Bangladesh textile workers riot over soaring food prices
On 11 April about 20,000 textile workers from more than a dozen factories rioted in Fatullah, 20 kilometres south of Dhaka, demanding higher pay to compensate for the soaring price of rice. The president of the United Garment Workers’ Union said: ‘The 25 dollars basic minimum salary was fixed in 2006. But since then prices of rice and other food items have doubled or tripled’ because of a massive production shortfall after devastating floods and a cyclone. A machine operator told journalists: ‘With our poor salary, it is now impossible to buy three meals a day. Some of us are even going hungry some days.’
Police fired tear gas and used batons to break up the rioting workers and at least 50 people were injured, most of them police officers. There was no resolution to workers’ demands.
Source: AFP, 12 April 2008