Blog: March 2011

Center for American Progress Holds Screening of Triangle Remembering the Fire

On the day of the fire at 4:40pm the 8th floor caught aflame (from what is thought to be a discarded cigarette), there was no plan, never even practice of a fire drill. After eighteen minutes of the fire, the last body jumped from the window ceil to her death. While some were saved from a jam packed elevator, others searched for a way to exit the flames that possessed their workplace. Unfortunately 146 people were caught in the inescapable fire. Some jumped holding hands, holding each other, while the others died in the midst of the fire. Charcoaled bodies were carried and brought down from the top three floors, later to be identified by family and friends.

Remembering the Triangle: Not One More Fire!

For those familiar with the Triangle fire tragedy, the stories are all too familiar: Locked doors. Missing fire extinguishers. Callous management. Workers who can’t escape the deadly smoke and fire.

As a result, ILRF is working with partner organizations in Bangladesh to demand safer working conditions and respect for labor rights, including the right to organize and bargain collectively for better wages and safe working conditions.

Low Wages and Long Working Hours

New York City

Bangladeshi Trade Unionists Stand in Solidarity with Workers in Wisconsin, Ohio, and Elsewhere

By Liana Foxvog, National Organizer, SweatFree Communities

Today we received this deeply moving solidarity message from the National Garment Workers Federation of Bangladesh along with a photo of their demonstration in solidarity with "the fighting workers of the USA":

The Sustainable Apparel Coalition: Some Product Information for Consumers, But What About the Workers?

The formation of this Coalition is meant to address a systemic structural problem that plagues the industry – the supply chain for any particular product is spread out over many contractor factories, often in different countries, and under no direct control of the brand manufacturer that sells the product.  Therefore it is a challenge for companies to know the details about the environmental conditions under which the entire product is made, and also impossible for consumers to know much about the sustainability of these products.  The industry freely admits this problem, one they created through structuring their supply chains in this manner.  After all, if they wanted to know everything about the production of their own product, they could build and run their own factories, which they

Bargaining Rights Are Human Rights

A 2007 decision by the ILO sustained a complaint filed by the United Electrical Workers against the State of North Carolina for its prohibition on collective bargaining for public employees. The ILO called on the United States to "promote the establishment of a collective bargaining framework in the public sector in North Carolina," and called specifically for the repeal of North Carolina General Statute 95-98, the state law that prohibits public employee collective bargaining. Currently pending before the ILO is a complaint filed by Transport Workers Local 100 challenging New York State's "Taylor Law," which prohibits strikes by public sector employees.

Celebrating the 100th International Women’s Day

The FAO, IFAD, ILO report states, “women are disproportionately employed in low-quality jobs, including jobs in which their rights are not adequately respected and social protection is limited.” After years of struggle for equality, men are still awarded more decent jobs than women. Additionally, the report confirms a gender gap in earning, declaring that “women earn less for a given type of work than do men – usually for both wage employment and self-employment.” This is true all over the world, in varying degrees. The variation is true between countries, within countries, between occupations, and even within sectors.

Gymboree is Listening: Tell it to Stop Forced, Child Labor in Cotton!

  1. Go to Gymboree's online survey here and include comments telling Gymboree that their new clothing line would be better if Gymboree would join industry efforts to end forced child labor in Uzbekistan's cotton industry;
  2. Then leave a comment on Gymboree's Facebook wall with a similar message (you'll have to "like" Gymboree first in order to leave a comment);

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