After Doreen Fashion Garments Limited decided to shift the factory to a new location, workers protested. The reason was simple: workers live in small rented rooms or slums around their factories. On a shift of the factory to a far off location, these workers would find it impossible to work due to the high transport costs.
As a result, on 2 October 2014 discussions between workers and owners of Doreen Fashion Garments Limited started. However, as negotiations intensified, the son of one of the owners attacked a worker leading the protestors with a scissor, wounding the worker’s feet severely.
Immediately after this incident, the top management called in the mechanic and some other workers to their room and allegedly tortured them physically, resulting in a mechanic’s veins being cut. Eventually, to create more tension, the management filed a case in Kafrul Thana against the protesting workers, and immediately after which the factory owners declared festival holidays for Eid ul Azha.
After the Festival holidays, as the workers returned to work, they found that the owners used the Eid holidays to secretly transfer all their machines to another location, and the factory now remained closed of their face. Such developments compelled workers to begin protests and agitations to secure their rights.
After a written complaint to the BGMEA, the apex body of factory owners’ facilitated further discussions to mediate problems between workers and owners. On failure of negotiations, the workers went on the strike on 22 October 2014.
At 12 noon on 22 October 2014 a meeting was called by several garment federations cooperating with Doreen Fashion Garments Limited’s workers, aimed at creating an environment for a peaceful solution to the ongoing crisis and ensuring that workers could receive their rightful dues and claims. The meeting was attended by workers of Doreen Fashion Garments Limited, National Garment Workers League, Jago Bangladesh Garment Workers Federation, National Garment Workers Coalition, Bangladesh Garment Workers Federation, United Garment Workers Coalition, and Freedom Struggle Garment Workers Federation.
The meeting ended with the following decisions:
- All dues and claims of workers/employees of Doreen Fashion Garments Limited, in accordance to the Bangladesh Labor Law 2006 (amend. 2013), must be cleared within 28 October 2014.
- A meeting will be called on 27 October 2014 in the BGMEA premises at 3 PM in the afternoon to discuss the rights and duties of the owner and workers according to the Bangladesh Labor Law.
- The time and place of these meetings are subjected to change only after a meeting with all relevant stake holders.
Representatives of owners, BGMEA, Garment Worker Federations and workers of Doreen Fashion Garments Limited were present during the meeting and signed an agreement on the resolutions coming out of it.
Till date, only the salary for October 2014 have been paid for Doreen Fashion Garments Limited workers, however the legal outstanding payments for workers who would fail to join the new location is yet to be decided upon. The Management agreed to pay the medical expenses of the injuries caused to Shipon on 31 October 2014, however disregarded the injuries caused to Mohsin.