Tear gas, rubber bullets as Bangladesh garment workers strike – Infotrust News

Bangladeshi citizens wait in line outside a polling station in Dhaka on December 30, 2018.– Bangladesh headed to the surveys on December 30 following a weeks-long campaign that was dominated by lethal violence and accusations of a crackdown on countless opposition activists. (Image by Indranil MUKHERJEE/ AFP)

Bangladeshi cops Tuesday fired rubber bullets and tear gas as thousands of striking workers in the South Asian country’s big garment market staged protests for a 3rd day demanding wage hikes.

Bangladesh’s 4,500 fabric and clothing factories exported more than $30 billion worth of garments in 2015, making clothing for sellers such as H&M, Walmart, Tesco, Carrefour and Aldi.

Authorities said more than 5,000 employees blocked a nationwide highway at Hemayetpur outside the capital Dhaka and encountered them for hours after they walked out of their factories.

“At least 12 policemen were injured after they threw rocks at our officers. We fired tear gas and rubber bullets to distribute the protesters. Twelve factories were shut down,” police main Sana Shaminur Rahman informed AFP.

The online edition of the Manabjamin newspaper stated at least 50 protesters were injured in waves of clashes, which also infected garment factory hubs in Dhaka, Ashulia and Uttara including thousands more employees.

The protests are the very first significant test for Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina considering that winning a fourth term in December 30 elections ruined by violence, countless arrests and allegations of vote rigging and intimidation.

Bangladesh raised the minimum month-to-month wage for the garment sector’s four million workers by 51 percent to 8,000 taka ($95) from December.

Senior employees state their raise was less than this and unions, which caution the strikes may spread out, say the hike fails to compensate for rate rises in current years.

“The earnings were treked after 5 years. However in the five years the expense of living has actually increased more than the wage walking,” Babul Akhter, head of the Bangladesh Garment and Industrial Employee Federation, informed AFP

Bangladesh is the world’s second-largest garment maker after China.

Regardless of the industry’s role in changing the impoverished nation into a significant manufacturing center, garment workers are some of the least expensive paid in the world.

The industry likewise has a bad workplace security record with the collapse of a Rana Plaza garment factory complex eliminating more than 1,130 individuals in 2013 in among the world’s worst commercial disasters.

Following the disaster, major sellers formed two security groups to push through important reforms in the factories, triggering makers to plough in more than a billion dollars in safety upgrades.



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