Enamul Hafiz Latifee writes,
Bangladesh ace all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan has paid off the remaining dues of the employees in his aquaculture farm after a protest from the workers.
Around 200 workers from Shakib Al Hasan Agro Farm Limited had taken the streets and closed the Munshiganj-Nildumur road, claiming they were owed four months’ wages on Monday, 20 April 2020.
Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) dispersed the gathering in line with maintaining government protocols during the ongoing coronavirus crisis.
The incident hogged the headline, prompting the star all-rounder to come with an explanation after paying off all the dues. He, however, wrote in a Facebook post that the incidents of unrest, where employees ‘took to the streets and created chaos’ were instigated by ‘some people with hidden agendas.’
His entire Facebook post related to this is listed below,
I would like to apologise for the late response but I wanted to gather all relevant information so that I can relay the…
Shakib also wrote that media played its part in blowing things out of proportion by failing to look into the situation with depth and integrity.
“I would like to apologize for the late response but I wanted to gather all relevant information so that I can relay the truth to you all,” Shakib wrote in his Facebook post.
“Although my name is directly associated with the Agro Farm-, due to my busy professional schedule, the company, like my other companies, are usually run by my co-owners/working partners.
I hardly get a chance to get involved in those businesses’ daily affairs or even visit the offices or premises. As you all know, I have been away from Bangladesh for most of the year as we are expecting our second child and over this period of time I was not updated with the business affairs of my Agro Farm at all and only came to find out about the employee dispute through the media.
My co-owners and working partners failed to inform me properly of what was going on over the last few months but they had promised the very few employees (who were retained ) with an agreed month’s salary to be paid by 30 April 2020.
All of the employees were laid off by the end of January. Despite agreeing to wait till 30 April, those employees surprisingly took to the streets and created chaos probably being instigated by some people with hidden agendas and ill intentions.”
Shakib also wrote that he paid the due salaries of the workers from his own personal funds rather than waiting for the co-owners.
“However, as soon as I realized there was a serious issue, I resolved the situation by taking full responsibility to pay all the due salaries from my own personal funds and without any assistance from company funds or the co-owners.
In any case, I believe this was an internal affair of a company that should have remained internal.
I was very shocked to see the employees fail to wait till the end of the month as they had agreed or created so much unrest.
Like many others, I have been trying to gather funds for other people like them who are distressed under the current crisis so I’m confused as to why people would think I would deprive a handful of employees (and many more) of ours who have been paid regularly for over 3 years,” he wrote.
“Unfortunately, I realized that this story was blown out of proportion by the media who failed to look the same in-depth and with integrity.
It would have been better if they had tried to seek the truth rather than go for sensational headlines which were partly false and mostly misleading.
“I truly believe that the media have a strong role to play by verifying the truth and build their stories based on factual information or else they may end up hurting people like me for no apparent reason. They could have easily raised the issue mentioning the overall scenario and every co-owners name rather than blaming me or mentioning me only.
Neither, I, nor anyone else deserves false accusations of this nature. I earnestly hope that the media and journalists will take more care when reporting.”
“As a nation, I sincerely think we have more important work to do given the current crisis and need to be vigilant and strong against any kind of misleading information and fabrication of the truth.
I think we need to focus our attention on more vital topics. Everyone, please stay safe and well.”