Some 600 workers of Raquef Apparels Washing and Packaging Industries at Savar's Hemayetpur on Monday blocked the Hemayetpur-Singair road for four hours demanding their due salaries.
The demonstration that started at 3pm created long gridlocks in the nearby areas. Singer and lawmaker Momtaz Begum got stuck in the strike for half an hour.
Later around 7pm, the protesters returned home when the factory owners promised them to pay all the dues on Wednesday (24 August).
"Our police officials are present on the spot. The workers, basically, have blocked the road as the factory owners have not paid their salaries despite several assurances," Assistant Superintendent of Police for industries Adnan Mustafiz told The Business Standard during the demonstration.
"Additional force has been deployed to avoid any untoward situation," he added.
"MP Mumtaz Begum's car was stuck for some time during the blockade. Later we took her car through an alternative road," said Inspector Russell Mollah, in-charge of the police outpost near the factory.
When contacted, Momtaz Begum told The Business Standard that she was going to her constituency in Manikganj from Dhaka to participate in a program.
"I have been stuck in the strike."
After about half an hour, with the help of the local police, the car carrying Mumtaz Begum was passed the area through an alternative road.
Meanwhile, the agitating workers said the factory authorities neglectfully delay paying the workers' salaries almost every month. They did not receive their salary for July.
"The prices of all the goods are already out of control. Amid the critical situation, if we are not given our salaries, how can we continue our jobs?" Ruma Akter, a sewing operator of the factory, told TBS.
"We haven't been able to pay the house rent yet, the landlord is repeatedly pressuring us."
Another worker Mayuri said landlords are reluctant to rent houses to the workers of the factory as all of them in the area are known abour the factory nature of salary payment.
To explain the irregularities of the factory, the demonstrators also said the factory has not even paid electricity bills on time, for which the electricity supplying authorities cut their power connection on Sunday.
Bangladesh Garments and Industrial Workers Federation Central Committee President Rafiqul Islam Sujan told The Business Standard that the owners of the factory have not paid the wages of the workers despite several assurances.
"They were supposed to pay the salaries at last today [Monday], but no one of the owners is present in the factory today. Being helpless, the workers have come down on the road. We want immediate payment of arrears of all workers."
When contacted, the general manager of the factory Akbar Ali told TBS, "We were supposed to get a loan today [Monday], but we did not. As a result, we could not pay the salaries."
"The salary of the workers will be paid after 3 pm on 24 August," he added.
Regarding the disconnection of electricity, the official said, "The electricity bill is not much, it is only Tk4.5 lakh."