NEWS – Garment Workers’ Struggle in Bangladesh

November 24th | Solidarity from Goettingen, Hamburg, Heidelberg and Munich on Black Friday

In the city of Göttingen comrades marked Black Friday by visiting H&M and NewYorker stores in the city center and placing leaflets inside, since those retailers are also sourcing from the garment factories in Bangladesh.

A few comrades of FAU Hamburg held short rallies in front of stores of retailers in the city center sourcing from garment factories in Bangladesh to inform the public about the ongoing fight for a proper minimum wage. Leaflets in German and English were distributed. Big posters were also spotted in other parts of Hamburg.

Members of the anarcho-sydicalist FAU Heidelberg rallied in front of the local H&M store and distributed leaflets to customers and passersby.

Also in Munich members of the local FAU syndicate rallied in front of the H&M store in the pedestrian zone and reached out to the public to inform about the ongoing labour struggle.

November 17th | Coalition of international associations challenges minimum wage decision

A coalition of international associations (incl. brands) approaches the prime minister of Bangladesh to revise the decision of setting the minimum wage at 12,500 BDT only. To what extend this can be taken seriously or is rather a pre-emptive social washing attempt, remains to be seen. Retailing companys should clearly state that they will only continue to place orders, if the minimum wage is set at 25,000 BDT!

The Fair Labor Association (FLA) has partnered with sustainable organisations, Amfori, Ethical Trading Initiative, Fair Wear, and Mondiaal FNV to seek a reconsideration of the decision made by the minimum wage board for garment workers in Bangladesh.

The group of international associations, representing over 2,500 brands, retailers, and suppliers and working with more than 2,900 factories in Bangladesh, have expressed concerns about the recently announced minimum wage for the ready-made garment (RMG) sector in the country.

In a letter addressed to Bangladesh prime minister Sheikh Hasina, the group has called for a reassessment of the proposed minimum wage and has encouraged a collaborative effort between employers and worker representatives to establish a legal minimum wage that adheres to international labour and industry standards, prioritising human rights.

The five organisations collectively advocate for periodic adjustments in minimum wage levels to prevent the erosion of workers’ purchasing power and address wage inequality.

The gap between the legal minimum wage and the average living wage in Bangladesh is reported to be the highest among major garment-producing countries. […]

They emphasised the importance of respecting the freedom of association, the right to strike, and the right to demonstrate. […]

The government of Bangladesh could not be reached for comment at time of press.


The GWTUC reports that at least five workers lost their lives in the recent struggle for a living wage. Those five workers are: Russel H. (shot by police), Emran (died in a factory fire), Anjuaran K. (shot by police), unknown (run over by a bus when running away from the police) and Jalal U. (injured with gun shots from the police – passed away in hospital on Nov. 12th).


Unions announced to continue to fight for at least 23 000 BDT minimum wage. The GWTUC demands even 25 000 BDT and submitted the call below:

Let’s globalise the fight. To share the call you can use the pdf file or this link.


Comrades of GWTUC report that Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) began patrolling in some parts.

Workers organised with GWTUC rallied on November 7th and keep fighting for a minimum wage of 25 000 BDT.

Authorities and factory owners state that around 500 factories were closed temporarily due to the ongoing strikes and protests.

0:00 – 1:11 Media report on the protests by garment workers

October 30th/31st | Intense clashes between workers and cops; factories burnt; two workers died

Tens of thousands of workers went on strike and rallied in the streets of different regions leading to intense clashes with riot cops. Dozens of factories were attacked – e.g. windows and furniture smashed – and cars burnt.


October 23rd | Garment workers kick off movement on the streets and block highway

Hundreds of workers occupied Dhaka-Tangail highway for up to five hours after the association of manufacturers’ announcement to increase the minimum wage by 25 percent only. They were attacked by cops, which led to clashes in the streets.


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