Bangladesh garment workers stage rallies

    By IANS,

    Dhaka : Nearly 50,000 garment workers, unhappy with the last week’s wage hike, Monday staged violent demonstrations in key apparel hubs on the outskirts of capital Dhaka.

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    Dozens of workers and policemen were injured as the unruly labourers fought pitched battles with the law enforcers in the industrial hubs in Ashulia and Savar on the outskirts of Dhaka, Xinhua reported.

    Paramilitary troops have been deployed as about 50,000 workers continued demonstrations, a police official in Savar told Xinhua on condition of anonymity.

    He said the authorities of dozens of factories suspended their production for Monday, fearing violence.

    The workers took to the streets Monday morning demanding a minimum wage of 8,114 taka (about $104) per month.

    A Bangladeshi government board Nov 4 recommended 5,300 taka (about $68) as the minimum monthly wage for the country’s four million garment workers, nearly a 77 percent hike from the existing monthly pay.

    But the country’s garment factory owners Monday rejected the minimum wage fixed by the board.

    The garment sector, which turns out $20 billion worth of exports annually, comprises about 5,000 factories employing more than four million workers, 80 percent of whom are women.