At least 100 garment workers and 10 policemen were injured Sunday in a series of clashes at an industrial belt in the suburb of the Bangladeshi capital of Dhaka, the private news agency UNB reported Sunday.
Police and witnesses said workers of four closed factories in Dhaka Export Processing Zone (DEPZ) staged demonstrations in front of the factories when they found the factory-gates closed at about 8 a.m.
"The workers later chanted slogans in favor of their demands and asked the nearby factory workers to join them. But the workers of the nearby factories and police jointly resisted the workers of the closed factories," says a spot account of the brawls.
Policemen later charged baton on the workers and drove them out of the bounds of the high-security DEPZ at Savar, about 35 km from Dhaka city.
Around 2,000 garment workers of A-One, Goaltex and Youngone Hitech factories of the old EPZ zone then assembled on Nabinagar-Kaliakoir road.
In another incident, workers of Softtex factory attacked the nearby Actor Garment factory in the new EPZ zone. Police and Actor garment workers jointly resisted the workers from ransacking the factory.
"Later, the workers of the four factories banded together on the Nabinagar-Kaliakoir road and started damaging passing vehicles, " said the spot report.
The agitating workers later damaged over 50 cars and blocked traffic on the busy road for three hours.
Policemen later came to the road, charged baton and fired teargas shells to disperse the protesters, the witnesses said.
At least 10 policemen were injured in the clashes as the workers threw brickbats on them.
The textile factories in DEPZ and other garment factories near Dhaka have recently witnessed a worst upheaval of textile workers, who set several factories on fire and damaged over 250 others, demanding better wages, payment of their arrears salary and other benefits.