Dhaka: Bangladeshi garment factories have sacked hundreds of workers after more than a week of strikes and clashes over wages, police and trade unions said on Wednesday, AFP reported.
Protests, which began earlier this month, died down this week after the government agreed to raise salaries, but many returned to work on Wednesday only to find they had been laid off. A top union leader said at least 750 workers at various companies in the manufacturing hub of Ashulia had found notices hanging on factory gates informing them of their dismissal. “This is unjust. The owners are doing it to create a climate of fear so that no one can dare to stage protests or demand fair wages,” the leader said.
Police and a senior factory manager gave a lower estimate of around 400 workers fired for damaging equipment during the strike — with more than half from one Ashulia plant called Metro Knitting and Dyeing.
Metro Knitting’s manager Atiqul Islam said that the company has reported nearly 300 workers to police for smashing the factory’s CCTV cameras and computers. “Some 10,000 apparel items made for export also went missing,” he added. So far, 12 arrests have been made for vandalism during the unrest, local police said.