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EPZ factories to reopen on Thursday

Written by: Staff

Dhaka, June 6 (UNI) The shuttered factories in Dhaka Export Processing Zone (EPZ) will reopen on June 8 after the government agreed to provide special security for the violence-ridden exclusive economic zone today.

Bangladesh EPZ Investors' Association (BEPZIA) agreed to reopen their industrial units after a meeting between BEPZIA members and newly-appointed executive chairman of the association Brigadier General Ashraf Abdullah Yusuf.

The investors also decided to pay the arrears in wages for the workers by June 12, Brig Yusuf told mediamen at a press briefing after the negotiations.

''The investors will try to pay the due wages on the day factories reopen, but if that is not possible due to Thursday, they will certainly pay the dues by Monday,'' he said.

''But no discussion took place on the investors' declaration of 'no work, no pay' stand','' he added.

BPEZIA chairman Kihak Sung, who is now in South Korea, attended the meeting and the press briefing through video-conferencing.

Journalists were not allowed in the meeting today due to objection from the investors and also the new BEPZA boss, a serving army officer, who replaced a retired serviceman of the same rank amid turmoil in the DEPZ and surrounding apparel hubs.

Replying to a query, Mr Yusuf said the investors were satisfied with certain security measures they proposed for the EPZ.

''But it will take time to implement the measures. A discussion has taken place with the Home Minister in this regard,'' he added.

As the journalists insisted on telling them about the security measures being taken, Yusuf said, ''The major measure will be not to allow any outsider inside the EPZ. Only the legitimate workers could enter the zone and their activities will be monitored.'' He said besides the measures of BEPZA, the investors would also take their own security measures.

Asked whether the army would be deployed in the zone, Yusuf said no such situation had arisen yet.

About the workers' 38-point demand placed with two ministers in the wake of the unrest, the BEPZA Executive Chairman said discussion did not take place particularly on those 38 demands.

''But the investors have agreed to meet 80-90 per cent demands of the labourers as those demands are legal as per BEPZA rules one and two,'' he said.


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