Massive protests erupt in Bangladesh over pay rise death

Source:Xinhua Published: 2013-11-19 18:13:15

Thousands of garment workers Tuesday staged violent demonstration after two of their colleagues died Monday evening when the laborers, demanding higher minimum wage, clashed with police in a key apparel hub.

The unrest entered the 15th consecutive day Tuesday despit the garment owners agreed to a new wage at a meeting with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Nov. 13.

A senior police official in Gazipur industrial zone told Xinhua that the workers started demonstration in industrial hubs in Gazipur and Ashulia on the outskirts of capital Dhaka, protesting the death of two workers during Monday's clash with cops.

The official who refused to be identified said the protestors also demanded a higher minimum wage and immediate reopening of the factories, which were shut down last month following labor unrest over salary.

Most of Ashulia's 782 garment factories have declared a holiday on Tuesday, fearing more violence.

Some 150 people, including cops, workers and pedestrians, were reportedly injured in Tuesday's clashes in Ashulia and Gazipur.

Paramilitary Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) forces have been deployed in both Gazipur and Ashulia.

Police reportedly fired tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse protestors.

Unrest continued despite the employers agreed to the government proposed minimum monthly salary of 5,300 taka (about 68 US dollars), 77 percent hike from the existing minimum monthly pay.

The workers demand minimum wage of 8,114 taka (about 104 US dollars) for the country's four million garment workers.

Posted in: Asia-Pacific

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