Bangladesh Garment Workers Demand Higher Pay

The higher minimum wage is still the lowest for garment workers in the world.

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Bangladeshi garment factory owners said Thursday that they had agreed to boost workers’ minimum wage to $68 a month, but protesters took to the streets demanding more.

The minimum wage, up from $38, is still the lowest for garment workers in the world, a researcher at the Centre for Policy Dialogue told Reuters.

Workers, demanding an increase to $100 a month, blocked roads and attacked factories in the outskirts of the capital, Dhaka, leading police to respond with tear gas and rubber bullets. More than 50 people were wounded, and about 200 factories were closed Thursday.

The factory owners agreed to the official wage board’s proposed $68 after meeting with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Wednesday, amid intense local and international pressure to improve conditions for workers in the country’s $22 billion garment export company. In April, a factory building collapsed, killing more than 1,130 people.