More Bangladesh strikes

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syndicalist
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Sep 9 2006 13:59
More Bangladesh strikes

Please note the frequecny and intensity of the struggle which has been going on in Bangladesh. Not a week goes by where there aren't workers demostrations and strong police responce. On the surface, it appears that the Bangladesh working class has moved into a more active stage of struggle.
------------------------------------------International
Bangla: One killed, 200 injured in police, workers clash
Dhaka, Sept 8. (PTI): Tension remained high today in Bangladesh's second port city of Khulna a day after a worker was killed in police firing and over 200 others were injured during demonstrations.

Of the injured, 30 were hurt critically, as striking jute mill workers fought with policemen in Khalishpur industrial belt on the outskirts of Khulna.

The dead was identified as Mohammad Hanif, 20, a muster roll worker of Eastern Jute Mills.

About 150 of the injured workers were treated at hospitals while others were admitted to Khulna Medical College Hospital, Khalishpur health complex and Khulna sadar hospital, residents said.

In protest against the police firing, the Pat, Suta O Bastrakal Sramik Karmachari Sangram Parishad, worker' union conglomerate, announced a five-day agitation programme including a daylong road-rail blockade.

The clash erupted when baton-wielding police swung into action to disperse the workers who were staging demonstration to push their 8-point charter of demands.

The police said the jute mill workers had held a rally and then went on a rampage in BIDC road area forcing the use of force to calm the "rowdy" wrokers.

During the fierce clashes, police charged batons, fired rubber bullets, lobbed tear gas canisters and fired from shot-guns on the millers, media reports said, qouting witnesses.

The workers were armed with stones and sticks.

http://www.hindu.com/thehindu/holnus/003200609080915.htm

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Steven.
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Sep 9 2006 14:17

More news + stuff here:
http://libcom.org/tags/bangladesh

syndicalist
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Sep 9 2006 14:29

I'm wondering if there's a way to make one page for Bangladesh news? Theer seems to be enough out there and enough--I think--interest. If I'm missing that already, pardon me in advance.

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Steven.
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Sep 9 2006 14:49

i just posted a link to it above:
http://libcom.org/tags/bangladesh

though that has history, etc. as well.

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libcom
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Sep 9 2006 15:07

there's also this:

http://libcom.org/news/asia

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libcom
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Sep 9 2006 15:42

or this:

http://libcom.org/custom?filter2%5B%5D=881&filter3%5B%5D=content_news

syndicalist
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Sep 13 2006 04:40

Bangladesh Garment Workers Update

RMG Sector - Tk 2,000 minimum wage may be announced today

The National Wage Board is likely to announce today a minimum wage for the workers in the export-oriented garment sector with a gross salary of around Tk 2,000 for the entry-level employees.
The announcement may invite strong protest from both the garment owners and workers, as it is a bit higher than what the factory owners had agreed and much below than the workers' demand for Tk 3,000 as the monthly salary.

The board so far held 23 meetings after it was formed on 31 May but it could not reach any consensus in the face of strong opposition from both the garment owners and the workers.

Gross salary package of Tk 2,000 include the basic salary of roughly Tk 1,400, sources said.

In a revised proposal, garment owners insisted on a take home package of about Tk 2,000 for a worker with two-hour overtime but it was not accepted.

Annisul Huq, representative of Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) on the wage board, said, "We will not accept anything like a gross salary package of around Tk 2,000 [excluding the overtime] as it will make a huge difference with what we proposed."

The take home package including a two-hour overtime and attendance allowance will virtually stand at around Tk 2,800 which the garment owners will not be able to bear, he said, adding, "Factory is like our child and we will not take the responsibility of killing our child."

Terming the board's 24th meeting today a crucial one, Zafrul Hasan, who represents the workers as a permanent member on the board, said, "In view of the rising living cost, it will not be possible for the workers to accept any deal fixing the wage below Tk 2,000, as there was no pay raise in last 12 years."

Minimum wage for the workers is now Tk 950 that was fixed around 12 years ago.

The three-month deadline for fixing minimum wage for the garment workers ended on August 31 without any settlement on the issue and different workers' organisations started street agitation the following day in protest against ignoring the tripartite deal.

