Bangladesh government urged to address Tuba workers’ demands
APWLD strongly urges the government of Bangladesh to address the demands of Tuba Group garment workers. They have not been paid 4 months wages and a tripartite agreement has not been honoured. The workers have begun a hunger strike in front of their factories to ask for unpaid salaries, overtime pay and Eid festival bonus. The factory is owned by a group connected to the Tazreen factory fire.
The Honourable Minister,
Ministry of Labor,
Govt. of Bangladesh,
6 August 2014
We are greatly distressed to hear of the plight of the workers employed by the Tuba Group. Their back wages have not been paid, the tripartite agreement that they signed was not honoured and they have left their workers without pay during this festival period of Eid.
To get your attention and action on their behalf they have embarked on a hunger strike. Yet the government has responded only with inaction and total disregard to their welfare. We as support group women workers in Asia Pacific know how easily women’s situations are “dismissed” and “belittled” by many bodies including the government. Unfortunately this appears to be happening to the Tuba workers.
Of a total of 1600 workers employed in the Tuba group factories in Bangladesh, 1300 are women workers.
Nearly 90 percent of workers employed in the Tuba group factories are women workers, most often unrecognised, carrying the burden of economic growth.
When the workers organized protest marches the authorities attacked these rallies and workers were injured and 3 women experienced miscarriages to their pregnancies as a result. We call upon the government to listen to the workers’ grievances and allow them to assemble to express their demands and not to attack them and curtail their rights to freedom of expression and assembly.
We write to express our deepest disappointment with the inaction of the Bangladesh Government in resolving this industrial dispute caused by negligent employers who allowed more than a hundred workers to perish senselessly in the Tazreen factory fire. We hope you will consider the plight of these aggrieved workers and ensure that their demands are met by the employers and responsible parties immediately so that the workers can stop the hunger strike.
Their demands are:
1. Payment of 1600 workers’ salaries and overtime in full with no further delay
2. Ensure regular employment of the workers in all the Tuba group factories
3. Cancel the owner, Delwar’s bail and ensure his highest punishment
4. Provide compensation for the dead and injured workers of Tazreen garments
5. Compensate the workers who have been participating in the movement for their physical- psychological-financial loss.
Asia Pacific Forum on Women, Law and Development