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Gross mistreatment of locals in Chinese financed projects in Bangladesh unearthed

07 Aug , 2022   By : Kaushiki Mehta

Gross mistreatment of locals in Chinese financed projects in Bangladesh unearthed

Chinese companies in Bangladesh are grossly mistreating local employees with several reports emerging of unprofessionalism ranging from low wages to physical assaults.

The Bangladeshi locals employed in Chinese funded projects are not given appointment letters, made to work for 26 days in a month, with no limit to duty hours in a day (around 16-18 hours a day), in miserable working conditions and without safety norms, according to local media.

Salary transfer to the employee's account is often done late, and disbursed, without any signature taken. No local employee has any right to speak up.

China, which is now also in making a "Flypass" in Gazipur, Dhaka, is flouting all labour laws in Bangladesh. The Bangladeshi translators, recruited by Chinese companies, actually act like Razakars (since they are the persons who deceive their local brethren in implementing Chinese designs), while China has been labelled as behaving like Pakistan (during pre-liberation Bangladesh), by Sohag.

Recently one Md. Mosiur Rahman alias Sohag has been injured in upper arm bones, while working as scaffolder for China Construction Fifth Engineering Division (CCFED). Instead of attending to his injuries, CCFED has asked Sohag to go on leave. Samsung C&T Corporation, a part of Aviation Dhaka Consortium (ADC), responsible for constructing
Terminal-3 of Dhaka Airport, has sublet its contract to CCFED.

Earlier this year a Bangladeshi labourer was assaulted by a Chinese project officer over a matter of not wearing the mask properly while he was working at the site. Chinese workers got furious at the worker and beat him up. After this, he was admitted to the Bakerganj Upazila Health Complex, according to Bangladesh Live News.

The ill-treatment of workers is a major concern in the construction process of coal-fired power plants as part of the Chinese megaprojects in Bangladesh.

Last year, in April, a group of workers of the SS Power Plant gathered in Chittagong to peacefully protest for higher wages and reduced working hours. Police authorities intervened to quell the protest through violent means

The Bangladeshi press recorded five deaths and a dozen injured people in the clash. Indeed, the coal plant and infrastructure implementations are causing widespread displacement of highly populated rural areas by endangering their ecosystem and resources such as water and air pollution.

As a result, inhabitants of the impacted areas gathered in protests to stop the land seizing. Furthermore, the increase in the building of coal plants is failing to respect workers’ rights, reported Ban ..

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