News / Economy

Bangladesh Garment Workers Protest Low Pay, Shut Factories

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.
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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.
VOA News
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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