The Workers In Bangladesh Who Make Your Clothes Are Rioting

If you’re going to perform hard work for long hours, at least you should receive a reasonable wage during a time of high inflation in your country. Right? That’s not generally the case in Bangladesh, where as many as 100,000 workers have taken to the streets to demand a minimum wage of $104 per month, up from the current minimum of $39.

Even in newly-industrialized Bangladesh, $38 doesn’t go very far in a period of high inflation. These are not super-fun cushy jobs. You might remember a few months ago, when a factory in Bangladesh collapsed, killing more than 1,100 people. Or maybe the fire in 2012 that killed 112 workers. Customers and retailers alike were horrified, and companies hurried to agree on minimum safety standards.

Bangladesh is currently the country of choice for clothing producers, thanks to the super-low wages that factories can pay workers fresh off the farm.

What began as a simple labor protest on Monday has turned into a violent riot, with the government calling in paramilitary troops after police were unable to keep the protests under control. Now about 400 factories in the industrial zone outside of the capital, Dhaka, have shut down operations until the protest gets under control.

Bangladesh Deploys Paramilitary in Garment Zone After Protests [Bloomberg News]
Bangladesh Garment Workers Continue Protest for Lower Wages [U.S. News & World Report]

Are We Just Outsourcing Our Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Tragedies?