Socialist Worker

Bangladeshi workers win rice

Issue No. 2100

Garment factory bosses in Bangladesh have been forced to hand out sacks of subsidised rice to workers in response to a growing strike wave in protest at rising food prices.

The cost of rice, a staple food, has more than doubled in the past 12 months.

Bangladesh’s garment factories account for three quarters of the country’s export earnings.

The industry makes huge profits for the owners, while workers and their families are forced into near-starvation, and are now estimated to be spending about 70 percent of their earnings on food.

Many say they now no longer eat lunch and most can no longer afford to eat meat, fish or eggs.

A wave of strikes and riots in recent weeks has led to major confrontations with the state.

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Tue 6 May 2008, 18:23 BST
Issue No. 2100
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