Jute workers of Khulna and Jessore jute industrial belt staged a demonstration and blocked the Dhaka-Khulna highway and rail line today for four hours to press home their 11-point demand including payment of arrears.
Under the banner of Collective Bargaining Agent (CBA) and Non-CBA Oikko Parishad, the workers of seven state-owned jute mills demonstrated at different points of the Dhaka-Khulna highway and rail line this morning, chanting slogans to press their demands.
During the four-hour long demonstration which started around 8:30am, they also set fire on tyres in Notun Rasta intersection and Daulapur area of Khulna city, our Khulna correspondent reports quoting locals.
Three trains -- Chitra Express, Rocket Express and Mohananda Express could not leave the Khulna Railway Station this morning due to the blockade, causing immense suffering to passengers, said Manik Chandra Sarker, manager of the railway station.
Their eleven-point demand includes payment of arrears (4 to 12 weeks) and other financial benefits, implement of wage board, twenty per cent dearness allowance, allocation of adequate fund needed to purchase raw material for running jute mills and removal of corrupt officials from the factories.
“We have been facing many problems for years including irregular payment from government,” said Sohorab Hossain, convener of Bangladesh State-Owned Jute Mill CBA-Non CBA Oikya Parishad.
He said the government announced the wage board on June, 2015, but it was not implemented.
“If our demands are not met by May 1, we will go for a tougher movement, said Putul Khatun, a women leader of Crescent Jute mill.
The other jute mills are Daulatpur, Crescent, Platinum, Star, Aleem, Eastern, and Khalishpur jute mills.