The National Garment Workers Federation (NGWF) has urged relevant authorities to take necessary steps to ensure that all arrears have been cleared for 1,100 employees of A-One (BD) Ltd, an Italian garment factory in the Dhaka export processing zone. They have not received their salaries/allowances for the past year.
They made these demands from a protest rally in front of the National Press Club in the capital at noon on Sunday, from where they also sought the prime minister's intervention to resolve the ongoing crisis.
They also placed some other demands that include reopening A-One (BD) Ltd's factory, placing an embargo on its owner to prevent him from leaving Bangladesh, repaying money from workers' Provident Fund, and granting maternal allowance to eligible female workers.
Following the protest, labour leaders started marching towards the Prime Minister's Office to press home their demands, but their rally was halted by the police. A four-member delegation later went to the PM Office to submit a memorandum on the matter.
Addressing the protest rally, Amirul Haque Amin, president of NGWF said they would continue their protests until all of A-One (BD) Ltd's workers received their outstanding salaries.
He also warned about waging nationwide protests if their demands were ignored.
"We had gone to the Bangladesh Export Processing Zones Authority and other relevant agencies to resolve the issue, but nobody paid any attention to us. We are now seeking the prime minister's intervention," he said.
Speakers said that A-One (BD) Ltd authorities shut down the factory on 18 April, last year without paying the salaries and allowances of 1,100 workers, in violation of labour law.
Arifa Akter, general secretary of National Garment Workers Federation; and Rafiqul Islam, its organising secretary, joined the event among others.
A-One (BD) Ltd workers also participated in the protest rally.