May 11, 2010
The National Garment Workers Federation (NGWF) of Bangladesh launched a new campaign this month entitled "No More Fires, No More Locked Exits, No More Garment Workers Deaths."
On May 1, approximately 5000 garment workers - mostly young women - marched to support the campaign. NGWF President Amirul Haque Amin, speaking at the rally, said "Since 1990, there have been 33 major garment factory fires in which more than 400 garment workers have been killed. During this same period more than 200 factory fires happened in which more than 5000 workers were injured. In addition, 64 workers were killed in the Spectrum Factory collapse in 2005. One of the reasons for the large number of causalities is the practice of locking factory exits, as well as a lack of health and safety inspections in many of the garment factories. Factory fires, locked exits, and workers deaths must stop."
The NGWF campaign is also demanding a new living wage for all garment workers set at TK.5000/ per month (US$71), the removal of all barriers to trade union formation and trade union activities in the garment sector, equal wages, rights and dignity for women workers, and reforms to Bangladeshi Labour Law.