Frustration Grows Among Bangladesh Garment Workers Despite Wage Hike
Three workers in Bangladesh have lost their lives in a recent workers’ strike. Bangladesh workers’ strikes have turned violent after police clashed with protesting workers. Many workers have also been admitted to hospitals because of severe injuries.
A woman worker was shot dead after the police officers opened fire during a massive protest held by garment workers, demanding a wage increase. Rasel Hawlader, 26, who had worked as an electrician at Design Express Ltd, Imran Hossain, 32, who had worked at ABM Fashions, also lost their lives after the factory was set on fire.
Bangladesh workers’ strike
Recently, Bangladesh raised the minimum wage for garment workers by 56.25 per cent. It was the first hike in their wages since 2019. The minimum wage for garment workers in Bangladesh was increased from 8,000 taka to 12,500 taka per month. However, the workers expressed disappointment over the decision. They said that they needed more increment in their wages amid high inflation. Subsequently, fresh violence and fresh protests broke out in Bangladesh.
Bangladesh hiked minimum wage for garment workers but it was not sufficient for them. They demanded a minimum wage of Tk24,000 for garment workers.
What happened to the Bangladeshi woman?
The Bangladeshi woman was shot dead on Wednesday. Anjuara Khatun, a 26-year-old woman worker, was on her way home after the factory closed suddenly because of the workers’ strike. The police opened fire on about 400 workers. Her husband told reporters, “She was shot in the head and died in the car on the way to the hospital. There was blood oozing out from a hole in her head.”
She was the third garment worker to be killed in the past two weeks in Bangladesh. Nearly 25,000 garment workers clashed with police. The protests also led to the closure of at least 100 factories outside Dhaka.
Plight of Bangladesh workers
Last month, at least 20 workers were injured during a clash between workers and the factory staff. The workers entered the Next Collection factory of Hamim Group in Ashulia and clashed with the factory staff.
Several factory workers blocked highway, demanding a hike in the minimum wages and a safe environment for the employees. Factory workers were demanding an increase in their wages following the high cost of living due to the price hike of basic items.
They also demanded increment for garment workers, safety of women and children, education for children, daycare center system, construction of housing for workers, and six months maternity welfare leave for women workers.