One killed as garment workers clash with police in Bangladesh over pay rise, say police

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One killed as garment workers clash with police in Bangladesh over pay rise, say police

Nevin Al Sukari - Sana'a - Security forces remain vigilant in front of the garment factories, following clashes between garment industry workers and police over pay, at the Ashulia area, outskirts of Dhaka, Bangladesh, November 8, 2023. — Reuters pic

DHAKA, Nov 8 — One female worker was killed and several others were injured in Bangladesh today during clashes between police and stone-throwing garment workers who are demanding a bigger pay rise, police said.

Following a week of deadly clashes between garment industry workers and police over pay, the Bangladesh government on Tuesday said that the minimum wage would rise by 56.25 per cent to 12,500 taka (US$114) a month from Dec. 1, the first increase in five years.

Police said they used teargas and rubber bullets to break up protests by hundreds of workers who rejected the new pay rise and took to streets in the garment hub of Gazipur, on the outskirts of the capital Dhaka.

“The workers blocked roads and vandalised several vehicles. We had to use tear gas, rubber bullets and sound grenades to disperse the unruly workers, who were throwing brick chips at us,” local police officer Ashraf Uddin said.

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Low wages have helped Bangladesh build its garment industry, with some 4,000 factories employing four million workers, supplying brands such as H&M and GAP. Readymade garments are a mainstay of the economy, accounting for almost 16 per cent of GDP. — Reuters

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