After the relentless Police barbarism that followed on 8 August 2014, with the arrest of labor leader Moshrefa Mishu (later released on the same day), and activists, baton charge, dispersing aggrieved workers on hunger strike from inside the factory building, Delwar Hossain finally sold off his land and machinery to give workers their 3 month worth of salaries and overtime, however festival bonuses are still not paid to the workers.
Earlier, workers called for a nation wide strike on 9 August 2014, which was not observed and later called off due to payment of dues.
However, all the 5 factories of Tuba Group remained closed as the owner claimed that he had to sell off his machines to pay the workers. Workers were also not compensated for the risk, trauma and torture they had to bear during the 11 day hunger strike. The demands of workers included the complete payment of compensation to Tazreen Fire victims (also a factory under the same owner of Tuba Group), which also remains unfulfilled.
Today 12 August 2014, workers of Yagi Bangladesh Garment Ltd went on protest against their management for payment of their wages for July 2014. Workers of this factory stopped all production also for the sacking of their colleagues without showing any reason.
With wages being the primary reason workers work in these factories, the non-payment or payment after shedding blood cannot be acceptable. The outcry of Tuba Group workers have created fresh discussions where an emergency fund is proposed by the Commerce Minister for the BGMEA to meet such pressing scenarios.
Mushrefa Mishu, president of Garment Workers’ Unity Forum, who headed the workers’ movement in the Tuba Group, however had been saying that it is well within the capacity of Tuba Group to pay its workers their dues. She also said: “Withholding workers’ wages was dirty politics from the owners to have Delwar bailed out.”
On 31 July 2014, the government arranged for Tuba group owner Mr. Delwar Hossain’s bail claiming it to be in the workers’ interest. Ministers representing the government said that If he was still in jail, it would have taken six months or more for the workers to get their arrears.