Bangladesh workers of suppliers of Zara, H&M and GAP in a strike

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More than 80 garment factories have freezen their production because of a strike of workers protesting the firing of 121 colleagues and demanding a living wage. Some of these factories are suppliers of brands such as GAM, Zara and H&M.

Several hundred policemen have since been deployed in the industrial zone. The workers want their salaries to be tripled from 5,300 taka ($67) – the current monthly minimum wage – to 16,000 taka.  The government raised the minimum wage for garment workers to 5,300 taka in 2013 after the industry came under intense international scrutiny over a series of disasters that killed scores. But even after the increase, Bangladeshi garment workers remain among the lowest paid in the textile sector in the world. Industry official Rahman said there was “barely a chance” of a further salary hike, citing a law that only allows salaries to be reviewed once every five years.  Bangladesh’s $30bn garment industry has a woeful history of poor pay and conditions for its four million workers.  The garment workers have vowed to continue the strike until their demands are met. Garment manufacturing makes up 80% of Bangladesh’s exports and a prolonged interruption would have a cascading impact on the impoverished country’s economy.  Hundreds of paramilitary troops have been deployed in a key apparel industrial zone on the outskirts of Bangladeshi capital Dhaka as thousands of garment workers continued demonstrations demanding a hike in minimum monthly wage.

Below we show the operating profit of H&M and Inditex (the matrix of Zara), two of the brands implied.


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