Workers in the garment industry continue to protest against the announced wage structure.
BNP Senior Joint Secretary General Ruhul Kabir Rizvi alleged that the government is plotting to hand over the business of the garment sector to other countries.
He made this complaint in a virtual briefing on Sunday afternoon.
Rizvi said, “The government is implementing a blueprint to destroy the garment industry, the largest foreign exchange earner of the country, with great skill. She (Sheikh Hasina) wants to create famine like 1974 again, destroy the country’s economy.”
Alleging that 150 factories in the garment sector have been closed at the instigation of the government, he termed the demands of the garment workers as ‘just’.
In the new wages announced for workers in the garment sector after five years, the minimum wage has been fixed at Tk 12,500. However, some of the workers are demanding 23,000 taka, some 25,000 taka.
Five people have died in clashes with the police so far. According to BGMEA, 25 factories were vandalized. 130 factories have since been closed.
Among these, the American Buyers Alliance has agreed to pay higher prices for Bangladeshi garments. But BGMEA says that such announcements have come before. First, increase the price, then from here they will think about the increase in wages.
Rizvi said, “The entire economy has been destroyed. People believe that Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina wants to guarantee the illegal power of the ‘illegal government’ by handing over the readymade garments business to other countries.
He said, “Not only the political leaders and workers of the opposition party, but the professionals, laborers, workers and even the garment workers are not safe from these fascists. Garment workers who were agitating for a fair increase in wages and salaries were killed by the police.
Highlighting the death of a garment worker in Gazipur, Rizvi said, “Anjuara did not want a share of state power, she only demanded to live happily and peacefully with her husband and children. He had to give his life for this.”
‘Going missing again’
Rizvi said, “The neo-Nazi-style government has started the ‘goer festival’ again ‘as in the past’.…Mothers are now putting their children to sleep because of the fear of Sheikh Hasina’s ‘goom bahani’.”
The BNP leader alleged that if the opposition party leaders and workers were not found, their parents, sons, brothers and sisters and relatives were also taken away. He said, “It is taking away and keeping it invisible, taking it away and denying it.
“Somewhere, this Awami Police League is taking hostages and collecting ransom like militants and terrorists. They brought water from the bathroom and poured it on all the beds in the house without finding the opposition party leaders anywhere.”
Alleging that the Rizpolice has played the role of party workers, Rizvi said, “Take off the dignified uniform of the police and join the Awami League and take to the streets. Do not act recklessly on behalf of the party and illegal state power to wipe out people protesting against bad governance. The people of Bangladesh are keeping track of who and what you are doing. The public is deciding what will happen to you in the coup.”
Referring only to the ‘mountains of frozen tears’, he said, “The mountains of tears are getting higher every day. For 15 years, the cry is coming down from the mountain of tears. And the curses of the dead in the crossfire and the missing are pouring out.
“Day and night they (white-robed) move around like Nazi forces in microbuses covered with black glass. “Democrats are being snatched away.”
In the last 24 hours, more than 365 BNP leaders and workers have been arrested across the country and more than 1,485 leaders and workers have been arrested in various cases.