Following the severe labour unrest in the country's premier export-earning garment sector, the government formed the wage board and asked it to recommend a pay structure for the workers within three months.

The government, garment owners and workers' leaders at a meeting on June 12 inked a 10-point memorandum of understanding (MoU) after a series of discussions on May 24, June 1 and June 4 among the stakeholders in the garment sector and decided to implement those in phases to address the labour unrest, ensure labour rights and peaceful atmosphere in the factories.

Meanwhile, National Garment Workers Federation (NGWF) laid siege to National Wage Board office at Topkhana Road yesterday and handed over a memorandum demanding immediate announcement of minimum wage for the garment workers.

More than one hundred garment workers participated in the siege programme ignoring heavy rain yesterday, NGWF said in a statement.

The workers have become frustrated and aggrieved because wage was not announced as per the agreement signed at the June 12 tripartite meeting, it said, adding that the workers have already started agitation and it may create an unstable situation again.

Post date: September 12, 2006
News source: The Daily Star

syndicalist
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Sep 16 2006 13:24

From: "New Age" 16 September 2006 (Bangladesh)

http://www.newagebd.com/nat.html#2

Garment workers to strike on Oct 16 demanding higher minimum wage
Moloy Saha

Garment workers across the country will strike on October 16 in demand of a Tk 3,000 minimum wage and payment of all dues including the Eid bonus before the upcoming Eid-ul-Fitr.
The Garment Sramik O Shilpa Rakkha Jatiya Mancha, a combine of 16 garment labour organisations, announced the strike from a rally in the city’s Muktangan on Friday.
Jatiya Mancha leaders Abul Hossain and Zainal Abedin, among others, addressed the rally. Besides the strike, the combine also will carry out a protest programme against the minimum wage set by the wage commission.
The programme includes a roundtable on September 25 in Dhaka on the minimum wage for garment workers and demonstrations in some major industrial belts where garment plants are located from September 16 to October 15.
The Textile-Garment Workers Federation at its Dhaka City unit conference held at Muktangan the same day extended its support to the October-16 strike.
Addressing the conference, Workers Party of Bangladesh politburo member Haider Akbar Khan Rano called upon the garment businessmen to increase the minimum wage for their workers.
A number of other garment labour organisations also held separate protest rallies at Muktangan against the wage commission’s decision.
Speakers at the rallies said the Tk 1,600 minimum wage proposed by the commission would not help the garment workers survive but would further intensify their deprivations.
If the amount of the minimum wage is not increased, it will only add fuel to the intense labour unrest existing in the garment sector, for which the government and the factory owners will be solely responsible, they warned.
The Jatiya Garment Sramik Federation, another combine of garment labour organisations, held a token hunger strike and a rally simultaneously at Muktangan, demanding re-fixing the minimum wage.
The general secretary of the federation, Amirul Haque Amin, was the key speaker at the protest rally, with the federation president, Sahida Sarker, in the chair.
The Bangladesh Garment Sramik Trade Union Kendra, Bangladesh Garment Sramik Jote, and Biplabi Garment Sramik Sanghati at separate protest rallies at the same venue also rejected the proposed minimum wage and demanded its re-fixation.
Leaders of the Jatiya Mukti Council at yet another protest rally at Muktangan lambasted the garment factory owners for their rigid opposition to increase the minimum wage.
Foizul Hakim, one of the council leaders, said if the garment workers went for a tougher and greater movement, the owners would be responsible for that. A protest procession was brought out after the rally.

syndicalist
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Jun 26 2007 02:33

From New Nation Online Edition

City News
Garment workers demand execution of accord
By Najmul Alam Nobin
Mon, 28 May 2007, 13:31:00

Garment owners are still depriving workers from their arrears, threatening termination of workers from their jobs and filing cases taking advantage of the state of emergency of the country.

This was learnt while talking to the leaders of different trade unions. They demanded immediate implementation of tripartite accord signed among the government, owners and workers representatives last year.

The leaders of different trade unions hailed the government announcement to the owners to implement the minimum wage of Tk 1662.50 by June 30.

Aminul Haque Amin, General Secretary of National Garments Workers Federation (NGWF) told that some garment owners had not yet paid the arrears and overtimes of the workers for about three to four months.

