Blog: Apparel

U.S. Department of Labor Accepts ILRF Complaint Against Peru

On September 21, the United States Department of Labor (DOL) formally accepted a complaint filed by ILRF and Peruvian unions against the government of Peru for violating labor rights provisions of the 2009 U.S.-Peru Trade Promotion Agreement.

What is Bangladesh’s Position on Freedom of Association?

One of the reasons the Accord on Fire and Building Safety is such an important safety program in Bangladesh is that they understand that dangerous workplaces are not just failures in building engineering or fire and electrical safety, but also of failures of a social system that ignores and excludes workers and denies them their voice.  Workers know the safety problems in their factories better than anyone else.  When they are denied the opportunity to report on those problems and suggest solutions, their workplaces are not sa

Remembering Rana Plaza

Today I revisited the Rana Plaza factory site where the eight-story building collapsed two years ago, horrifically killing 1,138 workers and seriously injuring more than 2,500 others.  The site has not changed much since I came here in 2013, a month after the collapse.  You can still find spools of thread, fabric, the occasional lost scarf or shoe, and remnants of the Joe Fresh jeans, which were being produced for JC Penney and Loblaw’s at the time.  Most of the building has been demolished, but the rubble remains.  In the cen

$177/Month Demand Builds in Advance of Cambodian Wage Decision

Across Europe, North America, Australia, Asia, and in 19 cities across the U.S. and Canada, demonstrators stood up with Cambodian workers on September 17th to demand a more livable wage.  Cambodian workers and demonstrators throughout the world wore orange t-shirts with the demonstration logo to show solidarity.

Second Anniversary of Baldia Factory Fire Tragedy

Two years ago on September 11, 2012, a third-degree fire broke out at Ali Enterprises, a garment factory in the industrial area Karachi, in which 259 workers perished alive. It was one of the most devastating fire tragedies of known industrial history. The tragedy sparked a debate, but unfortunately on too small a scale, on one of the most neglected but important issues: workplace safety and working conditions of the working class.

Baldia Town factory fire victims still without compensation

Despite repeated appeals by the International Labour Organisation (ILO), families and garment workers affected by the fire, and trade unions, the government, judicial commission and concerned authorities are still not paying attention to the demands of the victims’ families.

During a blaze at Ali Enterprises garment factory in Baldia Town, Karachi, on September 11, 2012, 259 workers were burned to death.  The affected families are still waiting for compensation.

Progress in Bangladesh?

After 30 years of unsafe and abusive conditions, consistent repression of union organizing, and the lowest wages in the world, Bangladesh’s apparel industry is today the testing ground for massive industry reform initiatives.   The Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh, a legally-binding agreement between 180 apparel companies and 12 unions, has introduced accountability and transparency in an industry where social responsibility has meant voluntary efforts and private reporting.  The U.S.

VF Inspections Fail to Prevent Latest Bangladesh Factory Fire

Before the Tazreen fire of November 2012 and the Rana Plaza building collapse of April 2013 made international headlines, safety incidents were a regular occurrence in Bangladesh. And they continue to be. According to the Solidarity Center, in the past year and a half – and not including Tazreen and Rana Plaza – at least 26 workers have been killed and 823 injured in 57 separate incidents in Bangladesh garment factories.

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