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Shipping Minister urges RMG workers to join work

Shipping Minister urges RMG workers to join work

Shipping Minister Shahjahan Khan on Monday urged all the garment workers to get back to their work as the factories which have been shut following labour unrest reopen on Tuesday.   “If anyone doesn’t respond to our request, we’ll think that s/he is working as an instigator of violence as part of a conspiracy against the country’s garment industry,” he said.   “Legal action will be taken against the conspirators after identifying them,” the Shipping Minister said while talking to journalists after a joint meeting at the secretariat on Monday with the owners of garment factories and leaders of workers’ union over maintaining stability in the readymade garment factories.   It was decided at the meeting that the closed factories in Gazipur, Tongi, Tejgaon, Mohakhali and Gulshan will reopen on Tuesday, he said.   About the demand for wage hike of workers, the minister said they have requested the wage board to fix their minimum wage as soon as possible after talking to the workers and owners.   During the meeting, the minister assured the garment owners of strengthening security in garment factories.   A deep conspiracy is being hatched to shut the country’s garment factories, he said adding, “We’ve organised the grand rally of the readymade garment workers protesting the conspiracy to confine the female workers to house, ensuring minimum wage for the garment workers, reinstating GSP facility  and foiling the conspiracy to shut down the garment factories.”   Voicing deep concern over the garment unrest in several parts of the country, the minister said it is the outsiders who instigated the garment workers to unleash violence.   The minister said a meeting will be held with local representatives to find out a quick solution to the unrest in the RMG sector.   Replying to a question, BGMEA acting president SA Mannan Kochi said, “We request the government to ensure security in garment factories. As we want to give salary and bonus to the workers ahead of Eid-ul-Azha we do not want to keep our factories shut.”   He also urged all the garment workers to return to their work.   Responding to a question about who were behind the labour unrest, Mantu Ghosh, President of Garments Workers’ Trade Union, said, “Our organisation doesn’t support any kind of violence or unrest. I urge workers not to vandalise the garment factories.”   Mantu said there are 60 organisations of workers and claimed that their organisation is not involved in the violence in any way.   He said: “It’s our demand to the owners to fix the minimum wage after considering the prices of essentials.”   Labour and Employment Secretary Mikail Shipper was, among others, present. – UNB