ITUC AP condemns the police killing of 5 workers in Banshkhali power plant in Bangladesh on 18 April 2021. The incident took place in an under-construction coal-fired power plant which is a joint venture of S Alam Group, a Bangladeshi industrial conglomerate and Shandong Electric Power Construction Corporation III, a well-known Chinese company.
The killing happened when workers were peacefully demanding their due salaries and requesting the management to reduce the working hours in the month of Ramadan. It is common practice in Bangladesh to slash working hours during Ramadan.
However, instead of responding in a democratic manner, the management has chosen the way of violence and opened the fire. As a result, 5 workers lost their lives and more than 21 got severe injuries.
Adding salt to the wound, the company was trying to book workers on false and fabricated charges. A total 3,562 people were sued filed in connection with Banshkhali power plant incident.
Taking a strong stand, ITUC Bangladesh Council condemns the incidents and demands the following:
1) Constitute a high-level committee tasked to conduct a proper investigation and ensure that the culprits will get punished.
2) Stop making false and fabricated charges on workers in connection with the Banshkhali power plant incident.
3) Provide compensation of at least BDT 2,000,000 (USD23,600) to the families of the five workers who were killed.
4) Provide proper treatment for the 21 injured workers. Their medical expenses should be borne by the company/government and each worker should get proper compensation, depending on their injuries.
Shoya Yoshida, General Secretary of ITUC-Asia Pacific said, “This is unacceptable and horrible. We are now in the middle of a pandemic and an economic crisis, and yet, workers are not being paid what they are owed. Worse, when they demand for what they are due, they get shot in cold blood. This is inhumane and insane. I do support the above-mentioned demands of ITUC- BC and urge the Government of Bangladesh to take immediate steps to address their demands. Justice must be served to the five workers!”