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Last Updated: Saturday, 3 June 2006, 16:40 GMT 17:40 UK
Dhaka factory riots erupt again
Factory owners fear the violence will mean lower exports
Police in Bangladesh have used batons to break up clashes between groups of garment factory workers, as thousands staged new walkouts over low wages.

The police intervened when one group of workers, who were locked out of their factory, clashed with another group who refused to go on strike.

The police said that 25 people were injured in the clashes.

The violence happened as workers awaited finalisation of last week's agreement with factory owners.

'No work, no pay'

Managers agreed to pay rises after rioting that left two workers dead and a large number of factories in the capital, Dhaka, damaged.

Officials say that all 84 factories - including many foreign-owned plants - in a special industrial park in the Savar area of Dhaka were closed indefinitely as a precaution against the violence.

Television footage showed police officers using batons to disperse the protesters, but officials say the demonstrations were largely peaceful.

"No work, no pay should be the basis of the closure," Kaiser Rahman, a member of Bangladesh Export Processing Zone Investors Association, was quoted as saying.

Protesting factory workers in Bangladesh
Many garment workers are poorly-paid women

Factory owners have indicated that they will not re-open unless they are given full protection by the authorities.

"We need protection from the government," Kihak Sung, a South Korean businessman told the AFP news agency.

Bangladesh has more than 4,000 garment factories.

The industry accounts for most of the country's export earnings and employs 40% of the country's industrial workers.

Correspondents say that business has been booming since the end of global textile quotas, but that the Bangladeshi garments industry is infamous for inadequate safety standards and low wages.

Last week many of the striking workers agreed to go back to their factories after an agreement with government officials and union representatives to implement pay rises.

But the increases have not yet been finalised.

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