Workers of 28 readymade garment factories in Ashulia have walked out of their units demanding a minimum Tk 16,000 as monthly salary.
They started coming out of the factories on Monday morning, said Ashulia police OC Mohsinul Quadir.
The minimum monthly wage of a readymade garment worker currently stands at Tk 5,300.
The protesting workers say that is woefully inadequate to run their households.
“Amid escalating price of daily essentials and transport, a worker cannot survive with such a meagre amount,” said Khairul Mamun Mintu, general secretary of Garment Workers’ Trade Union central committee.
The resentment among the workers had been growing over the last one week triggering anxiety among the factory owners.
Most of these factories are located in Jamgorha, Norshinghopur and Beron area of Ashulia on the outskirts of Dhaka.
Shadhan Kumar De, who runs a factory ‘The Rose Dresses’ in Jamgorha, said he anticipated losses if the issue was not resolved soon.
A dialogue was on to resolve the crisis, he said.
In a press conference on Sunday, Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan suspected that the workers were being manipulated by ‘vested interests’.
Dhaka police arranged the conference under the initiative of Garments Workers’ Coordination Council.
“Those who are trying to hatch a conspiracy involving the garment workers will be traced,” he said.
“All the demand of the workers will be discussed,” the minister added.
Shipping Minister Shajahan Khan appealed to RMG workers not to respond to provocations.
Neither the ministers nor the labour leaders were aware of such a demand, that of Tk 16,000 as monthly salary for garment workers, said Mujibul Haque, state minister for labour.
Owners of different factories and leaders of different labour organisations were present at the conference along with Dhaka Range DIG SM Mahfuzul Haque Nuruzzaman.