President of the Garment Workers Unity Forum Moshrefa Mishu was arrested today when police stormed into a factory of Tuba Group in Dhaka, firing rubber bullets and teargas canisters to disperse workers who were observing indefinite hunger strike demanding their three months’ salary and bonuses in full.
Police also arrested Jolly Talukder, joint seceretary of the Bangladesh Trade Union Center and Monjur Moin, labour leader from the Communist party.
Hundreds of workers from five Tuba Group factories have been protesting since the day before Eid. More than 100 workers collapsed and 17 have been hospitalized since the hunger strike began on Monday 28th July.
Furthermore the workers demand that the factories should be kept open so that the women can retain their livelihood, compensation for workers who have fallen ill and compensation for the victims of Tazreen Fashions fire.
Delwar Hossain, managing director of Tuba Group, has been detained in jail since February 9 for his role in Tazreen fire in November 2012 that took 112 lives. however, in what was seen as a cynical use of the ongoing strike he was released on bail last Tuesday to allow payments be made.
We call on the BGMEA, the Tuba Group and the buyers of the factories to call for an end to the violence and ensure swift payments to the workers, because nobody should be forced to risk their lives for a living wage.