This weekend in the Bangladesh port city of Chittagong, three garment workers were killed and dozens were injured in violent protests for higher minimum wages.
In July of this year, the garment workers were promised higher wages by November 1. When the implementation of the new minimum was delayed, the protests ignited.
Garment workers in Bangladesh are the least paid in the world, according to Vienna’s International Trade Union Confederation.
Throughout the country, more than 4,000 factories manufacture garments for well-known brands, exporting largely to the United States and Europe
Garment exports in Bangladesh account for 80% of the nation’s exports and the majority of workers are women.
In Chittagong, there are about 70 foreign companies that employ approximately 150,000 workers.
Clearly, most of us have no sphere of influence in these internal affairs; but the companies from which we purchase our clothing can have a direct impact.
The question that may touch us is this: Are willing to sacrifice our fast fashion and pay a higher price for the rights of others who produce for us?
Photo by Balaram Mahalder Village life of Bangladesh, CopyrightGNU Free Documentation License at Wikimedia Commons.