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Bangladesh garment factories reopen after clashes

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November 14, 2013 12:11 AM EST | AP


DHAKA, Bangladesh (AP) — More than 200 Bangladesh garment factories have reopened after the country's prime minister stepped into resolve clashes over minimum wages.

The factories in an industrial belt outside the capital opened Thursday after owners who met with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina agreed to a 77 percent increase in the minimum wage to $66 a month for new unskilled garment workers.

A government-appointed panel voted last week to raise the minimum wage, which is still the world's lowest. But owners refused to endorse it.

Workers clashed with police over the past four days, shutting the factories that supply clothing to global brands.

Atiqul Islam, an industry leader, says he hopes tension over wages will end.

Bangladesh is the world's second largest garment producer.