In the News

Turkmenistan: Wheat Harvest and Cotton-Picking Going Poorly

It is something of a myth that state media in closed countries with ever-active domestic propaganda machines, such as Turkmenistan, project only optimism and radiance.
The president of Turkmenistan is rarely even remotely happy with his government’s work, and it is the state of agriculture that has raised his hackles this time around.
Speaking at his weekly Monday videoconference with regional leaders, Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov on October 12 tore strips off various provincial chiefs.

Uzbeks Unpick Cotton To Please No-Show PM

Radio Free Europe Radio Liberty
In Central Asia, officials often go to great lengths trying to impress visiting presidents or dignitaries, giving them an exaggerated impression of success and happiness.
Regional officials in Uzbekistan's eastern Ferghana Province recently took it a step further.
Local farmers say they were ordered to glue white tufts of cotton back onto their bolls to give an impression of a bountiful harvest of the country's key crop ahead of an expected visit by Prime Minister Shavkat Mirziyaev.

10 Ways H&M Is Spinning the Facts on Worker Safety in Bangladesh


Earlier this month, four labor groups—the International Labor Rights Forum, Clean Clothes Campaign, Worker Rights Consortium, and Maquila Solidarity Network—all of which were witness signatories to the Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh, released a report evaluating H&M's compliance with safety action plans for its strategic suppliers in Bangladesh. In response, H&M has posted two public statements, as well as responses to individual activists on Twitter and Facebook. In this post, the authors behind the report take on H&M’s spin and clarify the truth.

Why the TPP Won't Work for Workers

The Nation
 The signatories of the Trans-Pacific Partnership just announced that they have inked the final agreement, ending years of secret negotiations and back-room corporate deal making. And still, the full text, which will set trade rules for roughly 40 percent of global commerce in a dozen Pacific Rim countries, remains a secret, even as the accord hurtles toward Congress for an accelerated vote.

H&M Supplier Factories in Bangladesh Behind in Safety Fixes: Report

NBC News
H&M is "dramatically behind schedule" in fixing the dangers found in the factories of its Bangladeshi suppliers, according to a new report.
H&M was one of more than 200 brands, including Adidas and Abercrombie & Fitch, who signed an accord to improve safety conditions in factories in Bangladesh after the Rana Plaza building collapse in 2013 killed more than 1,100 people.

Most of H&M's "best" factories in Bangladesh still don't have working fire exits

Quartz India
Factory fires pose one of the greatest dangers to Bangladesh’s garment workers.
After the 2013 factory collapse at Rana Plaza, more than 200 clothing brands from around the world signed a binding commitment to create (pdf) a Bangladeshi garment industry “in which no worker needs to fear fires, building collapses, or other accidents that could be prevented with reasonable health and safety measures.”

H&M's factories are still death traps

SvD Näringsliv

(English Translation)

Although the clothing chain H & M promised better conditions for its textile workers in Bangladesh, it is still's of Thousands who work in factories That are described as pure death traps. None of the factories in the countryside Such as H & M uses meets the Safety, of according to a new report.

(Continue reading the article from the original website here...)

Why you could be wearing cotton picked by forced labor

Cotton is ever-present in our lives. It is in the clothes we wear, the towels in our bathrooms, our bed linen, even bank notes we pay with are made with cotton.
What is little known however is that vast amounts of the world's cotton are produced in slavery-like conditions in Central Asia. And while many are concerned about the sweatshops of Bangladesh and India, few would have heard about the forced labor of their own citizens organized by the governments of Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan.