Workers set factories ablaze in call for decent wage for producing globe’s ‘cheap’ clothing
September 23, 2013

Up to 200,000 garment factory workers sustained a third day of protests in Bangladesh on Monday, forcing hundreds of factories to close as the workers’ call for a better minimum wage was met with teargas and rubber bullets from police.

Protests were held in the capital of Dhaka and surrounding areas, home to hundreds offactories that produce clothing that ends up stores like Walmart and H&M.

At least two factories were set ablaze by protesters, Reaz-Bin-Mahmood, vice-president of the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association, told Agence France-Presse. The protesting workers also blocked roads and confiscated and destroyed riflesfrom security officials.

Resulting clashes with police left nearly 150 injured.

The workers, 80% of whom are women, have demanded a $100 monthly wage for their contributions to the $20-billion industry, and called the factory owners’ offer of just a 20% raise "inhuman and humiliating." Their current monthly wage is $38, prompting one protester to say,  “We work to survive but we can’t even cover our basic needs.”

When the protests began this weekend, Nazma Akter, president of the United Garments Workers’ Federation, told the crowd, “Our backs are against the wall, so we don’t have any alternative unless we raise our voice strongly,” and added that “the economy moves with our toil.”

Abdus Salam Murshedy, president of the Exporters Association of Bangladesh, lamentedthat “A one-day closure means a huge loss for owners.”

Agence France-Presse reports that

Bangladeshi textile workers are among the worst paid in the sector worldwide, and often toil for 80 hours a week in factories which are vulnerable to fires and other accidents.

Protests over poor wages, benefits and working conditions are frequent but have gained in intensity since April when a factory complex collapsed, killing more than 1,100 people in one of the world’s worst industrial disasters.

Despite the massive death toll from the Rana factory fire in April as well as countless, day to day, potentially lethal incidents at garment factories in the country, little seems to have changed in the working conditions at many factories.

BBC investigation unveiled a factory where workers are still working 19-hour shifts and are locked in, and deceptive books “hide the truth about working hours from Western retailers.”


  1. asfruitdropsfleshitsags reblogged this from feminismisforlovers
  2. republicans-warned-you-about-me reblogged this from feminismisforlovers
  3. poppies-in-october-x reblogged this from feminismisforlovers
  4. usheebah reblogged this from feminismisforlovers
  5. saint04 reblogged this from feminismisforlovers
  6. ferhnando reblogged this from thepeoplesrecord
  7. downtherabbitholeproductions reblogged this from feminismisforlovers
  8. ibibobo reblogged this from katherinethegray
  9. pumpkinlipz reblogged this from stfufauxminists
  10. syntaria reblogged this from feminismisforlovers
  11. croutonscroutons87 reblogged this from ronny1009
  12. alejanderz reblogged this from ronny1009
  13. ronny1009 reblogged this from badass-bharat-deafmuslim-artista
  14. lookingformonkey reblogged this from stfufauxminists
  15. ghostsofearlygraves reblogged this from skramzviking
  16. arjunsinghpanam reblogged this from rosesgrowfromconcrete and added:
    How our clothes are made!
  17. requiemforathought reblogged this from rosesgrowfromconcrete
  18. jayhawkineer reblogged this from rosesgrowfromconcrete
  19. hayyibnyaqzan reblogged this from rosesgrowfromconcrete
  20. rosesgrowfromconcrete reblogged this from philosophicallust
  21. thewhatup reblogged this from gchisom
  22. modernmagdalene reblogged this from inheritedloss
  23. scarlet-writing reblogged this from underhuntressmoon
  24. gchisom reblogged this from sorayachemaly
  25. windowhirl reblogged this from abcsoupdot
  26. tell-em-how-you-feel-girls reblogged this from feminismisforlovers
  27. thiswaswhispered reblogged this from bitemebeautiful
  28. mr-magoriums reblogged this from prettycuterpillar
  29. wozziebear reblogged this from abcsoupdot
  30. prettycuterpillar reblogged this from euphrasiefauchelevent
  31. maxinethemaximum reblogged this from sorayachemaly
  32. murf1977 reblogged this from monaeltahawy