Workers of a sweater factory Thursday damaged at least 20 vehicles after blockading a key road in the city in peak hours, protesting termination of some of their colleagues by the factory management.
Police said nearly 1200 workers of SQ Group located at East Shewrapara blocked the busy Begum Rokeya Swarani about 8:30am bringing allegation that the authorities have terminated some of their colleagues illegally.
Armed police wearing riot gears charged truncheons, fired teargas canisters and used water canons to disperse the protestors who became violent and started damaging vehicles.
The protestors alleged that the authorities sacked about 90 workers on May 29 and 30 as they demonstrated for increasing rates of garment items they were producing.
The authorities on June 1 shut the factory for an identified period in the face of agitation by workers. Later, a tripartite meeting between the factory authorities and workers, and Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) was held on June 5 without any decision being reached.
Traffic movement on the busy road remained suspended for more than one hour in the morning due to the demonstration, Officer in-Charge (OC) of Mirpur Police Station Wahed Ali said.
They picked up five people from the spot, the OC further said.
A senior official of the factory said they suspended production in the morning as a group of infuriated workers attacked a number of senior officials of the factory to realise their demands for increasing piece-rate of the garment products.
The workers were also demanding termination of some senior officials of the factory, he said, adding that the workers making such illogical demand although the management has agreed to meet many of their demands.
“We’ve closed the factory for today (Thursday) and will hold meeting with the senior officials to find out a solution to re-open the factory,” the official added.