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Bangladesh: Five day strike by farm workers launches national rights campaign

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Agricultural workers across Bangladesh conducted rolling strikes for five days to demand an end to precarious employment as well as improved retirement benefits, paid leave and maternity rights.

Following the decision of the National Committee of the IUF-affiliated Bangladesh Agricultural Farm Labour Federation (BAFLF) on September 7 members across the country went on strike for three hours each day from September 15 to 19 to end discrimination and close the massive gap between the rights and entitlements of farm workers and the officers and staff of the Bangladesh Agricultural Development Corporation (BADC).

Striking farm workers also demanded regular employment for the precarious workers employed on BADC farms and re-employment of illegally terminated workers.

In addition to improved retirement benefits and two paid holidays per week, the BAFLF also demanded that paid maternity leave be doubled from 90 to 180 days, giving farm workers the same maternity rights as farm management and clerical staff.

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