Workers yesterday staged a protest in front of a garment factory in Ashulia, Savar as it sacked 80 workers at once.
The incident took place on Thursday morning at Unicorn Sweater Ltd, a subsidiary of Sterling Group in the Gorat area of Ashulia.
Nahid Hossain, one of the sacked workers, told TBS that the workers and the factory authorities were on bad terms over salary and bonus for the last few days. When the workers' representatives recently went to discuss the problem with the factory authorities, the factory's Deputy General Manager Jahangir Hossain misbehaved with them, so they got angry and left the factory premises.
When the workers went to the factory yesterday morning, they saw a notice announcing the dismissal of 80 workers at the factory gate. Angered by this, the workers started protesting in front of the factory without joining the work, said Nahid.
Akram Hossain, a worker's representative who was sacked, said, "The authorities had unjustly sacked us, alleging that we beat up the deputy general manager, which our colleagues could not accept. Moreover, it is inhumane to dismiss the workers just before Eid. We demand the immediate reinstatement of the sacked workers."
Khairul Mamun Mintu, organising secretary of the central committee of the Garment Workers Trade Union Centre, told TBS, "The decision to dismiss the workers before Eid is unacceptable. The factory used to pay salary and bonus on time, but they have been having trouble since the current DGM has joined there.
"They created problems with the workers' salary and bonus in the last Eid, and are doing the same this Eid too. We demand immediate reinstatement of the dismissed workers," he said.
Al Mamun, additional superintendent of Industrial Police-1, told TBS, "After receiving the news of the protest, we went to the spot and convinced the workers to move away from the front of the factory. The two bickering sides are discussing the matter at present."
Additional police have been deployed in front of the factory to avoid any untoward situation, the police official said.
When contacted, the factory authorities refused to comment in this regard.