guidelines widely flouted in Narayanganj
Narayanganj civil surgeon Imtiaz Ahmed said no apparel worker was newly infected with Covid-19 as of Wednesday afternoon.
However, labour leaders expressed concern over workers' health saying the factory owners were not maintaining virus-preventive measures at the production units. They said the workers themselves bought face masks to prevent a Covid-19 infection.
Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BKMEA) First Vice-President Mohammad Hatem said garment factory owners will ensure the health and safety of workers at their respective manufacturing units.
Hatem said the factories have been allowed to reopen, on a limited-scale, on this condition.