Workers Burn 2 Factories in Bangladesh
DHAKA, Bangladesh - Textile workers demanding better pay and one day off per week went on a rampage Monday at an industrial park near the Bangladeshi capital, setting fire to two factories and several buses, a domestic news agency reported.
At least 100 people, including several police, were injured when factory guards and riot police intervened to disperse the stick-wielding protesters at Savar, an industrial town near Dhaka, the United News of Bangladesh said.
The demonstrators also damaged several buses and cars after barricading a major highway to the capital and ransacking several smaller factories.
The rioting apparently began when authorities at some factories tried to stop their workers from joining the protest.
Several factories that mostly make garments for export were declared shut down following the rioting, and extra police were deployed at the park.
Bangladesh has about 2,500 garment factories employing about 1.8 million workers, mostly women.
The impoverished country earns about $6 billion annually from exports in textiles, mainly to the United States and Europe, according to Bangladesh’s Export Promotion Bureau.