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82 workers deported from Jordan to get compensation

The Daily Star  |  August 4, 2008  |  Share  |  Source article


By Staff Correspondent

US-based Steve and Barry, the buyer of Caliber Garments factory in Jordan, will provide compensation to the factory's 82 Bangladeshi workers deported from Jordan without payment of their arrears.

The deported workers will be given Tk 41,000 each through Hotline Human Rights Bangladesh (HHRB), which received US$50,000 from Steve and Barry via New York Province of the Society of Jesus as compensation.

It was disclosed at a press conference organised by the HHRB at the Dhaka Reporters' Unity yesterday.

Of the 82 deported workers, 35 were given Tk 41,000 each as compensation yesterday while the rest will be given money within two weeks.

About 200 Bangladeshi workers of Caliber Garments were deported from Jordan between January and February this year after they demanded payment of arrears.

The deported workers said they were forced to do overtime for six to eight hours without payment.

Although the company was bound to provide them with accommodation, meal and medical treatment as per the contract, it did not comply with the agreement They also alleged that the factory authorities had deducted 26 Jordanian Dinar from their salaries for meal violating the contract.

In a written statement, HHRB coordinator Rozalin Costa said when they learnt about the repression on Bangladeshi workers, they approached US-based National Labour Committee.

The Committee then asked Steve and Barry to investigate the allegations brought by the deported workers. A five-member delegation from the company arrived in Dhaka on March 28 this year and talked to the deported workers.

Later, the delegation made a proposal for providing the deported workers with compensation, added Rozalin.

Mahinura Akter Mariam, a deported worker, said the company authorities sent her back to Bangladesh without paying arrears worth about Tk 2 Lakh.

"We were confined to the dormitory after the company authorities came to know that we had sought help from the labour ministry in Jordan, " she added.

Human rights activist Rafiqul Alam and deported Bangladeshi workers, among others, were present.

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