The Daily Star shared that the garment workers started a demonstration inside the factory in Ulail area, next to Dhaka-Aricha highway in Bangladesh on 16 January (yesterday).

According to the local news outlet, a factory worker from Anlima Textile Limited allegedly told them that workers had been fired over the last couple of months and were not even paid any service benefits upon termination.

But the factory’s assistant vice president (HR Admin), Razaul Kaiuom told The Daily Star that the allegation of unjust dismissal of the workers was not correct and many workers had resigned due to work shortage but the authorities accepted the resignation with payment of all dues.

Kaiuom purportedly said that operating the factory would be unfeasible unless the working environment returned to normal. Based on what he told The Daily Star, the workers allegedly “beat up” factory’s general manager Golam Kibria who was taken to the hospital due to his critical condition.

The Daily Star further noted that authorities of the garment factory declared it “indefinitely closed” the morning of 17 January following worker protests over the alleged dismissal of their co-workers.

The factory is reportedly shut as per Section 13(1) of Bangladesh Labour Act 2006.

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Anlima Textile Limited is a member of Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) and neither responded to Just Style’s request for comment at the time of press.

On 2 January, garment factories in Bangladesh reportedly terminated the employment of hundreds of workers following protests for higher wages in October, despite global fashion brands urging the Bangladesh Government not to retaliate against participants both during and after the minimum wage review.

This news came after global fashion brands, including Abercrombie & Fitch, Adidas, GAP, Levi Strauss, Puma, PVH and Under Armour strongly urged Bangladesh’s Government in October last year to ensure there would be no retaliation against workers seeking fair wages before or after the review.

In November 2023, Bangladesh’s State Minister for Labour Monnujan Sufian announced Tk12,500 ($112.8) as the new minimum monthly salary for garment workers.

However, the new minimum monthly wages set for the apparel sector workers is still below what the workers’ representative on the wage board, Sirajul Islam Rony, had proposed in the previous meeting. In fact, labour activists argued this increase was insufficient to meet the basic needs of workers criticising the disparity between the wage hike and the rising cost of living.

Last month (December) Miran Ali, vice president of Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA), told a delegation at the UK’s House of Lords that Bangladesh should be ‘proud’ of its recent wage rise and ‘unbeatable’ global sustainable fashion status.