Three Bangladeshi workers died and two others were seriously injured when an under-construction warehouse collapsed in Malaysia on Tuesday night, police said. The incident occurred at 9:58 pm (local time) in Batu Maung, Bayan Lepas, Malaysia, Malaysia’s Bernama news agency reported. The deceased were identified as Mohammad Moqaddesh Ali, son of Md. Afsar Ali in Haripur village under Shibganj upazila of Bogura, Mohammad Saiful Islam, son of Md. Rawshan Ali in Laxmipur village under Debidwar in Cumilla and Md. Ahad Ali, son of Mohammad Osman Mandal in Chaipai village under Chatmohar upazila of Pabna, said a media release signed by Sufi Abdullahil Maruf, first secretary (press) of Bangladesh High Commission in Malaysia. Bangladesh among 5 countries selected for project to strengthen preparedness to COVID-19, other infectious diseases The injured workers were sent to Penang Hospital for treatment, while unidentified four are believed to have been buried under the rubble. A search and rescue operation was underway by the Fire and Rescue Department with assistance from other agencies, including the police and the Civil Defence Force. The Penang Island City Council (MBPP) asked the developer to immediately stop work at the site. Local Mayor Datuk A. Rajendran said this was to facilitate the rescue operation and the investigation carried out by the authorities. BNP’s 24-hour blockade underway with arson attacks Meanwhile, Bayan Lepas assemblyman Datuk Azrul Mahathir Aziz, who also visited the site, called for strict action against those responsible if negligence is found to have caused the incident. The Bangladesh High Commission in Malaysia expressed deep sorrow and shock at the unexpected incident. Bangladeshi acting High Commissioner Mohammad Khorshed A Khastagir sent first secretary (labour) A.S.M Zahidur Rahman and Legal Assistant Sukumaran Subramanian to the spot. The envoys collected information about the victims and are in touch with the families of the Bangladeshi workers to send the bodies home soon. The high commission has also been working to realise compensations for the victims from the authorities concerned. Dhaka's air 6th worst in the world this morning
A total of 10.74 lakh workers went abroad for employment till June of the current fiscal (2022-23), which is 15.59 percent more than the same period of the previous fiscal year. Expatriates’ Welfare Minister Imran Ahmad told this in parliament replying to a tabled question from ruling Awami League MP elected from Bhola Ali Azam. The minister said that during the same period of last fiscal year (2021-22), a total of 9.7 lakh workers went abroad. MoU signed between ICT Division and ‘Ami Probashi Limited’ to assist migrant workers In response to a query of AL MP Habibar Rahman from Bogura, the Expatriates’ Welfare Minister said that there is a plan to sign agreements with new countries for manpower export. He also said that process is underway to sign agreements with Libya, Malta, Albania, Romania and Serbia in this regard. In response to the question of another AL MP Nurannabi Chowdhury from Bhola-4, the Minister said that since the establishment of Expatriate Welfare Bank, Tk 2081 crore have been distributed among around 1.14 lakh expatriate workers as loan for migration purposes. Responding to a query from AL MP AKM Rahmatullah from Dhaka, Commerce Minister Tipu Munshi said earlier the domestic demand of tea in the country was less than the production and that’s why more tea was exported. Keep markets of Bangladeshi migrant workers open for all recruiting agencies: BAIRA At present the demand of tea in the country is about 100 million kg, he said adding that as people's purchasing power increases, all the tea produced in the country is used to meet domestic demand, leaving little surplus for export. In order to increase the export of tea, the government as well as the tea board has taken various steps to increase the production of quality tea. In reply to a query from AL MP Nizam Uddin Hazari of Feni, the commerce minister said that there are trade missions of Bangladesh in 23 cities of 21 countries of the world. Bangladeshi Migrant Workers: Destination countries “must act against perpetrators” of HR violations They are: Canberra, Brussels, Beijing, Kunming, Paris, Berlin, New Delhi, Kolkata, Tehran, Tokyo, Yangon, Kuala Lumpur, Moscow, Seoul, Singapore, Madrid, Geneva, Dubai, London, Washington DC and Los Angeles. He said that in the near future, there are plans to set up commercial wing in Brasilia, Turkey, Ankara, Mexico, Mexico City and Africa. Besides, there are plans to set up missions in Indonesia and Thailand. 4.43 lakh migrant workers return to country in one year until May, 2021: Minister
Two construction workers died after falling off an under-construction building at Postogola in the city on Saturday. The deceased were identified as Rabbi, 20, son of Liton of Tangail district and Robi, 18. The two workers fell from Gazi Tower, an under construction building at Kadamtoli while working there in the morning, said Inspector Bachhu Mia, in-charge of Dhaka Medical College and Hospital police camp. Later, they were taken to Dhaka Medical College and Hospital where doctors declared them dead.
