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Bangladesh Garment Workers Protest Low Pay, Shut Factories

  • VOA News

Garment workers shout as they call on other workers to join them during a protest in Dhaka September 23, 2013.

Garment workers shout as they call on other workers to join them during a protest in Dhaka September 23, 2013.

More than 100 garment factories in Bangladesh have been forced to close as workers protest for a third day demanding a sharp raise in their minimum wage.

Police firing tear gas and rubber bullets clashed with rock-throwing protesters Monday in the Gazipur and Savar industrial areas outside the capital, Dhaka. Dozens of people were injured.

The workers are demanding they be paid $100 per month, up from the $38 a month they earn now.

Factory owners have offered to raise the minimum wage, but say they can only go as high as $45.

Working conditions in Bangladeshi garment factories have been in focus this year following a number of accidents, including a building collapse in April that killed more than 1,100 people.

Bangladesh is the world's second-largest apparel maker, earning $20 billion a year from the industry. But its economy is heavily dependent on the sector, which makes up 80 percent of the country's annual exports.
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