Production at nearly 25 apparel factories in the Ashulia industrial belt on the outskirts of the Bangladeshi capital Dhaka was suspended today (23 May) as labour unrest intensified.

Ready-made garment (RMG) workers have been demonstrating for higher wages for several weeks now, with unrest escalating following the collapse last month of an eight-storey garment factory complex near the capital Dhaka, in which 1,127 people were killed.

There has been virtually no work at hundreds of factories at Ashulia since the building collapse on 24 April, which highlighted appalling safety conditions in the sector.

Workers from at least 20 factories this-morning refused to work and took to the streets.

The current minimum wage for entry level workers is just BDT3,000 (US$38.53), although the government is currently in the process of reviewing wages.

Around 25-30% of total export production is carried out in the Savar-Ashulia belt, where more than 300 units are located.