Striking jute-mill workers clash with cops in Bangladesh

Jute fibre

On Wednesday 6th Sep 25,000 workers from 8 jute mills in the south-western city of Khulna began a 2 day strike.

"Oh dear me, the world is all divided
Them that works the hardest are the least provided"

('Jute Mill Song', by Mary Brooksbank, Scots millworker of Dundee, centre of the 20th century UK jute mill industry.)

The strikers have a list of 8 demands, the main ones being payment of all wage arrears and the re-opening of all the laid off jute mills. (Jute is a vegetable fibre from which hessian and burlap fabrics are made.)

On Wednesday night there were clashes with cops when strikers rioted in the Khalispur area of the city; 50 workers and cops reported injured. On Thursday the fighting escalated into pitched street battles. At 9 a.m. strikers tried to begin a march to the industrial area. An eyewitness says; "The clash turned into a veritable street battle at about 10:30am when the workers attacked the policemen with sticks and brickbats". ( Police "reportedly fired over 100 teargas shells and rubber bullets during the nearly two-hour-long violence..." During the riot workers attacked vehicles, businesses and a theme park. One worker suffered bullet wounds and 5 others remain in a critical condition.

The class struggle in Bangladesh continues to show its insurrectional tendencies.

Posted By

Red Marriott
Sep 7 2006 18:28


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