The latest human disaster in the Bangladeshi garment industry - a poorly constructed factory building collapses...
Hundreds of thousands of workers went on strike on Thursday in protest at the deaths of hundreds of workers in a factory collapse the previous day.
Workers downed tools and blockaded major highways in several industrial areas outside the capital Dhaka, forcing factory bosses to declare a day's holiday.
Factories where the owners did not grant the day off were attacked.
The chief of police told press that many of the workers also "wanted to donate blood to their fellow workers", over 1000 of whom were injured in the collapse.
Comments on the horrific fire of Saturday 24th November 2012 that swept through a Bangladeshi garment factory.
Another fire in a Bangladeshi garment factory, over 120 lives lost and more than a hundred injured - the only difference this time from the many other factory fires in the past 30 years is the scale of the deaths and human suffering. It is this that makes it 'worthy' of comment, for a brief moment, in the international media.
15,000 Bangladeshi garment workers blockade a key highway in protest at unpaid wages. Meanwhile, bosses at the company – who supply Primark and New Look – are arrested on embezzlement charges in the country’s largest ever corruption case
The last week has seen a series of violent clashes between Bangladeshi garment workers and the police, resulting in over 250 workers being injured.
Workers at the Hallmark Group in Hemayetpur are demanding that arrears in their salaries are paid with immediate effect, and that they receive their annual ‘Eid’ bonus, which is due later this week.
Garment workers resume work with issues unresolved...
Thursday 21st June 2012, Ashulia, Dhaka; after a week of intense struggles for higher wages, followed by a 4-day lockout of half a million workers (see earlier article), 350 factories in the industrial zone come to life again.
The resurgence of unrest in the Bangladeshi garment sector continues with over 500,000 workers now locked out in Ashulia...
The main costs of living for garment workers are food and rent; both are rising much faster than wages. The overall inflation level is around 10%. So workers are demanding pay increases of up to 50% and are calling for rent controls to be implemented.
After a long period of relative quiet, workers are again taking mass action in the Bangladeshi garment industry. Also; some comments on the recent wave of political 'disappearances'.
Since the deployment of the new Industrial Police Force (IPF) in 2010 struggles had been much reduced by the IP's innovative tactics(1). But recent events in Dhaka's industrial suburb of Ashulia and elsewhere suggest that workers' anger, solidarity, willingness to struggle and sheer weight of numbers can't be contained indefinitely.
How new policing methods have, for the moment, dampened workers' struggles.
In October 2010 a new Industrial Police Force (IPF) became operational in Bangladesh. After years of refusal, reluctant to provide the extra funding, the government finally agreed to demands of the garment manufacturers and established a permanent paramilitary force to deal with workers unrest in the industrial zones.
Recent worker deaths in the Bangladeshi garment industry from police repression and from a factory fire.
After lengthy negotiations since 2006 a minimum wage pay scale for garment workers was finally implemented from November 2010(1). But on receiving their wage packets workers in many factories found less pay than expected. Some factories simply ignored the new minimum wage, elsewhere previously agreed arrears payments were missing.
A general overview and analysis of developments in the garment worker struggles we have been covering for the past few years.
The class struggle in Bangladesh is fought at a consistently high level and concentrated in the ready made garment (RMG) sector, the country's dominant industry(1). Mainly unmediated by trade unions, struggles frequently assume an explosive character. In Part 1 we give some idea of the content and extent of these struggles - followed in Part 2 by some historical background.