Bangladesh: Dozens of Workers Jailed for Striking

The ITUC has condemned the imprisonment by the Bangladesh authorities of at least 26 garment workers, including several union representatives, for participating in strike action in favour of a living minimum wage.

Trade union offices in Ashulia, the garment-producing hub of the capital Dhaka, have been invaded, vandalized and forcibly shut down, with membership documents burned and furniture removed. More than 1,600 workers have been fired and police have filed cases against 600 workers and trade union leaders.

Sharan Burrow, ITUC General Secretary, said “Bangladesh has an appalling record of abuse and violations of fundamental workers’ rights and this latest round of repression against impoverished garment workers, who are simply asking for a wage that provides enough for them and their families to live on, is a disgrace. The government’s long-standing anti-union stance leaves workers living from hand to mouth, and deprives them of the means to demand safe working conditions. We demand that these workers be released, and that the government live up to its obligations to respect fundamental labour rights.

The European Union and others which have special trading arrangements with Bangladesh must use their leverage to support decent wages and working conditions in the supply chains that serve consumers in their countries. Global brands doing business with Bangladeshi suppliers must also accept their share of responsibilities.”

Global Unions Federations IndustriALL and UNI have launched an international petition in support of the imprisoned workers - #EveryDayCounts. For more information, see:
http://www.industriall-union.org/bangladesh-free-jailed-unionists-and-workers-0

For more information, please contact the ITUC Press Department on +32 2 224 02 10 or mailto:press@ituc-csi.org