Factory workers "still exploited" in Bangladesh

Five months after the collapse of a Bangladeshi garment factory that killed over 1100 people, a new investigation suggests working conditions in the country have not improved and employees are demanding a wage hike.

The BBC programme Panorama travelled to the impoverished nation and discovered workers pulling 19-hour shifts for roughly £2 in pay.

The show also found workers were being locked inside factories to ensure they produce clothes around the clock.

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A reporter for the programme posed as a clothing buyer and was presented with timesheets indicating employees were working reasonable shifts, whilst factory management insisted alternative exits were available when main doors to buildings were locked.

Meanwhile, garment industry workers have been protesting for higher wages in industrial zones on the outskirts of Bangladesh’s capital, Dhaka.

Police have responded to the riots with force, firing rubber bullets into crowds and using tear gas. Over 100 factories have temporarily closed due to the protests and at least 50 people were injured on Sunday.

The garment industry in Bangladesh earns the country roughly £12 billion a year, accounting for nearly 80 percent of its total export earnings.
 

 

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