BANGLADESH: Factories reopen after ten-point deal agreed
Textile factories closed after riots in Bangladesh are reopening after a deal was signed giving workers higher wages and enhanced rights.
Talks between the government, factory owners and workers associations led to the signing of a ten-point plan, which includes the establishment of a minimum wage board, the immediate reopening of factories and guarantees on workers' rights including holidays, overtime remuneration, maternity leave with pay and proper documentation.
Workers arrested during the recent violence are to be released, no workers are to be sacked, and all sides have expressed regret at the riots.
All 84 factories in the Savar export zone just north of Dhaka were closed after the violent protests, in which cars and factories were set on fire, and one worker killed and dozens injured in clashes with police and security services.
International companies, which dominate factory ownership in the zone, had threatened to pull out of Bangladesh unless they were given assurances on security by the government.
Nearly 70,000 workers are employed in the Savar export zone, but working conditions in the country have been described as appalling, with workers reported killed in fires because of the lack of adequate emergency exits.
All points in the ten-point memorandum of understanding are to be put in place within a month, with the exception of the minimum wage structure, which will be implemented within three months.
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