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Deliveries at risk as Bangladesh rioting steps up

UK retailers are facing renewed threats of stock delays after rioting by factory workers in Bangladesh stepped up in intensity.

Workers at 350 garment factories in Ashulia, a major textile manufacturing zone on the outskirts of Dhaka, have been campaigning for pay levels to be tripled from around 1,660 taka (£16.20) to 5,000 taka a month.

On Thursday the government announced plans to increase pay to 3,000 (£27.12) taka a month from November 1 – a move which temporarily pacified the rioters.

However, union leaders are still calling for a rise to 5,000 (£45.19) taka a month, which they believe should be implemented immediately, and a faction of workers stepped up their rioting over the weekend.

Confrontations with police and security workers turned violent in some cases, injuring around 600 workers and forcing many of the Ashulia garment factories to close. Only a few were able to resume production on Monday and owners have said they will remain shut until the government ensures security, according to reports.

The shutdown has already disrupted shipments to Europe, the US and Canada.

It is thought to have affected deliveries to multiples including Marks & Spencer, H&M and Zara, although all three retailers have previously played down the level of impact.

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