Over the last two weeks workers in garment factories of the Bangladeshi capital Dhaka have been rebelling against low wages, long working hours and the denial of their trade union rights.
The protests were sparked by workers at a factory in Sreepur, about 12 miles from Dhaka, who demanded back pay that was owed to them.
On 20 May workers from the factory defied attempts to block a protest march they had organised. Police opened fire on the protesters, killing one.
The next day the movement spread to all the main garment factories in the area, and another worker was killed by police.
Bangladesh’s left parties called for a general strike throughout the region. Workers occupied hundreds of factories and blocked main roads, bringing this economically important area to a standstill.
The bosses now claim that the action is being organised by “foreign agents” who want to destabilise the Bangladeshi economy. Despite this and the jailing of union leaders, the strike movement was continuing as Socialist Worker went to press.