From the last 6 months, the workers of Rajshahi silk factory are living a very inhumane life without getting salary. Struggling to meet family expenses due to the unbridled increase in commodity prices, not being able to buy medicine due to the illness of family members, not being able to admit boys and girls to school and college, the workers are going on strike demanding prompt payment of their arrears.
Since February 22, male and female workers have been on strike in front of the main gate of Rajshahi silk factory, but the authorities have not budged yet.
Workers said, we have not yet seen the attitude of paying salaries. None of the factory authorities spoke to us. The workers warned of strict agitation in the future if they do not get any assurance of payment.
The workers said that they will not return to work if the arrears of six months’ salary are not paid. As a result, the factory has become inactive.
From Tuesday (February 28) morning, the workers of the factory started their agitation again.
At this time, the workers said, our backs are against the wall. They assured that daily wages will be from 300 to 500 taka. But it didn’t do that either and instead withheld our full salary for the last 6 months. As a result, our family is not running. Half-starved days are going on.
The workers said that they have been protesting for a week. So far the factory authorities have not come to talk. Our family is no longer working. We demand immediate payment of this salary.
Women worker Lutfa said, we were not allowed to appear in the attendance register. They have taken that account too. We don’t want to stop working. We are here for work. My daughter is sick and in medical. Even so, I left my daughter and came here today. Someone come and talk to us and pay the salary quickly.
The workers also complained that we have heard that our salaries are coming but we don’t know why the deduction is not being given.
Rajshahi Silk Extension Office Regional Deputy Director (DD) and factory in-charge Kazi Masud Reza could not be found regarding the agitation.
Earlier, the then government closed down this silk factory in 2002 citing losses. At that time, the debt burden of this factory was 1 crore 3 million taka. 300 workers were working in this factory at the time of closure.