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.

PTI



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

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