Garment workers held boss captive until he paid promised bonus

Bangladeshi workers on minimum wage held factory boss for over 18 hours after months of tense labor disputes

Published October 14, 2013 3:54PM (EDT)

Women work at a garment factory in Savar, Bangladesh.          (Reuters/Andrew Biraj)
Women work at a garment factory in Savar, Bangladesh. (Reuters/Andrew Biraj)

Minimun-wage workers in a garment factory in Bangladesh finally extracted a long-promised bonus from their boss after holding him captive in the factory for over 18 hours.

The factory boss -- who was unharmed -- had held back payment of worker bonuses for the Eid al-Adha holiday. Unions are celebrating the success of the bold worker action as a "positive development" in the context of a long fought labor dispute.

Reuters reported:

The [workers] forced their way into the office of owner Delwar Hossain and locked him in when he said no money was available.

Police, relatives of the owners and the factory owners' group, the BGMEA, launched talks with the protesters and a police official said Hossain was released after bonuses were paid to 900 workers late on Sunday.

"I see it as a positive movement as the workers were not violent and were able to realize their demand peacefully," said Amirul Haque Amin, president of the National Garment Workers' Federation trade union.

By Natasha Lennard

Natasha Lennard is an assistant news editor at Salon, covering non-electoral politics, general news and rabble-rousing. Follow her on Twitter @natashalennard, email

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Related Topics ------------------------------------------

Bangladesh Bangladesh Garment Factory Garment Workers Hostage Labor Minimum Wage Workers