Murdering Trade Unionists remains employers ‘best practice’ to defeat workers’ resistance!

New Trade Union Initiative (NTUI) strongly condemns the cold blooded murder of Shahidul Islam Shahid, Gazipur district president of Bangladesh Garment and Industrial Workers Federation (BGIWF), and the brutal assault on two young activists of the union on 25 June 2023 at the hands of managements goons.

Shahidul Islam was leading the agitation for unpaid wages and Eid bonus of over 200 workers at Prince Jacquard Sweaters Limited. The company management had agreed to pay the monies on 25 June 2023 for which workers had assembled at the factory premises. The management, however, went back on its promise. The workers kept pressing for their agitated the demand that their dues be paid, till well after dark. At around 7 p.m. when Shahidul was explaining the situation to workers at the factory gate, he was attacked by management goons. Shahidul received fatal injuries in the attack and was declared dead when rescued and taken to the local hospital.

This heinous attack is a reflection of the impunity companies enjoy in using muscle, money and violence to intimidate workers. It casts a long shadow on workers Right to Freedom of Association bringing back to them memories of various attacks on trade union office bearers including the murder of Aminul Islam more than a decade ago. The failure of police in bringing the perpetrators of these crimes to book has further emboldened employers who deploy thugs and goons to keep workers from joining or forming trade unions of their choice.

NTUI stands shoulder to shoulder with the grieving family, and joins members of the Bangladesh Garment and Industrial Workers Federation in solidarity in their demand for justice for the cold blooded murder of Shahidul Islam Shahid and for the unpaid workers of the factory.

Together with you in the struggle!

Gautam Mody
General Secretary

29 June 2023