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Over 1,600 Bangladesh garment workers sacked after labour unrest – report


More than 1,600 garment workers have been sacked in Bangladesh after labour unrest forced many factories to suspend production for more than a week, police said on Wednesday.

A list with the names of 1,611 sacked workers in an industrial district near the capital Dhaka was sent to the Labour Ministry for review, district police chief Shah Mijan Shafiur Rahman told dpa.

“Maybe not all of them are troublemakers. Those who are innocent will be reinstated to their jobs,” said Rahman, who is responsible for keeping order in the industrial district.

Workers returned to the factories Monday as owners reopened their units five days after they decided to shutter 59 factories fearing unrest as a group of workers demand a pay hike.

Several thousand employees went on strike in those factories on December 13 to demand a minimum wage of 16,000 taka ($204) instead of the existing 5,300 taka per month for an entry-level worker.

Security agencies have launched an investigation into the recent unrest as the factory owners accused more than 150 people of inciting violence, attacks on factories, looting and theft.

The monthly minimum wage for textile workers was raised in 2013 as Bangladesh faced severe criticism after the collapse of the Rana Plaza factory building that killed more than 1,100 people.

Nearly 4,000 clothing factories are in operation in Bangladesh, the second largest after China. Annual trade is worth $28bn.


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