You can read 9 more articles this month
BANGLADESHI garment workers have continued their action for a sixth day, in defiance of tear gas and water cannon attacks with police firing rubber bullets at thousands of protesters in the capital Dhaka.
One protester was killed in demonstrations earlier this week, prompting the government to consider a raise in the minimum wage in order to quell the growing unrest.
However workers continued their strike action, with more than 50 factories believed to have been shut down as workers took to the streets again demanding higher wages and improved conditions in the garment industry.
Bangladesh is the world’s second-largest garment exporter behind China, however the industry has a poor safety record with the 2013 Rana Plaza disaster, in which an overcrowded factory collapsed killing 1,134 people branded a “mass industrial homicide.”
Wages are the lowest anywhere in the world and workers are demanding a minimum monthly wage of 10,000 taka (£93) with unions warning that government proposals will only benefit a small minority in the garment industry.
Global brands that manufacture in Bangladesh include H&M, Zara, Walmart, Tesco, Kappa, Tommy Hilfiger, and Calvin Klein with the $30 billion (£23.4bn) industry accounting for 80 per cent of the country’s exports.
Riot police have been deployed with more than 5,000 taking to the streets of Dhaka with police chief Rezual Haque saying they had “no choice” but to use tear gas as protesters blocked the highway.
Union leaders have called for negotiations with the newly re-elected government of Sheikh Hasina to end the impasse.
Garments Trade Union Centre president Ruhul Amin said: “We urge the government to sit with us and settle the issue, otherwise the movement will continue.”
You can’t buy a revolution, but you can help the only daily paper in Britain that’s fighting for one by joining the 501 club.
Just £5 a month gives you the opportunity to win one of 17 prizes, from £25 to the £501 jackpot.
By becoming a 501 Club member you are helping the Morning Star cover its printing, distribution and staff costs — help keep our paper thriving by joining!
You can’t buy a revolution, but you can help the only daily paper in Britain that’s fighting for one by become a member of the People’s Printing Press Society.
The Morning Star is a readers’ co-operative, which means you can become an owner of the paper too by buying shares in the society.
Shares are £1 each — though unlike capitalist firms, each shareholder has an equal say. Money from shares contributes directly to keep our paper thriving.
Some union branches have taken out shares of over £500 and individuals over £100.
You can’t buy a revolution, but you can help the only daily paper in Britain that’s fighting for one by donating to the Fighting Fund.
The Morning Star is unique, as a lone socialist voice in a sea of corporate media. We offer a platform for those who would otherwise never be listened to, coverage of stories that would otherwise be buried.
The rich don’t like us, and they don’t advertise with us, so we rely on you, our readers and friends. With a regular donation to our monthly Fighting Fund, we can continue to thumb our noses at the fat cats and tell truth to power.
Donate today and make a regular contribution.