Around four million garment workers in 3 500 factories across Bangladesh produce clothes and other textile products worth 55 billion USD – accounting to 85% of the country’s exports annually. Clothes that are produced for brands such as Gap, H&M, Walmart, Zara, Levi’s, Marks & Spencer, adidas and Nike end up in stores worldwide.
For the past few years the garment workers had to survive with a monthly minimum wage of 8 000 BDT (75 USD). Since October 23rd 2023 workers are taking to the streets and fight for a proper increase. Labour unions call to set the new minimum wage at at least 23 000 BDT (208 USD).
Major profiteers at the expense of the garment workers are not only the factory owners but also the retailing companies. Therefore the Garment Workers’ Trade Union Center (GWTUC) calls for the globalisation of this labour struggle. All can help to pressure the brands in their region to support the demands of the workers on the ground.
The GWTUC is part of the Global May Day network and will provide updates on the struggle, which will then be published in the NEWS section.