Clothes workers protest at minimum-wage deal
Published 03/08/2010 | 05:00
Thousands of workers who make branded clothes for international chain- stores protested at the introduction of a new minimum wage, in Dhaka, Bangladesh, yesterday.
At least 25 demonstrators were injured when police charged with batons to remove them from outside a major industrial hub that supplies Wal-Mart, Tesco, H&M, Zara, Gap, Marks & Spencer, Levi Strauss and Tommy Hilfiger.
Clothing factory workers in Bangladesh are among the lowest-paid in the world and have difficulty buying enough food and arranging shelter on their monthly earnings, according to the International Trade Union Confederation, a Vienna-based labour rights group.
In the first increase since 2006, the official minimum wage has been set at 3,000 takas (€35) a month, up from 1,662 takas (€18). Workers have pressed for a monthly minimum wage of 5,000 takas (€55).