For the best information and analysis of the situation there, see Red Marriott’s blogs here.
Very limited information:
Bangladesh: cops kill 2 garment workers as 140 factories go on strike to demand higher minimum wage…… residents threatened with house destruction by extraction of river sand by authorities’ family business connections besiege offices of those responsible 18/11/13
Bangladesh: 5 union leaders arrested as garment workers’ strikes continue (see also this for an analysis of the rise in the minimum wage) 19/11/13
“The acceptance of the mimimum wage by the owners has not been able to pacify the aggrieved workers . For the last few days, they have been resorting to violence and fighting street battles with the law enforcers, mainly in the apparel industrial hub at Ashulia. Most factories in Ashulia and Gazipur have been shut following the violence…
…the workers, who are now in the midst of agitation, are also not accepting the stance of the individual who has represented them in the wage board. At the press conference where Labour Minister Rajiuddin Ahmed announced the hike in apparel workers’ wages, the labour representative in the wage board expressed the hope that the workers would accept their new wage rates and abstain from violent activities.
This again brings to the fore the issue of ‘true’ representation of apparel workers. The individuals who represent the workers in negotiations with the owners and the government are, in fact, chosen ones, not by workers but by others. Introduction of TU rights in all garment units might help create an apex TU body for representation at the national level. Had there been such a representative organisation at the national level the government or the apparel industry owners, possibly, would not have faced so much trouble in resolving disputes.” – from here