Blog: Health & Safety

COVID-19 Impact on Migrant Workers in Thailand

The partial lockdown of Bangkok and order by the Thai Interior Ministry to close 18 border points taking effect on March 23 triggered a mass exodus of migrant workers from Myanmar, Cambodia, and Laos, with estimates ranging between 60,000 and 200,000 people having left the country.  Few were able to practice social distancing in the crowded bus stations and border areas, raising fears of infection.

Fyffes’ Claims of Farm Safety in Honduras Should Not be Taken as Accurate

In the ongoing controversy about violations of labor rights and worker health and safety at its suppliers in Honduras, the multinational Fyffes fruit company has told The Progressive magazine “our farms have passed SMETA audits for safety, health, and worker wellbeing.”

This claim by Fyffes should not, and cannot, be taken as good coin, true and accurate. 

Sedex, the London-based consulting company that runs the SMETA program, states very clearly in the “FAQs” on its website the following:

Families and Labor Leaders Observe 6th Anniversary of Ali Enterprises Fire

Six years ago, on September 11, 2012, the Ali Enterprises factory in Baldia Town, went up in flames. The factory employed hundreds of workers, but only had one exit. At least 260 workers died while trapped inside. This was the deadliest fire ever in a garment factory. After the fire, a major campaign ensued that ultimately secured compensation for the affected families.

This morning the National Trade Union Federation of Pakistan, the Pakistan Institute of Labour Education & Research, and the Home-Based Women Workers Federation held a press conference in front of the Karachi Press Club, noting that garment and textile factories in Pakistan are no safer than they were six years ago and calling for workplace safety.

In the afternoon, they were joined by many more union leaders and members of the Ali Enterprises Factory Fire Affectees Association for a memorial gathering and rally in front of the factory building in Baldia town.

Najma and Abdul Jabar mourned the loss of their son Abdul Hafiz. "Our son died and we couldn't find his body. If we had his body, we could have had a grave for him."

"First there should be preventive measures. There should be the possibility of evacuation in the case of fire. There was none of that at Ali Enterprises. So we have to provide for that," said Husna, who lost her husband Mohhammad Wasim in the fire. 

Brand responsibility for mass faintings in Cambodian garment factories

On 28 May, once again, a factory in Cambodia was the scene of a now sadly familiar episode: more than 100 workers – the majority women – fainted at the Starite Company in Kandal province. The Chinese-owned facility, which has been operating for less than a year, employs about 1000 workers and produces bags for the U&O brand.

Worker Voice Without Worker Agency Fails Seafood Workers

“Worker voice” is the current buzzword among corporate social responsibility professionals seeking to end labor exploitation in the seafood industry, yet the original meaning of worker voice – in which workers form associations to collectively bargain for better conditions on an equal footing with employers – is nowhere to be found.

Pages

Search form

Browse blog by issue

Browse blog by industry

Browse blog by country