Three factory workers who died yesterday shortly after having iftar, were among five who drank juice outside the dining service of the company, according to Walton Hi-Tech Industries. Signed by the company’s Deputy Managing Director, Md Humayun Kabir, a press release reads that all Walton employees are particularly instructed not to eat any food other than that provided by the company. Another worker also fell sick and is undergoing treatment, it added. Also Read: Three factory workers die in Gazipur Three Walton Hi-Tech factory workers died after having iftar at Kaliakair upazila of Gazipur district on Sunday evening. The deceased are Sheikh Farid Hossain, 30; Abdul Barek, 48; and Ashraf Ali, 30. Angry workers of the factory blocked the Chandra-Nabinagar highway by burning tyres after hearing of the incident. Kaliakair Upazila Nirbahi Officer (UNO) Tajwar Akram Sakapi said that three workers of the factory became ill after having iftar and were taken to the nearby hospital quickly, where the doctors declared the three dead. The doctors, however, could not identify the exact cause of their death.
Sri Lankan health, railway, port and other state workers were on a daylong strike Wednesday to protest against sharp increases in income taxes and electricity charges, as the island nation awaits approval of an International Monetary Fund package to aid its bankrupt economy. Most government hospitals around the country suspended their outpatient clinics because doctors, nurses and pharmacists were on strike. The railways operated fewer trains and armed soldiers guarded carriages and train stations fearing sabotage. Trade unions say the increase in taxes and electricity charges have hit them hard amid difficulties from the country's worst economic crisis. They have threatened to extend the strike indefinitely if the government fails to address their demands. Also Read: Sri Lanka leader says IMF deal imminent after China’s pledge The government says it was compelled to raise taxes to strengthen state revenue and electricity charges to cover production costs, key prerequisites to unlocking the proposed $2.9 billion IMF package. Authorities say they managed to operate some trains and most state banks despite the strike. IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva said last week the fund's board will meet on March 20 to consider the final approval of Sri Lanka's bailout package after China gave crucial debt restructuring assurances. Sri Lanka announced last year it was suspending repayment of its foreign loans amid a severe foreign currency crisis that resulted in shortages of fuel, food, medicines and cooking gas, along with long power cuts. The crisis led to street protests that forced then-President Gotabaya Rajapaksa to flee the country and resign. President Ranil Wickremesinghe, since taking over last July, has managed to end the power cuts and reduce shortages. The Central Bank has said the country's reserves have improved and Sri Lanka's rupee has started to strengthen after crashing last year. The Central Bank has wrested back control of foreign currency trade from the black market, the monetary authority says. However, critics say the strengthening of the currency might be linked to import controls and that it is bound to weaken once the country reopens for imports. Wickremesinghe told Parliament last week that difficult reforms are needed to remain on course with the IMF program. Sidestepping them, as the country has done on 16 previous occasions, could spell danger, he added, noting that any breakdown would compel Sri Lanka to repay $6-7 billion of foreign debt every year until 2029. However, he found no support from the opposition parties and the public, who say he is shielding the ousted Rajapaksa family from allegations of corruption, which they say caused the economic crisis, in return for their support for his presidency.
