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Bangladesh - November 22, 2023

US condemns violence against RMG workers in Bangladesh

Industry Desk: The United States has condemned the recent violence against workers in Bangladesh protesting over the minimum wage, as well as the criminalization of legitimate worker and trade union activities.US Department of State Spokesperson Mathew Miller said this in a regular media briefing in Washington.He said they are also “concerned” about the ongoing repression of workers and trade unions.“Our principle, as we have stated before, is that government must ensure that workers are able to exercise their rights to freedom of association and collective bargaining without fear of violence, reprisal, or intimidation,” Miller said.Through their work in Bangladesh and elsewhere in the world, the US State Department spokesperson said they are firmly committed to advancing those fundamental human rights.Miller also said the US Secretary of State outlined how they engage with governments, workers, labor organizations, trade unions, civil society, and the private sector around the world to protect and promote respect for internationally recognized labor rights.“We will continue to do that in Bangladesh and elsewhere in the world,” he said.He also said the US will continue to engage with the government, opposition, civil society, other stakeholders to urge them to work together for the benefit of Bangladeshis, to ensure “free and fair” elections conducted in a peaceful manner.“We do not take a position in favor of one party or the other. We want what the Bangladeshi people themselves want: free and fair elections which are conducted in a peaceful matter.”The US State Department spokesperson again mentioned the attempt to draw him into Bangladesh’s internal issues, and reiterated that he is going to continue to refrain from doing so.“So I appreciate the urge – the repeated urge, I should say – to try and draw me into internal Bangladeshi matters, but I am going to continue to refrain from doing so and just state, as I said before, that our goal for the election in Bangladesh is what it has always been: free and fair elections conducted in a peaceful manner,” he added.

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