Bangladesh's textile industry reopened for business yesterday following an eight-day shutdown triggered by the collapse of a factory site that killed at least 429 people, an industry group said. Millions of staff began returning to factories around the capital Dhaka that make clothing for top Western retailers such as Walmart and H&M, which had been closed since the April 24 disaster. "All factories have opened today and the workers have returned to work," said Shahidullah Azim, vice president of the Bangladesh Garments Manufacturers and Exporters Association. "We don't have any reports of protests or violence," he said. Workers walked out the day the eight-storey Rana Plaza compound collapsed in the town of Savar outside Dhaka, the latest in a string of deadly disasters to hit the US$20-billion industry. There has been a series of attacks on factories over the last week, and anger at the conditions of garment workers - many of whom earn less than US$40 a month - was the main focus of May Day rallies on Wednesday. Some three million people are employed in the country's 4,500 textile plants that are a mainstay of the impoverished nation's economy. The shutdown is estimated to have cost the industry about US$25 million a day, according to Azim. Authorities yesterday suspended the mayor of Savar, Mohammad Refayet Ullah , for approving the building and failing to shut the factories when cracks appeared in the structure a day before the tragedy. Experts inspecting the site said contractors had used shoddy construction materials and the building had been erected on a filled-in pond in a flagrant violation of construction rules. The government has also suspended two engineers who approved and cleared the factories to reopen after the cracks appeared in the structure. They were arrested along with the building owner and four factory bosses and face charges of causing death due to negligence.