The United States condemns recent violence against workers in Bangladesh protesting over the minimum wage, as well as the criminalization of legitimate worker and trade union activities. We were saddened by the reported killing by police last week of Rasel Howlader, a 26-year-old factory worker and union member from Sommilito Garments Sramik Federation. Additionally, we mourn the loss of Imran Hossain, a 32-year-old worker who died in a fire set by protestors inside a Dhaka factory. We extend our condolences to their families and the greater labor communities.
We are also concerned about the ongoing repression of workers and trade unionists. We call on the government of Bangladesh to protect workers’ right to peaceful protest and investigate allegations of false criminal charges against workers and labor leaders.
We commend the members of the private sector who have endorsed union proposals for a reasonable wage increase. The United States urges the tripartite process to revisit the minimum wage decision to ensure that it addresses the growing economic pressures faced by workers and their families.
Governments must ensure workers are able to exercise their rights to freedom of association and collective bargaining without fear of violence, reprisal, or intimidation. Through our work in Bangladesh and globally, we are firmly committed to advancing these fundamental human rights.
Official news published at https://www.state.gov/on-worker-rights-and-wage-protests-in-bangladesh/