June 26, 2012
MSN promotes solidarity with workers in garment and other global supply chains struggling to win improved wages and working conditions and greater respect for their rights.
Some 2011 highlights:
- After a difficult three-year struggle and concerted pressure from an international coalition of unions and labour rights NGOs, of which MSN is a member, workers at one of the Johnson Controls auto parts factories in Puebla, Mexico won the right to be represented by an independent, democratic union and negotiated a first collective agreement with their employer. Unfortunately, the victory was short-lived. In April 2012, Johnson Controls announced it was closing the factory. Even before the closure announcement, members of the Worker Support Centre (CAT), which had been supporting the workers, were being threatened and attacked. In late July 2011, the president of one of the major industry associations (CANACINTRA) was quoted in the media describing the CAT as a “destabilizing force” in the state. As of the close of 2011, the CAT was unable to operate openly in Puebla. (For an update on recent attacks against the CAT in 2012, click here)
- Along with international allies, MSN mobilized support for the demands of a wide range of Bangladeshi trade unions and NGOs to eliminate the continuing danger of fires and other safety hazards in Bangladeshi garment factories. This work continued in 2012 after two more tragedies took place in Bangladeshi factories in December 2011. MSN also lobbied for an end to legal harassment of the leaders of the Bangladesh Center for Workers’ Solidarity (BCWS) and for the reinstatement of its legal status as an NGO, which had been removed in an attempt to undermine the BCWS’ efforts to support workers in garment export factories.