“But we don’t have any choice. We are starving. If we stay at home, we may save ourselves from the virus. But who will save us from starvation?”
The lockdown, which started on March 26, also forced the closure of the vast majority of the country’s garment factories.
“We have not been paid for two months. We are starving,” said another protester, who gave her name as Brishti, from the Tex Apparel factory in the capital Dhaka.
“If we don’t have food in our stomach, what’s the use of observing this lockdown?”
Some 5,500 workers protested on Monday while 20,000 turned out on Sunday, police inspector Islam Hossain told AFP.
“Some workers broke doors and glasses of a factory. But they were largely peaceful,” Hossain told AFP. No one was arrested.
Bangladesh has announced $590 million in loans for export-oriented factories to pay workers.
The South Asian nation is the world’s second-biggest garment maker after China, with $35 billion dollars of exports a year.