Over 100 injured as B`deshi garment workers protest low wages
Last Updated: Saturday, June 19, 2010, 22:33
Dhaka: Bangladeshi garment workers, who were protesting against low wages, clashed with the police today, leading to injuries to over 100 people near the capital's Ashulia industrial area.

Thousands of agitated workers ransacked several factories at Ashulia industrial area, 30 kilometres north of the capital.

Over 100 garment workers and 10 policemen were injured in a series of clashes, the Star online said today. The police resorted to baton charge and fired rubber bullets and lobbed tear gas shells to disperse the unruly workers.

Garment factory owners at Nishchintapur, Norashinghpur and Zamgara, close to the capital, shutdown their productions fearing attacks from agitated workers demanding a minimum wage of Taka 5,000, the report said.

Some 50,000 workers joined the protests for wage hike. Witnesses said about 7,000 workers of Nasa Group vandalised at least five factories. Workers of Hamim and Sharmin Groups attacked and vandalised at least 10 factories at Norashinghpur and Zamgara, the report said.

Garment workers are currently paid a minimum Taka 1,662 following a 2006 agreement among manufacturers, unions and the government.

Even as the government has proposed increasing the minimum wages for the garment workers, the manufacturers and exporters have opposed the hike.

Experts say labour unrest may impact Bangladesh's exports as it could scare away top global buyers of garments, which is one of the main sources of the country's foreign exchange.

The garment industry also employs nearly 40 percent of the industrial workforce in the country.


First Published: Saturday, June 19, 2010, 22:33

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