TAZREEN FASHION BLAZE
Arrest, punishment of owner demandedStaff Correspondent
Politicians and garment labour leaders on Friday demanded immediate arrest and exemplary punishment of Tazreen Fashion Limited’s owner Delwar Hossain on charge of the killing of more than 100 workers of the factory in a fire on November 24.
The demand came from two different rallies held in front of the National Press Club–one by National Garment Workers’ Federation at 11am and the second by Garment Workers’ Trade Union Centre at 4pm.
Speaking at the afternoon rally, GWTUC president Mantu Ghosh said Delwar Hossain could not shrug off the responsibility of the killing as he had failed to ensure the workers’ safety.
He called on the government to ensure trade union rights in garment factories and also safety of the workers in their workplaces.
The GWTUC rally was aimed at pressing the organisation’s 10-point set of demands, including increasing wages of garment workers to Tk 8,000 per month and ratification of the Labour Law to make it more democratic and worker-friendly.
GWTUC general secretary KM Ruhul Amin demanded introduction of rationing of food and others essential items for garment workers at cheap prices.
A declaration read out at the meeting said the organisation would announce programmes for tougher movement in February, if the demands were not fulfilled within January.
The GWTUC plans to hold month-long mass contact programmes in the areas of the country where garment factories are located.
Central leaders of the organisation Jolly Talukder, Ikbal Hossain, Tuhin Chowdhury, and MA Shahin also addressed the rally chaired by Mantu Ghosh.
The rally was followed by a protest procession in which several hundred garment workers took part.
The rally held in conjunction with a one-hour token hunger strike earlier, in the morning, by National Garment Workers’ Federation was aimed at pressing its three-point set of demands, including giving compensation to the workers of Hallmark Group and introduction of trade unions in garment factories.
Addressing the gathering, Workers Party of Bangladesh general secretary Anisur Rahman Mollick called on the government to ensure safety of the garment factory workers while Sramik Karmachri Oikya Parishad coordinator Wajed-ul Islam Khan asked the government to take steps for instituting trade union rights in garment factories.
Labour leaders Roy Ramesh Chandra and Mohammad Delwar Hossain also spoke at the meeting with NGWF president Amirul Haque Amin in the chair.
Several hundred garment workers took part in the hunger strike.
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