Workers at the Taratex BD Ltd. garment factory in Bangladesh have been targets of violence and mass firings, according to the Bangladesh Independent Garment Workers Union Federation (BIGUF).

The workers filed for union registration at the factory in Gazipur, outside of the capital, Dhaka, on February 4, 2014. Since then, they say they have since endured a fierce anti-union campaign by management. A reported 86 union supporters at the factory have been fired, including 12 members of the union’s factory-level executive committee.

Many of these workers told BIGUF they have been verbally or physically assaulted and asked to sign papers of an unknown nature. Factory workers who support the union also report being visited at their homes and threatened.

On February 22, union vice president Farahad and union supporters Sohel and Mostak told BIGUF they were detained and physically assaulted as they attempted to enter the factory. They said police refused to accept their crime reports or pursue the incident. Six union members told BIGUF they have been forced to leave their homes for fear of their personal safety.

BIGUF filed an unfair labor practice on February 24 and contacted the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) for assistance in resolving the issue. BGMEA, the trade association representing Bangladesh export manufacturers, has not yet responded.

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the News from The Solidarity Center