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Article

Bangladesh: Garment workers pushed into precarity by Covid-19 fallout take to the streets in protest, met with police violence

“Growing number of Bangladeshi garment workers infected with Covid-19”, 18 May 2020

 …Faced with job and pay cuts, withheld wages and religious festival bonuses, and the danger of COVID-19, thousands of garment workers have taken to the streets in daily protests. On Saturday, around 1,500 workers from the Magpie Composite Textile and Magpie Sweater plants in Ashulia rallied and then blocked the Dhaka-Aricha highway to demand last month’s salaries and leave allowances. Police attacked the demonstrators with batons and tear gas, injuring five workers. One worker told the Daily Star: “We were staging a sit-in programme inside the factory as authorities have yet to pay our salary for April, and last year’s yearly earning allowance.” Another worker said: “We were prepared to accept 60 percent of our salary for April but the factory owner has not yet paid that. We will starve if we don’t get paid.” The average monthly wage of Bangladeshi garment workers is about 8,000 takas ($US95)…