Bangladesh garment factories are forced to shut as protests continue

 
City A.M. Reporter
MORE than 100 Bangladeshi garment factories were forced to shut yesterday as thousands of workers protested to demand a $100 a month minimum wage and about 50 people were injured in clashes, police and witnesses said.

Garments are a vital sector for Bangladesh and its low wages and duty-free access to western markets have helped make it the world’s second-largest apparel exporter after China.

But the $20bn industry has been under a spotlight after a series of deadly incidents including the collapse of a building housing factories in April that killed more than 1,130 people.

Workers took to the streets for a third day yesterday, blocking major roads and attacking some vehicles in the Gazipur and Savar industrial zones, on the outskirts of the capital, Dhaka. This month, a group of retailers and clothing brands failed to establish compensation funds for the victims of Bangladesh factory disasters, as many companies that sourced clothes from the buildings decided not to take part in the process.