50 hurt, 20 garment factories vandalised
Several workers said the owner had "forced them to work under inhuman conditions".Updated: Sep 23, 2007, 14:07 IST
Workers agitating for a higher Eid bonus have vandalised 20 garment factories on the outskirts of this Bangladesh capital, yet another round of violence in an industry that fetches the highest export earnings. <b1>
Over 50 people, mainly workers, but also a few policemen, were hurt in clashes at the Tejgaon Industrial Area, media reports said.
Several workers said the owner had "forced them to work under inhuman conditions".
They alleged that factory workers would forfeit a significant part of the salary and overtime if anyone was found taking rest even for a minute during work hours.
"They beat us up even for a minor mistake," the Daily Star quoted one of the affected workers as saying.
The violence snowballed after about 3,000 workers took to the streets after they found a factory had been closed without notice.
Higher wages has been a continuing demand in the garments' sector. Another demand is a higher allowance for iftar, to take care of their food bills for breaking their roza, the religious fast during the ongoing holy month of Ramadan.