Bangladesh’s government deployedparamilitary troops in the industrial belt of Gazipur to deterfurther protests as garment factories reopened after five daysof violent demonstrations.
“The situation is now relatively calm,” MostafijurRahman, additional superintendent of police for Gazipurdistrict, said in a phone interview. Television footage showedthe troops patrolling streets where workers attacked factoriesand blocked traffic earlier this week to demand wage increases.
The government is acting after factory owners met HomeMinister Muhiuddin Khan Alamgir yesterday to urge tightersecurity. Thousands of garment workers clashed with police thisweek in the industrial belt on the outskirts of Dhaka, forcingabout 400 factories that supply companies such as Wal-MartStores Inc. to close.
“Unrest in the garment sector will be firmly dealt with,”the minister told reporters, after the meeting.
The labor unrest came five months after the collapse of theeight-story Rana Plaza factory complex killed more than 1,000people in the worst industrial accident in the South Asiancountry’s history. Low wages and production costs have helpedspawn the country’s $19 billion manufacturing industry thatsupplies global retailers with cheap clothes.
The protestors, some of whom pelted factories with bricksand blocked a highway, demanded a minimum monthly salary of8,114 taka ($104), up from 3,000 taka now. Retailers such asWal-Mart, Inditex SA, Gap Inc. and ...