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Bangladesh / Workers Demand Better Working Conditions

The future of Bangladesh lies in the power of international cooperation and the implementation of concrete political measures to end unfair labor practices.

Violence has erupted in Bangladesh, following the world’s worst garment industry disaster last month, as thousands of workers gathered in the country’s capital on Monday demanding better pay conditions. Police charged batons and fired rubber bullets and tear gas as angry protesters demonstrated outside the capital’s main factory district, blocking the main highway in the Ashulia industrial area, home to the world’s largest manufacturing factories such as Walmart.

Up to 20,000 people took part in the protests, with more than 50 people injured by police intervention. Ashulia chief police Badrul Alam defended the action, arguing that workers had attacked police, throwing stones and striking police vehicles.

“They were demanding higher wages. We fired rubber bullets and tear gas to disperse them after they became violent and occupied a road,” he told the AFP.

The demonstration is part of a rising string of protests over the past month. Since the April tragedy, a million people have signed petitions calling on global corporations like Gap and Walmart to end unsafe labor practices in Bangladesh, with hundreds protesting at stores across the country.

Members from United Students Against Sweatshops and Jobs with Justice were arrested at demonstrations at the Gap shareholder meeting in San Francisco where they were calling upon the company to sign the Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh aimed at improving worker safety conditions.

Chosen excerpts by Job Market Monitor

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via In Bangladesh, Workers Escalate Demands for Better Working Conditions.

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