300 garment units closed in Bangladesh
Dhaka, June 17, 2012
The owners of 300 Bangladesh garment factories yesterday shut their operations indefinitely after days of violent pay protests by workers, threatening the country's biggest export already impacted by the global downturn.
The decision to close all factories at Ashulia, one of the country's biggest industrial zones on the outskirts of Dhaka, came as talks between workers and owners had failed to break the deadlock.
"We have been compelled to close down all our factories at Ashulia," said Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association president Mohammad Shafiul Islam.
"We tried to resolve the issue (of wage increases and other benefits) amicably through discussion but the efforts did not produce any results," he told a news conference.
Business leaders and analysts said the recent unrest would have a negative impact on exports, which fell for the third month in a row in May as the euro zone debt crisis continued to subdue the country's economy.