From Saraka Garment fire incident in 1990 to Rana Plaza collapse in 2013, thousands of workers in Bangladesh died due to lack of workplace safety, security, and lack of accountability by the authorities. There have been changes in the situation since Rana Plaza, but workers are still fighting (with and without) trade unions for a better compensation act, safe workplace for women, and overall increase in the minimum wage to meet their basic needs.
Bangladesh Garment Workers Solidarity (BGWS) has been fighting for labour rights for a long time. Along with other safety and security issues, in 2022 BGWS demanded 25,000 BDT as the minimum wage for ready-made garment (RMG) workers considering the inflation and price hike of the country.
As part of the SuPWR programme, BIGD is studying how BGWS fight for a decent minimum wage. BIGD participated in and observed BGWS’s 2nd National Council, which was held on 2nd December 2022 at Shahbagh, Dhaka. The members of the struggle and their allies came together to present their demands through music, poetry, procession and speech. This video is a look at the inauguration ceremony.
BIGD wanted to capture this interesting mixture of protest, economic facts, and culture, and dedicated this video in memory of the Rana Plaza victims, which gave a new shape to the trade union struggle in Bangladesh.