09/23/2013, 00.00
BANGLADESH
Send to a friend

Thousands of garment workers stop Bangladesh, demanding higher wages

by Sumon Corraya
For the past three days, garment workers have been on strike to demand a minimum monthly salary of 8,000 taka (US$ 100). "With the 3,000 taka (US$ 40) that I take now, I cannot [. . .] buy medicine for my mother," a young worker said. Collapsed buildings in the Tazreen Fashion and Rana Plaza cases revealed the inhuman conditions in which more than 2 million garment workers live.

Dhaka (AsiaNews) - Tens of thousands of garment workers are still on strike after three days, blocking many of the country's roads and plants in order to get an increase in the minimum monthly wage. The protest disrupted traffic and vehicle movement, as well as the production, but workers say that "only by making our voices heard can we change something."

In the capital of Dhaka alone, more than 50,000 workers are in the streets. Workers want the minimum monthly wage to rise to 8,000 taka (US$ 100).

"With the 3,000 taka (US$ 40) that I now make, I cannot support my family, or buy medicine for my mother, who is sick," said Salma Begum, a young worker who spoke to AsiaNews.

Bangladesh is the 2nd largest garments production country after China. Textiles account for over 10 per cent of the GDP. The country has about 4,500 factories, employing more than 2 million people, 70 per cent of whom are women.

However, workers are often treated like slaves and forced to work in unsafe conditions, with thousands of people crammed on a single floor, for at least 12 hours a day.

Sometimes employers even suspend the one weekly day off, if there are too many holidays.

Recent protests have intensified in recent months, after the Tazreen Fashion and Rana Plaza tragedies. The two occurred close to each other, killing thousands of people.

Send to a friend
Printable version
CLOSE X
See also
Garment workers riot over wages in Chittagong, three dead, dozens injured
13/12/2010
Almost five thousand garment workers sacked after strike
31/01/2019 20:23
One dead in clashes between workers and police during garment sector strike
08/01/2019 18:32
Some 50 garment factories closed with 25,000 workers laid off in Bangladesh
15/10/2019 13:02
"We are optimistic," says Paul Bhatti as Rimsha Masih's bail hearing postponed to Friday
03/09/2012