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Dhaka, May 14: Jute mill workers have launched an indefinite strike, demanding higher wages. Mostly employed in state-owned mills blocked roads and railways across the country, including in the capital Dhaka. Md Murad Hossain, convener of the Jute Mill Workers League in the Khulna-Jashore region, said in a press release that workers are set to block roads and railways from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. every day. He further added workers have not been paid for 11 weeks while officials and other employees of the mills have not received their salaries for two to four months.
Government source has said that necessary steps have been taken to to pay workers’ arrears by next week. Earlier workers were given assurance that all arrears would be cleared by April 25, a promise that protesters say has not been kept.
A protesting worker told “I have been suffering from deprivation and poverty for over three months now. I am tired of hearing BJMC’s false promises. I don’t trust a word they say.” There are 22 state owned mills whose workers have been not paid since March. Workers demand include to form a wage structure; immediate payment of arrears, gratuities and provident fund; making their jobs permanent and reinstating those who lost their jobs for attending protests.