One dead and 15 others including 3 Policemen have been injured in clashes over the implementation of the “Export Processing Zone” Minimum Wage 2013, according to which the payments are supposed to take place in 2014.
The dead worker, Parvin Akter, 20, was a worker in a company of Korea-based Youngone Group. Workers alleged she was shot in the head as police without any provocation opened fire during their rally in front of the factory around 1:00am Thursday.
Police, however, said they fired gunshots when the workers hurled brickbats at them. Earlier in the morning, the workers received monthly wages as per the new pay scale. But their monthly travel allowance of Tk 400 was reduced to Tk 200, said Jahedul Islam, a production helper of the factory. Besides, their Tk 50 monthly charge for lunch was also increased to Tk 650. Agitated, they came out of the factory and held the rally. At one stage, the authorities called in the police.
The agitating workers vandalized and set fire to the factory over wage issues, quoting witnesses, Niaz Morshed, assistant commissioner of the port zone of Chittagong Metropolitan of Police.
Meanwhile, two units of the fire service doused the fire in the factory, Deputy Assistant Director of Chittagong Fire Service and Civil Defence Headquarter Md Jashim Uddin said.
The factory was declared closed for Saturday following the incident. Its authorities could not be contacted despite repeated attempts. Korean EPZ (KEPZ) is located in Anwara Upazila under Karnaphuli police station.