• June 15, 2024

Bidi Workers Demand Better Conditions

 Bidi Workers Demand Better Conditions
Photo: Brandy Brinson

During a public meeting in Rangpur, Bangladesh, representatives of the Bidi Workers Federation presented several demands for improving their working conditions, reports the Daily Sun.

Among other things, they want multinationals to increase the price of low-end cigarettes from BDT45 ($0.38) to BDT65 per pack and the government to close down illegal bidi factories. The bidi workers also demanded a halt to “the brokering” of BAT.

Rangpur Mayor Mostafizar Rahman, who also spoke at the gathering, urged the government to protect the bidi industry from “the conspiracies of international companies.”

He highlighted that approximately 2 million workers across the country earn their livelihood by working in bidi factories. Rahman advocated for wage increases, the withdrawal of duties on bidi products and for the bidi industry to be declared a cottage industry, a designation that would give companies operating in this sector access to low-interest loans and subsidies on raw materials, among other benefits.

recent survey revealed that many bidi workers in Bangladesh are dissatisfied with their working conditions.