Union Leaders Attacked During Peaceful Protest in Bangladesh: Calls for Justice and Solidarity

Savar, Dhaka, Bangladesh – A peaceful demonstration in Savar, Dhaka turned violent as Brother Amirul Haque Amin, General Secretary of the National Shop Employees Federation (NSEF), and President of the National Garments Workers Federation (NGWF), was brutally attacked along with his supporters on 29 March 2024. The demonstrators were advocating for Eid bonuses for garment and shop workers in Bangladesh when they were assaulted by a violent group, resulting in injuries to 20 supporters.

Head of Commerce at UNI, Mathias Bolton, expressed shock and regret over the attack on Brother Amin and other leaders and protesters during their peaceful demonstration. UNI stands in solidarity with them and calls on the government to swiftly hold the perpetrators accountable. It also urges the government and employers to engage in dialogue with unions to address the legitimate demands of workers.

Rajendra Acharya, Regional Secretary of UNI Asia and Pacific, condemned the violent attack and urged the government of Bangladesh to take prompt action in bringing the perpetrators to justice. He emphasized the importance of ensuring the safety and security of union leaders and workers exercising their right to peaceful protest, as well as engaging in constructive dialogue to address workers’ demands for fair wages, bonuses, and safe working conditions.

UNI Global Union reiterates its strong support for the leaders and members of the National Shop Employees Federation, the National Garments Workers Federation, and all workers in Bangladesh as they continue their struggle for justice and dignity in the workplace. The incident highlights the ongoing challenges faced by workers in Bangladesh and the importance of protecting their rights and safety during peaceful demonstrations.

The attack on Brother Amin and his supporters underscores the significance of upholding the rights of workers to protest peacefully and demand fair treatment. It serves as a reminder of the risks faced by those advocating for labor rights in countries where such freedoms may be threatened. The solidarity shown by UNI and its call for swift action against the perpetrators reflect a broader commitment to supporting workers’ rights and ensuring their safety in the face of adversity.

In the wake of this incident, there is a pressing need for continued advocacy and support for workers in Bangladesh and around the world. Efforts to address the legitimate concerns of workers, including fair compensation and safe working conditions, must be prioritized by governments, employers, and unions alike. The attack serves as a wake-up call to the importance of protecting those who speak out for the rights of others and the collective efforts needed to foster a safe and just working environment for all.