The Bangladeshi Financial Express has a piece today on the growing split between the “Protesting Garment Workers Federation” (that is in favor of the higher minimum wage of Tk 5000) and the Garment Worker and Industry Protection Coordinated Committee (which includes the NGWF and has the backing of the government). At least in part, the piece suggests that the next wave of attacks against the more militant unions will be a legal challenge to their right to organize in the factories. Currently, several of the unions are uncertified and illegal, and Amirul Haq Amin (of the National Garment Workers Federation) has been using that fact to discredit the more militant unions as “outside agitators” (which is the position of the government and the industrialists) and to win support for his, more conservative position. At the same time, there does seem to be pretty close collaboration between the more radical unions and depending on their ability to challenge the legal fallout from the protests earlier this week, there does seem to the basis here for a more serious challenge to the bosses and the conservative unions.
I also just had to add this picture — can you imagine how many Bangladeshi Norma Rae’s are being born in this crucible?