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Bangladesh: Apparel firms call on govt. to protect workers' rights & rectify abuses during recent protests

"Letter to PM Hasina on Response to Ashulia Wage Protests", 19 Jan 2017

We write as the Steering Committee members of the Accord on Fire & Building Safety in Bangladesh to express our great concerns regarding the Government's response to the recent RMG industry unrest and wage protests in Ashulia. The Accord is an agreement of nearly 220 global apparel companies and retailers with global and Bangladeshi trade unions representing garment manufacturing and retail workers...We are deeply concerned, however, by recent detentions and termination from employment of individuals with union affiliation and who promote workers' rights. We have received credible reports that since late December 2016 at least fourteen such persons have been detained or arrested; that eleven of these remain in police custody; that 2-3 of have been subject to beatings and/or threats; and that approximately 1500 workers have been terminated from their employment at several Ashulia located RMG factories. Accord signatories are concerned that as many as 700 more persons face court allegations and potential arrest allegedly under the auspices of the Ashulia unrest. We respectfully request that your good Office take immediate action to ensure that RMG workers' rights are protected and that any associated cases of unjust detention, employment termination, and/or fundamental rights violations be urgently rectified consistent with the law and ILO conventions. [Refers to PVH, H&M, Inditex, LC Waikiki, C&A & Otto Group].