9 thoughts on “Bangladesh garment workers fight poverty

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  2. Bangladeshi garment factories end lockout

    Over 350 garment factories in the Ashulia industrial zone on the outskirts of Dhaka ended a nine-day lockout on June 21, enabling 500,000 employees to return to work. Several hundred workers at the Envoy Group factory only agreed to resume work after management agreed to pay wages lost during the lockout.

    Factory owners had locked their factories while over 1,000 police and Rapid Action Battalion forces, using tear gas, rubber bullets and batons, attempted to clear the streets of thousands of striking garment workers protesting for better wages and conditions. Over 80 workers were injured and many arrested.

    Concerned that the protests could extend to other districts, the government announced that it would subsidise rice purchases for garment workers. The unions had said that if employers reopened their factories and the police dropped all charges and released strike leaders they would direct the employees back to work.

    Bangladeshi garment workers’ wages are the lowest in Asia, ranging from 2,500 taka ($US30) for new entries to 9,700 taka for a Grade 1 operator. According to a spokesman for the National Platform to Protect Garment Workers and Industries, garment workers’ real incomes have shrunk by 30 percent due to price rises in essentials and rents over the last 18 months.


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