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Police shoot at and tear-gas striking garment workers

A third day of action in Bangladesh has seen renewed attacks by police on striking workers

Bangladeshi police have fired rubber bullets and tear gas at striking garment workers in the capital Dhaka.

The third day of action saw renewed attacks by police on thousands of garment workers demanding an improvement in the minimum wage, with "scores" injured.

The violence mainly took place in the Gazipur and Savar industrial estates, just outside Dhaka.

Hundreds of factories producing clothing for many big global brands, including Wal-Mart and H&M, are located in the two areas and over 100 of them have closed as the workers joined the demonstrations.

Workers also poured into the streets at two major intersections in Dhaka, bringing traffic to a halt.

The strikers threw stones at police in retaliation for the rubber bullets and tear gas.

About 50 people had been injured on Sunday.

The workers are demanding that their minimum monthly wage is increased to 8,114 takas (£65).

The government is in talks with unions and factory owners on new wage scales, but bosses have refused to increase the current 3,000 takas (£24) minimum beyond 3,600 takas (£29).

Bangladesh last increased the minimum wage for garment workers nearly three years ago in response to months of street protests.

Bangladesh earns about £12 billion a year - almost 80 per cent of the country's total exports - from garment products, mainly to the US and Europe.

It employs about four million workers, most of them women.


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