News / Asia

Bangladesh Garment Factories Re-Open

Women work at Goldtex Limited garment factory inside the Dhaka Export Processing Zone (DEPZ) in Savar, April 11, 2013.
Women work at Goldtex Limited garment factory inside the Dhaka Export Processing Zone (DEPZ) in Savar, April 11, 2013.
VOA News
Bangladesh has re-opened hundreds of garment factories, just days after closing them.

The Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association called for the re-openings Friday.

The closings this week were prompted by worker protests over low pay and poor working conditions sparked by the country's worst industrial accident.

In response to workers' demands, the Bangladeshi government has approved labor law changes, making it easier for workers to form unions. The government also has set up a panel to consider garment worker salary raises.

A building housing several garment factories collapsed last month, killing more than 1,100 people and highlighting the garment industry's appalling safety conditions.

Pope Francis has described the garment workers' $38 monthly wage as "slave labor."

Bangladesh is the world's second largest apparel maker. The $20 billion industry accounts for up to 80 percent of annual exports.

  • A man walks at the site where a garment factory building collapsed on April 24 in Savar, near Dhaka, Bangladesh, May 13, 2013.
  • Reshma Begum, center, the 19-year-old seamstress who spent 17 days trapped in the rubble of a collapsed factory building talks to the media at a hospital in Savar, near Dhaka, Bangladesh, May 13, 2013.
  • Rescuers carry a survivor pulled out from the rubble of a building that collapsed in Saver, near Dhaka, Bangladesh, May 10, 2013.
  • People work in the rubble of a collapsed garment factory in Savar near Dhaka, Bangladesh, May 10, 2013.
  • Rescuers carry the body of a victim from the rubble of a building that collapsed in Savar, Bangladesh, May 7, 2013.
  • A woman cries after she identified her relative's body that was recovered from the rubble of a collapsed garment factory building, Savar, Bangladesh, May 3, 2013.
  • The remaining standing part of the collapsed Rana Plaza building collapses during a rescue operation by the army in Savar, Bangladesh, May 2, 2013.
  • Relatives mourn as they look for garment workers, missing after the collapse of the Rana Plaza building in Savar, Bangladesh, May 2, 2013.
  • Workers dig mass graves during a burial of unidentified garment workers, who died in the collapse of the Rana Plaza building in Savar, Bangladesh, May 1, 2013.
  • A boy covers his nose with a cloth as people gather in front of mass graves during the burial of unidentified garment workers, who died in the collapse of the Rana Plaza building in Savar, Bangladesh, May 1, 2013.
  • A woman waits for news of her relative, a garment worker, who is missing after the collapse of Rana Plaza building, in front of missing people posters in Savar, Bangladesh, April 30, 2013.
  • Firefighters and army personnel are blanketed in thick dust after part of the garment factory building collapses after being dislodged as part of the clearing process in Savar, near Dhaka, April 29, 2013.
  • Crowds gather at the collapsed Rana Plaza building as people rescue garment workers trapped in the rubble, Savar, Bangladesh, April 24, 2013.

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