Hundreds of bidi workers organised protest procession, human chain and rally here on Tuesday demanding substitute employments for them to earn livelihoods instead of working in bidi factories amid harmful environment.
The bidi workers, under the banner of ‘Bikhhubdha Bidi Sramik’, brought the protest procession bearing placards and banners from Paira Chattar area in the city, organised a human chain and later, a protest rally on Press Club premises.
Bidi workers Motaleb Hossain, Ansarul Haque, Rashedul Islam, Haider Ali and Sirajul Islam addressed the protest rally and forwarded their five-point demand for arranging substitute employment to save them for harmful jobs at the bidi factories.
The demands include setting up of substitute industries and factories by public-private initiatives in Rangpur region to provide jobs to the bidi workers on priority basis, providing temporary financial supports and vocational training to assist them leaving jobs in the bidi factories, priority in overseas employment for bidi workers and special government assistances and incentives for the bidi factory owners in setting up of substitute industries and factories.
The bidi workers alleged that owners of different tobacco companies have been providing various assistances and incentives to the farmers inspiring them in cultivating thousands of tonnes of tobacco every year in Rangpur region.