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Thursday June 13, 2024

BD garment workers clash with police

By AFP
January 14, 2019

DHAKA: Thousands of Bangladeshi garment workers churning out clothes for top global brands walked off the job Sunday and clashed with police as protests over low wages entered a second week. Police said water cannons and tear gas were fired to disperse huge crowds of striking factory workers in Savar, a garment hub just outside the capital Dhaka. “The workers barricaded the highway, we had to drive them away to ease traffic conditions,” industrial police director Sana Shaminur Rahman told AFP about Sunday’s strike action. “So far 52 factories, including some big ones, have shut down operations due to the protests.” One worker was killed on Tuesday after police fired rubber bullets and tear gas at some 5,000 protesting workers. Bangladesh is dependant on garments stitched by millions of low-paid tailors on factory floors across the emerging South Asia economy of 165 million people. Roughly 80 percent of its export earnings come from clothing sales abroad, with global retailers H&M, Primark, Walmart, Tesco and Aldi among the main buyers. Union leader Aminul Islam blamed factory owners for resorting to violence to control striking workers.