Bangladesh garment factory workers are winning a new contract with the government that guarantees a decent wage, raises their pension and provides more security.
The Bangladesh Labor Confederation (BLC) has won a two-year contract with Wal-Mart Stores Inc., the country’s largest retailer.
“Our factory workers have a higher quality of life and they have the freedom to live a comfortable life, as we are making our clothes for our customers,” said BLC president Abdul Aziz Sheikh.
In November, the government agreed to a contract with a group of garment factories, known as garment workers’ unions, that would give the unions the rights of workers.
But the BLC’s victory came too late.
Bangladesh has struggled with a booming apparel industry, with imports and exports surging and the country struggling to find enough workers.
About 7,000 garment workers work at factories making clothing for Wal-mart, Walmart and other retailers.
Workers are on strike for the fourth consecutive year and say they are fighting to win their rights.
Last year, the B.C. government introduced a series of labour reforms to protect workers, including a law that required companies to pay workers a higher wage.
Warnings of a crackdown on workers’ rights have prompted Wal-marts to increase its offer of a 2.5 percent wage increase.
Walmart says it is committed to supporting the BLS unionization campaign. ___