Bangladesh apparel makers decide to shut factories

Bangladesh apparel makers to shut shops
Dhaka, Nov 13: The apex body of Bangladesh's woven garment manufacturers on Wednesday decided to shut down all garment factories in Ashulia on the outskirts of the capital Dhaka, following workers' unrest over wage hike.

The decision was taken at an emergency meeting of Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) on Tuesday night after violent demonstration by tens of thousands of garment workers in Ashulia, Xinhua reported.

"We've decided to shut down our factories in Ashulia area on Wednesday due to security concerns," said Salam Murshedy, leader of the association.

Like the last couple of days, tens of thousands of workers on Tuesday morning took to the streets demanding a minimum monthly wage of 8,114 taka (about $104).

Over 100 people, including policemen, were reportedly injured as the unruly labourers fought pitched battles with the police in Ashulia for hours.

"Almost all the 782 factories in Ashulia area suspended their production on Tuesday, fearing violence," said Badrul Alam, chief of Ashulia police station.

The Bangladeshi government on Nov 4 recommended 5,300 taka (about $68) minimum monthly wage for the country's four million garment workers -- nearly 77 percent hike from the existing monthly pay.

But the country's garment factory owners on Monday rejected the proposed minimum wage.

The South Asian country's 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.


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