Nationwide strike in Bangladesh begins with violent clashes

Police stand by to quell disturbances during the first day of the nationwide shutdown called by the BNP. Photo: EPA

At least five people were killed in nationwide clashes as Bangladesh's opposition yesterday began a three-day strike to demand the prime minister quit and make way for polls under a caretaker government.

Monday, 28 October, 2013, 6:40am

Bangladesh garment workers’ protest shuts 100 factories

Bangladeshi police confront protesting garments workers on Wednesday. Photo: AFP

Police have used batons, rubber bullets and tear gas to stop protests by garment workers in Bangladesh who want higher wages while factory owners fear they may miss shipments to the United States and Europe.

Police and news reports say the fifth day of protests on Wednesday in two industrial districts near Dhaka forced authorities to close more than 100 factories for the day.

25 Sep 2013 - 5:02pm

Uniqlo brings fashion back to the source in Bangladesh

Uniqlo is breaking new ground by opening outlets in Bangladesh, where international retailers tend to source goods, rather than sell them. Photo: Reuters

On a bustling Dhaka street full of buyers looking for deals on export rejects and designer fakes, a flight of stairs leads up to an anomaly in a country known for producing international clothing brands - a global high street fashion store.

5 Jul 2013 - 1:31pm

Hong Kong not so racist after all as survey errors revealed

Hongkongers are still less tolerant on race than China and Japan, according to the survey. Photo: Edward Wong

Relax - Hong Kong may not be as racist as suggested by the world map on racial tolerance published in The Washington Post last week. While the results are less startling, they are still high by comparison with much of the world, alongside Malaysia, the Philippines and France. China and Japan are still marginally more tolerant, while India and Yemen are also high on the list.

22 May 2013 - 10:31am 9 comments

Better Work safety programme bars Bangladesh over its weak labour laws

The Rana Plaza factory building that collapsed. Bangladesh is urged to improve its labour laws and conditions for unions. Photo: Reuters

The International Labour Organisation and World Bank have refused to let Bangladesh join a textile industry monitoring programme until the country overhauls its labour laws and conditions for unions improve, according to a top ILO official.

19 May 2013 - 8:06am

Wal-Mart takes own path on factory safety

Activists are sceptical over Wal-Mart's factory safety moves.

Wal-Mart Stores, the American chain that is the world's largest retailer, said it would not accept "at this time" an agreement to improve fire and building safety in Bangladesh that is supported by labour monitoring groups and signed by several other retailers this week.

16 May 2013 - 2:45am 1 comment

Hong Kong's first group of Bangladeshi maids share hopes for the future

Fresh faces in Hong Kong (from left) Aongmapolle Marma, Paiching Marma, Murnn Har, Sarmen Akter Rima, Rokeya Akter and Hlanu Marma, with consul general Mohammad Sarwar Mahmood. The domestic helpers have big plans for their time working here. Photo: K. Y. Cheng

Bangladeshi domestic helpers who have just arrived in Hong Kong were happy to share their aspirations yesterday before meeting their employers.

14 May 2013 - 9:30am 1 comment

First official Bangladeshi maids arrive in Hong Kong

Domestic helpers Sefali Akter (left) and her daughter Mowsami pose for a picture after arriving in Hong Kong. Photo: Edward Wong

The arrival of the 11 women, who will begin working tomorrow after a two-day orientation, marks the beginning of the official importation of maids from the country, which it is hoped will ease a shortage of domestic workers in Hong Kong.

12 May 2013 - 6:05am 7 comments

Miracle survivor of Bangladesh collapse lost track of day and night in rubble

Reshma Begum hit a steel pipe to get attention. Photo: Reuters

On April 24, Reshma Begum was working in a factory on the second floor of Rana Plaza when the building began collapsing around her. She raced down a stairwell into the basement, where she became trapped near a Muslim prayer room in a wide space that allowed her to survive.

12 May 2013 - 6:59am

Maids from Bangladesh on way to Hong Kong homes

Domestic helpers gather in Central to enjoy their day off.

A group of 11 domestic workers from Bangladesh will arrive in Hong Kong today, marking the beginning of official importation of maids from the country.

11 May 2013 - 5:31am

28 die in Bangladesh street battles over blasphemy law

The remnants of a burnt-out government vehicle sits in a parking lot after battles between Islamists and police in the Bangladesh capital of Dhaka yesterday. Photo: AFP

At least 28 people have died in street battles between Bangladeshi police and tens of thousands of Islamists, officials said yesterday, deepening the divide between the secular government and religious hardliners.

7 May 2013 - 1:48am

28 dead as Bangladesh Islamists demand blasphemy law

Bangladeshi protesters set fires on a street during a protest in Dhaka. Photo: AP

At least 28 people have died in street battles between Bangladeshi police and tens of thousands of Islamists, officials said on Monday, deepening the divide between the secular government and religious hardliners.

29 Aug 2013 - 4:13am

Bangladesh building collapse death toll passes 600

A woman covers her nose to block out the smell of bodies as she leaves the morgue in Savar. Photo: AP

The death toll from Bangladesh’s worst industrial disaster surpassed 600 on Sunday after scores of bodies were pulled from the wreckage of a nine-storey building that housed garment factories.

29 Aug 2013 - 4:13am

Hong Kong firms fear more disruption at their plants in Bangladesh

Workers try to release two bodies trapped in the rubble of a collapsed garment factory building near Dhaka, Bangladesh, on Tuesday. Photo: AP

Angry labourers started taking to the streets the day after the disaster, blocking major highways to several industrial areas outside the capital, Dhaka.

2 May 2013 - 10:29am 1 comment

Worn down by neglect

A relative looks at a board posting photos of the dead and missing workers from the factory that collapsed in Dhaka last week. Photo: AFP

The tragedy that - yet again - killed several hundred Bangladeshi garment factory workers when their building collapsed last week poses important commercial, political and moral challenges to the country and to the global leadership of politicians and business executives alike.

2 May 2013 - 10:04am