One dead as Bangladesh garment workers clash with police

Sunday, December 12, 2010

DHAKA - A rickshaw puller was killed in Chittagong town and scores were injured Sunday in clashes between police and readymade garment workers at many industrial centres across Bangladesh. The workers were demonstrating for implementation of the new pay scales.

Several units declared closure as violence spread in the suburbs of Chittagong and the national capital that house the countrys garment manufacturing units.

There were media reports of several incidents of brickbatting and police firing and truncheon charges to control protestors who allege that the employers have been delaying payment of new wages revised by the government earlier this year.

Readymade garment and knitwear manufacture are Bangladeshs highest money-spinners, having netted $12 million last year. There has been sizeable foreign investment in this sector.

Korean Youngone Ltd shut all its 11 units for an indefinite period Saturday.

The government has not been able to enforce new wages by employers, who say they stand to lose badly through high wages and when the workers agitate.

Industrial violence is recurring in Bangladesh, whose workers are rated as poorest in the world by international labour bodies because of the poor wages and working conditions.

Filed under: Accidents and Disasters

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