Workers are returning to their workplaces in Gazipur in groups on the news of opening of ready-made garment factories. They have been trying to reach the workplace in different ways including trucks, pickups and autorickshaws from different districts of the country since morning. In this case, no kind of hygiene, social distance is being obeyed.
Desperate to save their jobs due to stomach problems, these workers have to pay extra rent as their suffering has increased. Police said that according to the government’s decision, garment workers are being given some concessions at the checkposts to return to work. They are going to the destination in different transports including pick up, truck.
It has been observed on the ground that from August 1, export-oriented industries will be subject to lockdown restrictions, following the announcement of the government and instructions from the owners to join the work, millions of workers have started returning to their workplaces. The workers of different factories including ready-made garments have started returning to Gazipur through different points of Dhaka-Tangail and Dhaka-Mymensingh highways from Saturday morning.
They are going to their destination in trucks, pickups, microbuses, battery-powered autorickshaws and rickshaws. Many have been seen walking to their destination with the necessary luggage on their heads. Workers are returning to work after crushing their labor and sweat for their livelihood. The fatigue of the road and the urge to return to work seem to be driving workers away from work.
The workers complained that they are returning to work with various sufferings due to lack of public transport. The extra fare has to be calculated to reach the destination by breaking the path.
Mamun is the swing in-charge of SBS factory in Gazipur area. The village home is Pabna. “We had a factory holiday until August 8, so I was sure,” he said. At night the factory authorities contacted those who worked under me by phone and instructed me to return to work. Workers must show up at any cost. Otherwise they will be shown missing. After such a decision, I quickly conveyed the news to the workers to join the factory.
Mamun said, ‘I have come to Sirajganj from Pabna after suffering a lot of hardships and sufferings. From there I rented a microbus for two thousand rupees and came to Chandra Trimor. Later I took an autorickshaw from Chandra to Konabari. Now the rest of the way has to go the same way. ‘
Garment worker Siam said, public transport is closed, I have walked from Chandra to Palli Bidyut. The office is open, so we are returning to work accepting this suffering.
Similarly, Lipi Begum, a garment factory worker in Konabari area, spoke about the suffering. Lipi said, ‘The government is talking about opening the factory on August 1. But why didn’t he open the car. Why do ordinary people like us suffer so much! Why do we have to pay 100 rupees rent 500 rupees. It is in any law, who will see our suffering. If we had opened the factory after opening the car, we would not have had so many problems.
Purbani factory worker Aminul Islam said, “We had a lockdown till August 5 and the next day was Friday so we had a holiday till August 8. But on Friday night we were called from the factory and asked to join us at work. I left home in the morning. But there are no carriages. Chandra is coming on a motorcycle by renting 1800 rupees from Kaddar turn. From there I reached Konabari on foot with my wife and children. We had to endure a lot of hardships with a few times more rent, we had to return at the risk of our lives. ‘
Another female worker said, ‘If we don’t return to the factory, we won’t have a job. Fearing this, I got on the boat and autorickshaw and came to Gazipur with more rent. ‘
Meanwhile, the police have relaxed the checkposts set up at various points for the workers to return to their workplaces. The power of battery-powered autorickshaws, pickups, trucks and non-mechanical vehicles has increased.
In this regard, Konabari Highway Police Officer (OC) Mir Golam Faruk said, ‘We are giving concessions to garment workers to return to work due to government instructions. They are coming in different pickup vans, microbuses and rickshaws. However, a mobile court headed by an executive magistrate is being set up to implement the lockdown. The patrol of BGB and RAB and police is continuing.
(Dhaka Times / 31 July / SA / KM)
Source: Dhakatimes24 Online by www.dhakatimes24.com.
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