Protesting Bangladeshi workers set fire to garment factory

Bangladeshi workers have burnt their garment factory in a protest over the bonus they received before an important Muslim festival. Police report that the factory is near the Dhaka, the nation’s capital.

AAP reports that the fire on Wednesday gutted the factory in Mouchak, 40 kilometres north of Dhaka.

According to a police officer, Sanwar Hossain, the fire was started at about 2.30 pm at the five-storey Libas Textiles factory.

"The workers angrily protested at the amount of bonus they got from the owners for the upcoming Eid al-Fitr festival," local police chief Omar Faruq told AFP.

"At one stage they walked out of the factory and set the godown (warehouse), which was on the ground floor of the factory, on fire."

The Eid al-Fitr festival, which falls this year on August 10, celebrates the end of the holy month of Ramadan. Fearing protests, the government has asked factory owners to pay salaries and bonuses early.

According to local media, some factories had told their workers that they might not be able to make payments on time because of shipment delays and non-payment by buyers.

The Bangladeshi garment workers are still feeling the effects of the collapse of a factory in April which killed 1,129 workers. The tragedy resulted in industrial action and attempts to improve the working conditions of factory workers in the impoverished nation.

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