Bangladesh labor protests continue over low wages for garment factory workers. The factory workers, mostly women, are fighting to improve working conditions within the garment factories. After the collapse of a garment factory this year, global awareness on the hardships faced by Bangladeshi garment workers spread worldwide. Bangladeshi police are using batons, rubber bullets, and tear gas to cease ongoing protests by workers demanding higher wages.
According to Bloomberg, Shipping Minister Shajahan Khan met with factory owners and labor leaders in an effort to end demonstrations that forced about 400 of the country's 5,000 garment factories to close two days ago. Bangladesh earns $20 billion a year from garment exports, mainly to the United States and Europe, as Global News reports. The workers demand 8,114 takas ($100) instead of the current monthly minimum wage of 3,000 takas ($38).
International retailers such as Wal-Mart and Target Corp. (TGT) refuse to buy from factories considered unsafe. H&M and Inditex pledged at least $60 million over five years to ensure safety in Bangladesh plants.
So far, negotiations have failed, pushing workers to continue in the violent protests.
In Dhaka, police fired rubber bullets and tear gas at thousands of Bangladeshi garment workers as the riots persisted.
Factory owners offered a 20% pay rise to Bangladeshi garment workers, but they refused the offer, calling it "inhuman and humiliating." Workers, offended by the offer, resorted to acts of vandalism and burning furniture stolen from buildings in the area.
Factory workers in Bangladesh shouted angry slogans over low wages. The protests have injured more than 50 people, including 6 policemen.
Bangladeshi factory workers block a street during a protest in Gazipur, 40 km north of Dhaka, Bangladesh on Monday, as CBC News reports.
Garment factory workers prevent their colleague from beating a government official in Dhaka, Bangladesh.
The red flag is waved as a symbol for worker's justice during protests. This includes higher pay, maternity leave, and worker's compensation.
Not all protests are filled with angry mobs. There is a fulfilling joy in fighting for justice. Press on.
The collapse of an eight-story factory building killed more than 1,100 people in April. This woman lost her child during the incident, which propelled her to participate in the Dhaka protests.
Protesters demand worker's compensation after incident of Rana Plaza.
Woman is holding a photograph of a relative gone missing after the building collapse in April.
The worker's perseverance, honorable attitudes, and loyalty to the protests will create worker's justice for future generations.