Two construction workers were killed, and five others injured as the roof of an under-construction apparel factory collapsed in Sreepur Wednesday, the fire service said. The deceased were identified as Ariful Islam, 28, from Gazipur's Kaliganj upazila, and Sree Mukul Chandra from Dinajpur's Chirirbandar upazila. Another worker, Md Mamun Mia (28), from Kurigram's Kachakata was critically injured. He is now receiving treatment at the hospital. The identities of the other two workers could not immediately be confirmed. The incident took place at Hams apparel factory in Sreepur municipality's Bhangnahati area. A few workers were trapped under the debris. Iftekhar Hossain Raihan Chowdhury, station officer of the Sreepur fire service, said two bodies have been recovered so far. "The rescue operation is still on." Read more: Worker killed in Chuadanga boiler blast
Far from Doha’s luxury hotels and sprawling new World Cup stadiums, scores of South Asian workers poured into a cricket ground in the city’s sandy outskirts to enjoy the tournament they helped create. Unlike the official FIFA fan zone near Doha’s pristine corniche, this one has no $14 beer or foreign tourists. There are few food options beyond deep-fried Indian snacks, scant soccer jerseys in the crowd and even fewer women. Instead, the grassy pitch in Asian Town, a neighborhood of labor camps, is packed with migrant workers from some of the world’s poorest countries. They power Qatar, one of the world’s richest, and helped accomplish its multi-billion-dollar stadium-building effort. Their treatment has been the controversial backstory of the 2022 World Cup, ever since Qatar won the bid to host the soccer championship. They can face low wages, inhospitable housing and long hours, often in the scorching heat. But on Friday night as the Netherlands played Ecuador, the bleachers of the cricket stadium heaved with workers reveling on their one day off of the week. The lucky ones scored a small number of World Cup match tickets that went on sale for just 40 riyals ($10) — a special cheaper ticket category for Qatar residents. But for those who can’t afford to go to gleaming stadiums, the giant screens in Asian Town have become a key glimpse into the tournament that has reshaped the tiny emirate. “Who can afford to go? I keep 400 riyals ($109) a month in my pocket,” said Anmol Singh, an electrician, who sends the rest of his $600 salary to his parents and grandparents in Bihar, eastern India. “I work to give it all to them.” Read: Japan eye World Cup knockout stage with win against Costa Rica Even if meager by Western standards, the salaries of migrant workers in Qatar and across the oil-rich sheikhdoms of the Persian Gulf often exceed what they could make back home and serve as lifelines for their families in India, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. Workers in the fan zone who spoke to an Associated Press journalist on Friday said they coveted their jobs in the country, which has strict laws on speech. The yearslong boycott of Qatar by four Arab nations also stoked nationalism among the migrant workforce that makes up some 85% of the country’s population. Kaplana Pahadi, a 21-year-old cleaner from Nepal, strolled through the crowded cricket stadium with three co-workers she called “my family.” Decked out in a maroon Qatar jersey, scarf and cap, she said she moved to the energy-rich emirate over four years ago to pay medical fees for her mother, who developed heart problems after her father’s death. “She’s always sick,” she said. “I want to help her.” At half-time, the floodlit stadium became a riot of music and dance. A celebrity Indian emcee whipped up the crowds as Hindi pop blared. Some men hoisted themselves up on the shoulders of their friends. Others jumped up and down with excitement. Most wore jeans and T-shirts, or cream shalwar kameez — a knee-length shirt with a pair of loose-fitting trousers common in South Asia. Hundreds took out their phones to film the reverie, smiles spreading as women in LED-lit white dresses traipsed onstage. It was a stark respite from the daily grind. “These are people from companies doing hard work,” said Imtiaz Malik, a 28-year-old IT worker from Pakistan, gesturing to the crowds of men. “But any kind of work is good.” Read: Germany pin hopes on Spain match to avoid early FIFA World Cup exit He said he misses his family back in Lahore, Pakistan, and wishes he could hear their voices more often. Despite the difficulties, he said, Qatar has become his home, too. “This country is becoming better,” he said. The glaring spotlight of the World Cup has compelled Qatar to overhaul its labor system. The country scrapped the kafala system that tied workers’ visas to their jobs and set a minimum wage of 1,000 riyals ($275) a month, among other changes. Still, rights groups argue more needs to be done. Workers can face delayed wages and rack up debt paying exorbitant recruitment fees to land their jobs. Imran Khan, 28, said many young men in his hometown of Kolkata, India, dream of working in Qatar. He left his parents and brothers behind to search for work in hospitality during the World Cup. But he has yet to find a job. The competition is fierce and work harder to come by now that the tournament is underway, he said. In the meantime, he spends his days watching matches on the big screens at the cricket stadium next to the mall. The fan zone allows Khan and legions of other migrant workers to enjoy the World Cup atmosphere just a short walk from their dormitories. It also means they’re not taking the bus into downtown Doha, which is now filled with foreign fans watching games and celebrating. “I can’t explain the excitement,” Khan said. “It’s unreal.”
