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Three Die in Bangladesh Garment Wage Protests


Bangladeshi officials say three people have died and at least 100 have been injured as thousands of garment workers in two cities clashed with police.


The workers were demonstrating Sunday to demand the implementation of a new minimum wage law enacted several weeks ago.

Authorities say police fired tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse the protesters in the capital, Dhaka, and in the southeastern city of Chittagong.

Officials say the demonstrations came a day after a South Korean company suspended operations at its factories after workers attacked the facilities.

The minimum wage was raised several weeks ago from $25 per month to $43. Workers say many factories have yet to implement the new law.

The Labor and Employment Ministry has warned that the government will take legal action against any employer who does not adhere to the new pay scale.

In July and August, garment workers took part in strikes and violent demonstrations, saying the 80-percent wage hike would not be enough to cover the cost of living.

Garment workers in Bangladesh are among the world's lowest paid.

There are about 4,000 garment factories in Bangladesh. The garment industry accounts for 80 percent of the country's export earnings.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

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