Bangladesh is demonstrating its strong ties and deepening friendship with Canada with a visit this week from Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. But, as those ties grow stronger, it's time for Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper to raise growing international concerns about the country's harsh treatment of labour and human rights advocates, and the dangerous and unacceptable working conditions that plague the country's garment industry.
On March 8, International Women's Day, we at the Maquila Solidarity Network (MSN) would like to extend our solidarity greetings to all the women and men who have contributed their passion, vision, and hard work to the struggle for women workers' rights over the past year.
We're pleased to announce that Kalpona Akter, Babul Akhter, and Aminul Islam of the Bangladesh Center for Worker Solidarity (BCWS) have all been released on bail following over a month in prison. Upon their release, the BCWS leaders expressed a "heartfelt thanks" to all who have supported them. MSN would especially like to thank all the members of our network who have taken action to condemn the attacks against this highly-respected Bangladeshi worker rights organization.
April 11 marks the fifth anniversary of the collapse of the Spectrum/Shahriyar Sweater factory in Bangladesh, which killed 64 workers and focused global attention on the chronic safety problems in the Bangladesh garment industry. Five years later, the February 25, 2010 fire at the Garib & Garib Sweater Ltd. factory, which took the lives of 21 workers, is a brutal reminder that more effective and proactive action is needed to ensure that garment workers in Bangladesh can go to work without fearing for their lives.
The Magnitude Seven earthquake that struck Haiti on January 12 left the island nation in tatters with tens of thousands feared dead and hundreds of thousands left homeless. The quake completely destroyed the already fragile infrastructure in and around the country’s most populous city of Port-au-Prince leaving most without access to essential services such as water, hospitals and sanitation...
In the run-up to the February Vancouver Winter Olympic Games, an international coalition of worker rights organizations is releasing its rating of commitments made by major sportswear brands to eliminate sweatshop abuses in their global supply chains. The ratings are being released on the newly launched Clearing the Hurdles website.
Mounting evidence suggests that fraud was committed in the November 29 Honduran national elections, but the fraud wasn't against the minority who voted; it was against the majority who abstained. Though we may never know the truth about how many Hondurans stayed home on November 29 to protest the coup, what we do know is that fewer than 50% of the population voted.
The Rizal Provincial Prosecutor has dismissed murder charges against Filipino labour lawyer Remigio Saladero and sixty other individuals due to lack of probable cause. The defendants, all affiliated with progressive groups, had been charged in connection with the killing of Ricardo Garmino, a member of a paramilitary group in Rizal province.
We received the sad news yesterday of the sudden, unexpected death of Neil Kearney, General Secretary of the International Textile, Garment and Leather Workers Federation (ITGLWF). Neil died in his sleep of a massive heart attack early Thursday morning November 19 in Dhaka, Bangladesh. Neil was 59.
An unprecedented agreement has been struck between Russell Athletic and the union representing 1,200 unjustly laid off workers at its former Jerzees de Honduras (JDH) factory. The company has agreed to open a new facility in the area, re-hire and provide substantial economic assistance to the former JDH workers, institute a joint union-management training program on freedom of association and commit to a position of neutrality with respect to unionization, which will open the door for union representation at all Fruit of the Loom facilities in Hondura.