Thursday, May 25, 2006

Bangladeshi Workers Revolt

Bangladeshi workers set fire to at least seven textile factories on Tuesday after it was discovered that police had shot and killed a 20 year old man demonstrating for better pay and conditions. Over 100 textile workers were injured in the fight with police and private security guards. The riots began after factory managers ordered their guards to stop the peaceful demonstration for workers' rights.

Despite the fact that Bangladesh rakes in over $6billion each year from the textile industry, the average laborer in a textile mill makes as little as $22 per month. Workers are sometimes forced to work around the clock shifts and as many as seven days each week. The workers were asking for a 30% pay increase.

The government is siding with the wealthy garment and textiles executives and will be using its military force to quell the democratic uprisings. Junior Interior Minister Lutfuzzaman Babar told reporters, "The government will do whatever necessary for the protection of the garment industry."