Ensuring the health and well-being of the workers must be a key priority for building a better and more sustainable readymade garments (RMG) industry, the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) has said. "If the workers are healthy, the industry will run well. As we are increasingly focusing on enhancing the industry's capacity and productivity, it's imperative to ensure workers' health because healthy workers are more productive," BGMEA President Faruque Hassan said Tuesday at the global women leaders' organisation G100's first summit in Bangladesh. Read more: BGMEA calls for Italian investment in Bangladesh's emerging industrial sectors Planning Minister MA Mannan attended the event as chief guest. Dutch Ambassador to Bangladesh Anne Gerard van Leeuwen, founder and President of G100 Harbin Arora Rai, and Farzanah Chowdhury, G100 global chair of healthcare and wellness, also spoke at the programme. Faruque said: "We often talk about socio-economic issues like employment, empowerment, environmental sustainability, and workplace safety. But we also have to remember that health is a very important part to keep our workers well, happy and productive." "Most of our factories maintain health care centres, eye care facilities, daycare centres, fair price shops, and so on within the premises. Factories also run schools, hospitals, and other charitable initiatives for the community, and employ physically challenged people," he added. Read more: Bangladesh to stay safe, sustainable apparel sourcing destination: BGMEA Industry stakeholders need to take a more holistic approach to ensure workers' health which would contribute to making the workforce more productive and the industry more competitive, the BGMEA president said.
Water transport workers announced to go on an indefinite strike across the country from November 26 at midnight to press home their 10-point demand, including increasing wages. The workers’ demands include providing appointment letters, identity cards and service books. To make this strike successful, a protest rally was brought out from the Barishal river port organized by the Divisional Vessel Workers Sangram Parishad on Saturday afternoon, said Nazrul Islam, president of the Parishad. Read more: Inland water transport suspended as Cyclone ‘Sitrang’ approaches Later they formed a human chain in the port area. Among others, Bangladesh Trade Union Central District Committee General Secretary AK Azad, Labour Union Coordinator Mozammel Sikder and Harunur Rashid Sikder spoke on the programme. Read more: Inland water transport operations resume as Sitrang weakens
Elon Musk says Twitter is a software and servers company at its heart and wants employees to decide by Thursday evening if they want to remain a part of the business, according to an email the new owner sent to Twitter workers. Musk wrote that employees “will need to be extremely hardcore" to build “a breakthrough Twitter 2.0" and that long hours at high intensity will be needed for success. Musk, who also heads Tesla and SpaceX, said Twitter will be much more engineering-driven, with employees who write “great code” comprising the majority of the team. Read more:Elon Musk takes over Twitter: what to expect? The billionaire, who completed the $44 billion takeover of the San Francisco company in late October, has already fired much of its full-time workforce by email on Nov. 4 and is moving to eliminate an untold number of contract jobs for those who are tasked with fighting misinformation and other harmful content. Musk has vowed to ease restrictions on what users can say on the platform. While he's received criticism, he has tried to reassure companies that advertise on the platform and others that it won’t damage their brands by associating them with harmful content. Musk has also indicated that he plans to resume Twitter's premium service — which grants blue-check “verification” labels to anyone willing to pay $8 a month - on November 29. The billionaire said in a tweet that the relaunch would take place later this month in an effort to make sure the service is “rock solid." Musk asked workers to click yes on a link provided in the email if they want to be part of the “new Twitter." He said that employees had until 5 p.m. Eastern on Thursday to reply to the link. Employees who don't reply by that time will receive three months of severance, according to the email. Read more: 'Be careful what you wish for': Musk discusses Twitter, workload at G-20 forum “Whatever decision you make, thank you for your efforts to make Twitter successful," Musk wrote.