Four killed in clashes on RMG wages in Bangladesh

Today, there were again clashes on the streets of Bangladeshm, due to protests about low minimum wages – and the clashes between protesters and the police ended with four dead, as the Daily Star reports. The police used rubber bullets and tear gas and said that 4.000 people demonstrated and that 300 factories had to close.

In November 2010, the government raised the official minimum wages to 3.000 Taka, while many trade unions were and are demanding 5.000 Taka, and the Asian Floor Wage Campaign is demanding to pay a living wage of over 10.000 Taka.

The German Tagesschau reports here – arguing that since November 2010 workers get (“sie erhalten”) 3.000 Taka. This is inaccurate: According to the law, workers should get 3.000 Taka. But many surely do not get this. Before November, workers were supposed to get 1.662 Taka, and many did not. Now, the Labour Minister promised to punish factories, if they do not pay the minimum wage.

Officials are now looking for a solution, as the Daily Star says: “Meanwhile, the labour ministry officials and representatives of RMG factory owners and workers will sit with the BGMEA leaders today at the BGMEA Bhaban to settle the RMG unrest”. You can read more about this in the The Daily Star (here and here) or on BBC.

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