Blog: Apparel

With 7 Workers Dead in Another Preventable Fire, Labor Rights Groups Implore Apparel Brands and Retailers to Sign Fire Safety Agreement

“The recurring fires give us a clear picture that the initiative by
the government and the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters
Association to curb the death toll is too little and too late. The
government, BGMEA, and western retailers need to act rapidly to stop the
killings and to ensure a safe workplace for our workers,” said Kalpona
Akter, Executive Director of the Bangladesh Center for Worker Solidarity.

Another Garment Factory Fire in Bangladesh

No one was inside the factory at the time of the fire,
presumably because of the holiday and because it occurred during the night.  Soon after the fire began, however, people
from the neighborhood came to the factory and attempted to put out the fire
with water. It was then that a person, “who simply got too close to the flames,”
was injured, says Majumder. The victim, who is not an employee of the factory, suffered
from burns on his arm and leg. It is unknown if he received any medical

H&M: Hypocrisy & Minimum wage

Let's think this through. Pretend you are the superintendent of a school district, and you’ve got all these unreasonable test policies, that have your teachers in their class rooms teaching 10 hour days to make sure they keep their jobs, and that their kindergarten kids pass calculus tests. Then one day, instead of adjusting your test policies and asking teachers to adjust accordingly, you talk to the governor of your state and ask him/her to sort things out. Not very logical.

Beggar-Thy-Neighbor: How Burma Will Take Bangladesh’s Sweatshop Jobs

Should either country be getting new trade benefits? Bangladesh has certainly been doing its best to get kicked out of US favor as of late; beginning in 2009, activists asked that Bangladesh’s trade privileges be revoked for horrendous labor rights abuses, including tragic factory fires, arbitrary detention of labor rights activists and rampant nepotism and corruption in the industry.

Worker Rights Movement Formed, Launching Movement Against Factory Fire Culprits

Barrister Faisal
Siddique briefed the meeting on the petition filed by Pakistan Institute of Labour Education & Research (PILER), National Trade Union Federation (NTUF), PFF, Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP), and other
organizations in Sindh High Court against the relevant government departments
and others responsible for the fire accident. He said that the state has totally
collapsed and only way to protect worker rights is through unified struggle.

Deadly Denim: Workers Burned Alive Making Jeans for Export

More
than 300 trapped workers were killed in two separate fires on the same day—289
workers in an apparel factory in Karachi and 25 workers in a shoe factory in
Lahore—a day Nasir Mansoor, leader of the National Trade Union Federation of
Pakistan (NTUF)—calls the “darkest and saddest day in the history of Pakistan’s
labor movement.”

Pakistan Factory Fires Tied to Criminal Negligence by Government and Employers

Today, Interior Minister Rehman Malik said that the Federal Investigation Agency will investigate these factory fires. The irony is that the government is still not upholding its responsibility to implement laws with sufficient political will in order to ensure the protection of workers' basic rights, including safe working conditions and freedom of association. Instead, the government's response is to investigate the incident as an isolated, exceptional incident.

Simultaneous Labor Protests In Four Countries Target Hemisphere’s Largest Supplier of Adidas and Nike

Workers’ unions in the four countries formed the Gildan Union Network (Red de Sindicatos de Gildan in Spanish and Réseau de Syndicats de Gildan in French), and are demanding a meeting between top Gildan executives and representatives for each union. Gildan denied the meeting in separate letters to each union, saying such dialogue would “not be productive” due to differences in each country’s labor law.

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