Former shipping minister and workers' leader Shahjahan Khan has said the garment workers' movement is a conspiracy to disrupt the inauguration of the much-awaited Padma Bridge.
Hundreds of garment workers have been staging protests by blocking roads in different parts of Mirpur in the capital since Saturday. The agitating workers also vandalised a bus and set two motorcycles on fire during protests on Saturday.
The protesters demanded that their salaries must be raised or the prices of all essential commodities must decrease.
"You people (workers) go back to work, we will talk to the government about your demands," Shahjahan Khan said at a meeting held between the representatives of workers and owners at Shrama Bhaban in the capital on Sunday.
He also said that BNP-Jamaat is conspiring to oust the government using the workers as a tool.
Meanwhile, some union leaders also opined that there was an anti-government conspiracy behind the workers' movement.
However, some workers' leaders also raised the issue of increasing salaries in the face of rising commodity prices.
"Wage boards are formed every five years. The latest board was formed in 2018. The next board will be formed in May next year and new wages will be proposed by December," Shahjahan Khan said after the meeting.
He added that it would not be right to talk about the matter before the wage board is formed.
Nazma Akter, president of the Bangladesh Sammilito Garment Sramik Federation, told TBS, "You all know how much the commodity price has increased in the last three years. Workers are not able to run their families even after working 14 hours a day. Their salary needs to be increased."