30 Jun 2010

Bangladesh garment protest spread to Dhaka streets

At least 15,000 protesting garment factory workers blocked key roads in the Bangladeshi capital Dhaka Wednesday, the latest in a string of protests over low wages and poor conditions.


Police fired tear gas and used water cannons to disperse the workers, who sew clothes for some of the top names in Western retail, after they blocked a major intersection in the north of the city.

"There are 15,000 to 20,000 workers massing in the street, holding protests over benefits and wages. They blocked a main road and hurled bricks at police," Dhaka's deputy police commissioner, Salim M. Jahangir, told AFP. The trouble began at four factories, owned by one of the country's leading garment manufacturers, and then spread to all of the dozens of factories along a five-kilometre (three-mile) stretch of road in the Kafrul and Mirpur areas.

"All workers in the area have walked out of the factories and joined protests," he said. The unrest is the latest in a series of violent protests over low wages in Bangladesh's more than 4,500 garment factories -- the mainstay of the impoverished country's economy.

More on AFP


Bangladesh garment factories shut after wage protests. Bangladesh relies heavily on textile exports. Among factories shut were ones supplying Walmart, H&M, Zara, and Carrefour, manufacturers said. (BBC)

More on Bangladesh Center for Workers Solidarity On International Labor Rights Forum