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Bangladesh / Factories to reopen after worker protests over pay and working conditions

Bangladesh will reopen more than 300 garment factories on Friday, ending a three-day forced closure due to worker protests over pay and working conditions after a building collapse killed more than 1,100 people.

A series of deadly incidents at factories in Bangladesh, the world’s second-biggest exporter of clothing after China, has focused global attention on safety standards in the booming $20 billion garment industry here.

Authorities shut down the garment factories for an indefinite period on safety grounds following worker unrest in the Ashulia industrial belt, on the outskirts of the capital Dhaka, that accounts for nearly 20 percent of total exports.

“We decided to reopen the factories from tomorrow after the labor minister assured us of adequate security,” said Mohammad Atiqul Islam, president of the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association.

An eight-storey complex of factories housing garment manufacturers collapsed in Bangladesh on April 24, killing 1,127 people. That has sparked campaigns in the West to improve safety standards at plants supplying major fashion brands.

Chosen excerpts by Job Market Monitor

Reuters

via Bangladesh factories shut by worker protests to reopen Friday | Reuters.

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