Posted by: Duncan Chowdhury | July 27, 2009

Protests in an Improper Way

A news flashed in some of the daily newspapers today, I have read in Sangbad and The Daily Star. It is not an unusual news for Bangladesh, its a common event. Garments workers have damaged  several vehicles including two buses in Dhaka city.  Around one thousand workers (800 according to Sangbad) from Alpine Garments Factory, vandalized a number of vehicles including two buses at Gulshan II in front of Westin Hotel.

It had been reported that this incident  was the aftermath of sacking of 50 workers of the factory. The agitating workers came down to the street, stopped the vehicular movement during rush hours of the day. Later the situation was brought under control through the intervention of the police.

Now several questions have erupted in public mind, which seeks answers from the pertinent quarters. The garments factory was established in the residential area like Gulshan, how did it happen when this is an exclusive zone for diplomats and expatriates. Though commercial houses have sprung up in that area like mushrooms, still allowing factories to flourish is a mystery.

Then how long we are going to accept such an improper manner of protest of the workers. The innocent vehicle owners had nothing to do with the garments factories, why they shall become victims of the conflict. Who are going to pay for the damages and how? All these questions shall remain unanswered, as it had been in the past.

Now we need a platform where the workers can properly ventilate their grievances to their employers, instead of exercising these heinous acts to draw attention of the concerned authorities. The answer could be the formation of trade unions by the workers, which could represent the workers lawfully to the employers and find acceptable solutions in conflicts between the two parties.

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