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Sacked Bangladeshi factory workers fear permanent retrenchment

With mass termination reportedly continuing following the recent labour unrest in Ashulia, Bangladesh, sacked workers of apparel factories at the industrial belt are in fear of not getting a job in another workplace. Moreover, those who are still working at the factories are of the say that their employers are forcing them to work extra hours without any overtime.

Since the labour unrest, at least 1,600 workers of a particular readymade garment factory lost their jobs. Around 1,500 unnamed sacked workers were also sued in separate cases filed for inciting the unrest, leaving most of them in fear of arrest anytime now.

One such worker is Jewel who was temporarily suspended as a sewing operator of IDS Group on December 26 without any reason. With a Taka 7,099 monthly salary, he used to work in the factory along with his wife who still continues with her job there.

When the factory opened, Jewel said he found his photo, name and address on the list of sacked employees. So much was he shocked at the suspension without any explanation that he talked to the admin officer of the company. The latter said that there was no chance of him getting back to his work there and not even in Ashulia by any chance.

Claiming innocence, Jewel said that he may get arrested if he searched for a job in the area since many most of his ex-colleagues were sued. Like him, a sacked female garment worker of another factory, Asma, expressed her grief saying that she was on sick-leave during the unrest and was not even involved in it. Despite the fact, she was dismissed.

Meanwhile, the government has resorted to a crackdown on the labour leaders and labour rights activists for their alleged link to the recent unrest in the area is going on as well. Amid the situation, the central committee of Garments Sramik Adhikar Andolan, a platform of 12 labour rights organisations, has written to the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), seeking its interference to help resolve the crisis.

 
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