Johannes Schneider Johannes.Schneider at
Wed Jun 20 04:06:22 MDT 2001


The National Garment Workers Federation (NGWF) and six other federations in
the Bangladesh Garment Workers Unity Council (BGWUC) have called a strike of
the whole garment sector in the country on 1 July 2001.
The strike is for the realisation of their six demands submitted to the
Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) on 24
march 2001. They are:
1. A new wage structure for the garment workers on the basis of a basic
minimum wage of tk 1800 (unskilled).
2. Ensure the health and safety of garment workers.
3. Necessary steps for the development and expansion of the garment industry
and its markets.
4. Implementation of trade union rights in the garment sector. Trade union
rights for the EPZ workers.
5. Separate industrial zones for the garments industry. Settlements, schools
and hospitals in the zones.
6. Implementation of the Memorandum of Agreement signed between the MGMEA
and the BGWUC in 1997 and 2000 (appointment letter, identity card, service
book, weekly holiday, maternity leave, etc.)
The BGWUC and the NGWF have also adopted a programme of action to prepare
for the strike.

On 13 June, General Secretary of the NGWF wrote as follows:
'Please bear in mind this strike is not in a particular factory, it is
nation-wide. Altogether there are 3,200 garment factories in Bangladesh with
a total of 1.6 million workers. So it is very hard and difficult and a big
challenge for us. Our finances are very weak because at present the minimum
wage in this sector is only Tk 800 ($14.03) a month, so most of our members
cannot afford to pay dues.
'We already published 50,000 posters in mid May and 100,000 leaflets in the
first week of June. We have to publish two further posters, one edition of
50,000 from the Unity Council and one edition of 30,000 from the NGWF. Will
your organistion, your members or your friends be able to provide us with
any financial support? Please let us know urgently.
Yours in solidarity,
Amirul Haque Amin,
General Secretary,
National Garment Workers' Federation,
Bangladesh Garment Workers' Unity Council

Messages of solidarity and support to
GPO Box 864
Dhaka, Bangladesh
Tel: 88 019 340268
Fax: 88 02 9562562
email unity at

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