He said some opportunist owners taking the opportunity of the state of emergency are harassing their workers.

Some factories had implemented some points of the tripartite accord but there is no industry, which implements the accord hundred percent, he said. He alleged that, workers who were in focus during the labour unrest last year had been terminated or being harassed by filing cases.

The trade union leaders demanded of the government to implement its announcement of giving minimum wage from June 30. They also demanded of the government to monitor by which the government would be able to know whether the owners are implementing or not.

There should be a monitoring cell and which should be represented by the government, owners and workers so that no one can give false information, leaders said.

Shamima Nasrin, President of Shadhin Bangla Garment Sramik Karmachari Federation (SBGSKF), demanded of the government to consider the present price hike of the essentials for the workers and start separate rationing for the workers.

© Copyright 2003 by ittefaq.com

syndicalist
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Sep 15 2007 12:45

THE STAR (Dhaka) Saturday, September 15, 2007 06:41 PM GMT+06:00

100 hurt as RMG workers, police clash at DEPZ
Most factories remain shut after several units vandalised over rumoured killing of co-worker
Staff Correspondent

A garment factory vandalised yesterday by agitated workers (left) and an army van guards the entrance to the DEPZ. Most of the units remained shut following fierce clash between police and workers leaving around 100 people injured. Photo: STAR
Production in most parts of the Dhaka Export Processing Zone (DEPZ) in Savar remained suspended throughout the day yesterday as clashes between workers and police left at least 100 people injured.

The fighting broke out as police charged baton on the garment workers fuming over unconfirmed reports that one of them was killed Thursday over theft of a cellphone set.

Several hundred workers of Featherlite Ltd massed at the entrance to the DEPZ Extension at around 7:00am, clamouring for recovery of the co-worker's body.

As the law enforcers prevented them from entering, they marched towards the DEPZ (old). On the way, they were joined by a huge number of fellows from the other factories.

In the old DEPZ area, police clubbed them, leaving several workers injured.

In response, the demonstrators went on the rampage, damaging a number of factories in and outside the exclusive industrial block. Besides, they barricaded the nearby Nabinagar-Kaliakoir Road and vandalised seven to eight vehicles, emptying traffic out of there.

A-One, Hoplun, Lenny Fashions Ltd and Actor Ltd are among the factories damaged inside the DEPZ area.

Chase and counter-chase went on for hours. Police used baton again injuring 40 more. Some 10 cops were also wounded.

Police had to shoot around 35 teargas canisters to drive off the marauding crowd. They arrested two--Iliyas and Monir--during the clashes.

Due to blockade on the road and the fight, most of the garment workers could not join work, leading to suspension of production in most of the factories.

Only 17 out of 88 factories were operative during the time when RMG plants in the nearby areas too remained closed fearing backlash, said DEPZ sources.

Locals said workers at the Featherlite Ltd erupted in protests Thursday afternoon after 'rumours' spread that the factory authorities had killed Helal, a worker, for stealing a phone set and hidden his body.

Failing to know Helal's whereabouts till late in the evening, they started vandalising the factory building. Informed, Ashulia police got to the scene and had the situation under control. They sifted through the factory premises for the "body" or evidence, but to no effect.

The protesters, however, claimed that a bloodstained shirt had been recovered during the search.

Motiur Rahman, assistant superintendent of police, told reporters that the story of killing Helal and dumping his body has turned out to be false.

“Still, we are trying to trace him [Helal],” he added.

BEPZA Chairman Brig Ashraf Abdullah Yusuf, Savar camp commander Lt Col Mahbub-ur-Rahman, superintendent of police and other high officials have visited the DEPZ.

A huge contingent of police and the Rapid Action Battalion were deployed in the area while the army personnel were patrolling the roads to avert further violence.

A case was filed with Ashulia Police Station against 100/150 unnamed garment workers on charge of vandalism and obstruction to the law enforcers on duty.

Police and intelligence men were raiding different places across Ashulia and Savar, police sources said at around 12:30am.

Rioting at RMG plants in and around Dhaka for eight weeks last year left nearly 400 factories damaged. Industry observers believe this has been one of the reasons for the growth in the readymade garment sector slowing down in recent months.

A memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed on June 12, 2006 between the government, garment owners and worker leaders to ensure labour rights, and peaceful and improved working conditions.

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Red Marriott
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Sep 15 2007 19:00
syndicalist wrote:
Please note the frequecny and intensity of the struggle which has been going on in Bangladesh. Not a week goes by where there aren't workers demostrations and strong police responce. On the surface, it appears that the Bangladesh working class has moved into a more active stage of struggle.

All the above reports are similar to what has been occurring on and off for months and sometimes years now. The caretaker govt, backed by the military, are using the State of Emergency to implement IMF etc recommended policies. It's generally believed now that the caretaker/military govt was a policy measure initiated under pressure of the western powers.

Quote:
"Events leading up to the emergency are widely seen as having been orchestrated by the military, which acted after the UN threatened it with the loss of its lucrative and prestigious peacekeeping duties if flawed elections went ahead.
The day after the emergency was declared, former central bank governor Fakhruddin Ahmed was installed as head of a new caretaker government." (Bangladeshinfo.com, May 6 2007)

Jute workers are being laid off en masse as the industry is run down deliberately; either as a prelude to full privatisation - or to permanent closure as a concession to allowing Indian domination of the global industry.
The garment workers have been in dispute over minimum wage levels since the 1st unimplemented agreement in mid-2006 in the aftermath of their major revolt.
If anything, rather than simply moving "into a more active stage of struggle" we are seeing a gradual recovery of struggle to more normal levels after its decline since the declaration of Emergency Rule in early 2007. What is significant is that the caretaker govt is now generally discredited and its honeymoon period is long over. If anything more exceptional happens I'll write up another news article.

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Steven.
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Sep 18 2007 08:41

Here's one!
http://libcom.org/news/jute-workers-attack-union-leaders-bangladesh-amid-wider-unrest-17092007

syndicalist
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Sep 28 2007 04:45

Friday, September 28, 2007 10:40 AM GMT+06:00
THE DAILY STARY (Dhaka)
Published On: 2007-09-27
Front Page
RMG workers ransack factory over rumour
A Correspondent, Gazipur

Garment workers went on the rampage at Salna in Gazipur yesterday following rumours that law enforcement agencies beat up and detained some of their colleagues.

Sources said about 4,000 workers of Shamoly Garment staged the sit-in inside the factory for realising their four-point demand, including an increase in wages and bonuses to which the factory management conceded.

The workers, however, turned violent as rumours spread that Rab personnel beat up and confined some of the workers on their way back home, damaging the factory's windowpanes and six vehicles.

The workers also damaged the main gate of the factory and doors of the administrative office.

Army soldiers later rushed to the spot and managed to calm the workers through discussions.

Deputy Director of Rab 11 Major Maksudul Bari denied beating up of any garment workers. Security has been beefed up at the factory.

http://www.thedailystar.net/story.php?nid=5610

Dhaka's Garment Industry Is A Ticking Time Bomb
http://www.allheadlinenews.com/articles/7008614761

BANGLADESH: Garment workers protest against poor wages and working conditions
http://www.bharattextile.com/newsitems/2005883

Mike Harman
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Jul 11 2008 13:26

Wildcat strike by water industry workers going on at the moment:

http://www.bdnews24.com/details.php?id=57184&cid=4

Quote:
Dhaka, July 11 (bdnews24.com)—Launch workers countrywide went on a wildcat strike from Thursday midnight demanding higher wages, resulting in the suspension of water transport on major river routes, officials said.

Alamgir Kabir, deputy director and port and transportation officer of Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Authority (BIWTA), told bdnews24.com: "The water transport workers went on strike convened by BWTWF since midnight Thursday demanding better wages."

Shah Alam, vice president of Bangladesh Water Transport Workers Federation (BWTWF), however, told bdnews24.com Friday: "Water transport workers are observing the spontaneous strike, but the federation had no prior knowledge of the movement."

Shah Alam said prices of essentials have doubled and tripled in recent years but the water transport workers have not seen any commensurable pay rises, still surviving on a meagre monthly wage of Tk 1,900.