Tejgaon, Dhaka; yesterday morning (Saturday) new clashes broke out in the city's industrial zone. Up to 25,000 garment workers came out on wildcat strike and fought both police and management-hired thugs. Over 50 people, including cops, were injured - some seriously.
The trouble began on Saturday morning at the Nasa Group factory. Supposedly one of the more 'responsible' employers - Nasa supply Primark in the UK and Wal-Mart in the USA amongst others - Nasa workers had been on strike for 2 days demanding payent of wage arrears, bonuses and extra holiday allowances.
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 the theft of a cellphone set.
Dozens of workers at a clothing factory were injured on Wednesday when over 200 outsiders, allegedly hired by the factory authorities, attacked the workers who were protesting against the bosses' beating of two of their leaders.
The Bangladesh Daily Star yesterday reported that the attackers, led by police informant and local hoodlum Mobarak, beat up the workers, mostly women, and also confined five workers to the office of an executive on the third floor of the seven-storey Padma Poly Cotton Knit Fabrics Ltd.
Seven garment factories were severely damaged, while bosses claimed 100 other factories were vandalised; three shopping malls and 50 vehicles were also attacked on Tuesday (10th Oct) as thousands of striking garment workers fought pitched battles with the police and factory security forces in and around the capital, Dhaka. Over 100 people were injured in the clashes.
[Picture; rioters attack police van.]
Textile workers in Narsingdi, central Bangladesh, yesterday fought police in protests against irregular power supply to their factory workplaces.
They are not paid for time lost to interruptions. Over 1,000 fought with officers as they laid seige to the electicity company offices, setting fire to company vehicles, 2 transformers and a circuit breaker. 50 workers were hurt as cops baton charged, fired rubber bullets and tear gas. 10 cops were also injured by thrown missiles.
Unrest continues across Bangladesh, with widespread strikes and the mass revolt against an attempt by a British company to begin destructive open cast mining in Phulbari.
Picture - Monday, Phulbari in Dinajpur: protesters set fire to furniture of the British company Asia Energy in protest at the killing of demonstrators by security forces.
News from Bangladesh
- garment unrest continues and British company is attacked in mass regional revolt over opencast mine
Bangladeshi authorities have said they will grant union rights to workers in the clothing industry in a bid to end protests that have left one man dead and scores injured and cost the industry an estimated $140 million.
The Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) has said workers can form trade unions to bargain over pay and employment issues. In recent weeks, workers fought pitched battles with police, attacked and shut many factories and set fire to some, police and BGMEA officials said. The workers want higher wages, timely payment of overtime and job security.