Time News Desk: Workers of all tea gardens under the banner of Bangladesh Cha Shramik Union continued their strike for the fourth day on Tuesday to press home the demand for an increase in their daily wage.
Leaders and activists of the BCSU began to enforce the strike on Saturday demanding to increase their daily salary to Tk 300 from Tk 120 following the recent unusual hikes in the prices of essential commodities.
BCSU Sylhet valley president Raju Goala told that the organisation leaders attended in two phases meetings with Labour Department director general Khaled Mamun Chowdhury held at the department’s divisional office at Srimangal in Moulvibazar on Tuesday to get a decision in this regard.
‘The Labour Department authorities asked us to suspend the strike until August 23. But the organisation leaders did not agree to the proposal and decided to continue the strike until the one-point demand was met,’ he said.
Raju said that they had curtailed to stage demonstrations during the strike from Sunday to Tuesday on the occasion of the National Mourning Day.
‘We will resume staging demonstrations alongside boycotting work from Wednesday to press home the demand,’ he claimed.
BCSU organising secretary Bijoy Hajra told that they were observing two-hour work abstention from August 9 for the demand and the authorities of Divisional Labour Department had called them to sit in a meeting on August 11 to settle the issue.
‘The meeting was ended without any decision as the organisation activists did not be agree to the proposal given by the labour department officials to adjourn the movement until August 28,’ Bijoy said, adding that none of the garden owners attended the meeting.
‘The situation has forced us to enforce an indefinite strike to meet the demand,’ he claimed.
GM Shiblee, chair of the Sylhet divisional branch of Bangladesh Tea Association which is a combined platform of the tea garden owners, told that the incident of boycotting work by the workers was illegal when a discussion was underway to settle the issue.
‘The pick season of tea production is going on. So, such unpredicted strike of the garden workers will cause a serious loss not only to the tea garden owners but also to the state asset,’ he alleged.
Students of Shahjalal University of Science and Technology on Tuesday also extended their support to the demand of the tea garden workers.
They expressed their support during a human chain formed under the banner of the university unit of Sammilita Sangskritik Jote, a combined platform of the cultural organisations, in front of central library on the campus at noon.