Date: Mon, 22 Jan 1996 06:44:08 GMT
Sender: Activists Mailing List <>
From: Rich Winkel <>
Subject: Bangladesh: Women Fired, Raped, Killed Over Labor Rights

/** 224.0 **/>Br> ** Topic: No Subject Given **
** Written 11:42 AM Jan 19, 1996 by gn:chrisbailey in **
From: Chris Bailey <>

500 women sacked, 5 raped, 3 killed

From Chris Bailey <>, 19 January 1996

FIVE hundred garment workers in Bangladesh have been sacked, five women raped and three women killed because of their campaign for the right to one day's holiday (Friday) each week.

Since 25 July 1995, the National Garment Workers' Federation of Bangladesh has mobilised a courageous campaign under the heading:

"No more labour slavery - total leave on Friday is a must."

They have won widespread support in the teeth of vicious anti-trade unionism by the bosses and the government.

There are over one million workers, mainly women and children, in the garment industry. They work long hours in small factories in very bad and often dangerous conditions, with low pay, no holidays and no day off.

Although there is the legal right to Friday as a holiday, this is not observed and workers are sacked for demanding it.

Addressing a rally in Dhaka, observing World Human Rights Day on 10 December 1995, Amiral Haque Amin, general secretary of the National Garment Workers' Federation said:

"More than 100 workers were sacked from garment factories in November for their involvement in the trade union activities, and more than 400 were given no reason for their dismissal."

"At the same time five women workers were raped and three were killed".

"Ten factories were closed without giving the workers due wages and overtime payments. More than 100 factories had not paid the workers their due wages and overtime payments for the last three to four months."

Amin claimed that garment workers have to work 14-16 hours a day without a weekly holiday.

"Sometimes workers have to tolerate physical torture and women workers are frequently harrassed."

"They do not have housing, medical or transport facilities."

Please send solidarity messages and donations to:

Amirul Haque Amin, General Secretary, National Garments Workers Federation, GPO Box 864, Dhaka, Bangladesh. Fax: Attn. Amin 880-2-867485