Police and intelligence agencies are probing into the ongoing worker unrest in RMG sector to find out the masterminds involved in instigating workers in a bid to make the country unstable.
“Police and intelligence agencies are investigating why RMG workers have begun demonstrations throughout the country soon after the swearing-in of Sheikh Hasina-led Awami League government for a new term. As the investigations are ongoing, police or intelligence agencies will not confirm or deny about the masterminds right now,” a highly placed source in the home ministry said.
Since Sunday, thousands of RMG workers in capital Dhaka and its suburb Savar and Gazipur continued holding protest rallies and staging demonstrations. They also locked into a series of clashes with police at many places. To bring the situation under control members of Border Guard Bangladesh remain stationed at almost trouble-torn areas.
According to sources, the government has already formed a committee with two secretaries of the ministry of commerce and labour to resolve the grading problem of the garment workers’ salary structure. The committee also has 10 members from the employer and workers’ sides.
The committee has been instructed to produce report regarding the issue within one month. Workers will get salary in February as per the suggestions made in the report.
It has been decided in a tripartite meeting held on Tuesday that if anybody is affected due to grading problem at the same time, it would also be compensated. The meeting urged the workers to return to their work, but it was not implemented.
Both of the newly-appointed Commerce Minister Tipu Munshi and State Minister for Labour and Employment Mannujan Sufian said that there are infiltrators in the protest, who are not worker. No worker can conduct destructive activities, they said with conviction.
It is to be noted that intelligence agencies were suspecting that a vested quarters may try to create an unstable situation before and after the eleventh parliamentary election in the name of establishing new salary structure. From this suspicion, the RMG industry was kept under strict surveillance from the government side.
It has been learnt that among the factories under surveillance 200 are in the capital city, 150 in Chattogram and the rests are situated in Narayanganj, Gazipur, Savar, Ashulia and other areas.
The new salary structure for RMG workers has been effective since December 1 last and the workers are supposed to get their salaries under the new structure. However, sections of workers were dissatisfied with the new structure from the very beginning and a vested quarter is trying to use this dissatisfaction to create an uncomfortable situation for the government.
National Garment Workers Federation president Amirul Haque Amin has asked the workers not to do such things which may halt their movement in getting their demands met. He also requested them not to pay heed to rumours and reassured them that the discrimination in the wage board would be removed soon.
Industrial Police-1 Officer-in-Charge Mahmudur Rahman said to additional law enforcers have been appointed at important areas to keep the situation under control.
Regarding the matter, Commerce Minister Tipu Munshi told media that salaries of nearly 40 lakh garments workers increased by 51 percent on an average but providing different interpretation workers unrest is crating in the country.
Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) President Md Siddiqur Rahman said there is no confusion regarding the new pay structure. “The prime minister has fixed the minimum salary at Tk 8,000 and we agreed with this,” he added.