Stories

Thousands of garment workers in Bangladesh fired over wage strikes

Bangladeshi workers at a garments factory in Gazipur outskirts of Dhaka.
Bangladeshi workers at a garments factory in Gazipur outskirts of Dhaka. Photo: Mehedi Hasan/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Almost 5,000 Bangladeshi garment factory workers who sew clothes for global retail giants such as H&M and Walmart have been fired for participating in strikes over low wages, AFP reports. The strikes turned violence earlier this month, and police used rubber bullets and tear gas.

The backstory: Bangladesh is the world’s second-biggest garment exporter behind China, and 4.1 million Bangladeshis are employed in clothing factories. The government said last September that the minimum wage would increase by up to 51% to around $95 per month — the first increase since 2013. But union leaders are demanding $215 due to rising costs of living.