Bangladesh began reopening factories last week, despite a spike in COVID-19 cases. However, there remain serious safety concerns over the implementation of mandatory preventive measures and the risk posed to the lives of thousands of workers
The government has recently announced revisions in the minimum wages for 73 categories of scheduled employees. However, garment workers were excluded from this list
The workers in two of the Nien Hsing’s six factories demand the creation of a separate fabric and paper mill sector, the activities of which are wrongly classified under garment sector, which has the lowest pay.
Unions in Bangladesh have asked the government to intervene in false cases against thousands of workers arrested and fired from their jobs for participating in the December protests.
Over 5,000 workers were dismissed for taking part in protests, demanding higher wages earlier this month. The workers had pointed out that even after the government announced a hike, they were still living on poverty wages.
A powerful workers’ movement has been building up in the sector since the protests of 2013-2014 over poor working conditions, human rights violations, delay in payment of wages and other indemnities.
On January 8, police fired rubber bullets and tear gas canisters at protesters. As many as 50,000 garment workers walked out of 4,500 factories in Bangladesh
The newly proposed minimum wages are half of what the workers in the readymade garment industry have been demanding