“Workers need to feel safe in joining a union and management needs to understand that unions can play a constructive role in worker safety as well as factory production.” Among efforts to empower workers and help improve workplaces: “The AFL-CIO’s Solidarity Center is training union organizers and the International Labor Organization has established a program to help develop durable institutions to protect workers' rights.”
The Nation, “No Justice for the Dead in Bangladesh,” October 26, 2013
And according to figures compiled by the Solidarity Center, a nonprofit organization affiliated with the AFL-CIO, an average of two to three fires were occurring per week, some of them deadly.
USA Today, “On Rana Plaza Anniversary, College Students Take Action,” October 25, 2013
The Rana Plaza collapse, for example, happened because additional floors were illegally built on top of the existing structure, says Timothy Ryan, Asia regional director for the Solidarity Center, an international NGO affiliated with the AFL-CIO.
Globe and Mail (Toronto), “Six Months after Rana Plaza, Canadian Brands Still Behind the Curve on Safety" (opinion), October 29, 2013
Subscription only. Copy available upon request.
“Workers’ vulnerability is exacerbated in developing countries like Cambodia and Bangladesh that have become completely dependent on the garment industry for economic survival and, therefore, have little resources or incentive to inspect factories, ensure legal compliance or pay a living wage,” said Solidarity Center Cambodia Country Director David Welsh.
Global Post, “In Kenya, New Constitution Becomes a Tool for Workers,” October 28, 2013
“As workers across Kenya look to benefit from their progressive constitution, Mombasa’s public sector may serve as a model for what the new standards can accomplish. ‘Mombasa is a special case. Because of the port, there’s a lot of employment in the public sector,’ said Hanad Mohamud, East Africa director for Solidarity Center, the labor rights non-profit. ‘It’s not just the port, it’s [also] a major tourist center … that makes Mombasa county better off than other counties would be’.”
International Business Times, "After Tazreen and Rana Plaza, Bangladesh Has a Golden Chance to Destroy Its Factory Death Traps," October 23, 2013
In today’s op-ed, Tim Ryan, Solidarity Center Asia regional program director, says Bangladesh has “an opportunity to create a new business paradigm that respects and protects workers… It is the country's and the industry's next best chance to do the right thing. If they do not, history shows that it will be Bangladeshi garment workers who pay the price.”
Toronto Star, “Clothes on Your Back: Inside Cambodia's Garment Industry” (+video), October 20, 2013
David Welsh is the Cambodia country director for the Solidarity Center …. “What they’re saying, in other words, is if you force us to comply with the labor law, or international labor standards, we’ll pull out of the country, is how I take that.
”Toronto Star, “In One Cambodian Factory, a Strike Gets Ugly,” October 19, 2013
David Welsh, the Cambodia country director for the Washington-based Solidarity Center, says that beyond pay scales, there are creative ways to help lift the garment workers to a living wage. “If all factories were to create a nutrition program, it would take inflationary pressures off the food,” he says. “That would be the equivalent in real terms of a 60- to 70-percent raise.”
Toronto Star, “Why Sweatshop Owners May Start Sweating,” October 15, 2013
“’The factory owners hate unions,’ said Alonzo Suson, the country director for The Solidarity Center, a Dhaka-based nonprofit that gives legal advice to workers. ‘They say these workers are ignorant villagers, country bumpkins.””
Wall Street Journal, “Cambodian Garment Factories Come Under Scrutiny,” September 22, 2013
David Welsh, Solidarity Center Cambodia program director, said that if stakeholders in Cambodia do not “get on board with the new Better Factories proposal, ‘it's a de facto admission that they either can't or won't monitor what's going on in their factories and an admission that presumably, they suspect what's going on doesn't meet international labor standards’."
Wall Street Journal, “Bangladesh Workers Face Fight to Form Unions,” September 11, 2013
"’What happened at the Sadia factory is a clear example of the hostile reception unions are getting in some factories,’ said Rukshana Yasmin, program officer at Solidarity Center, a nongovernmental organization affiliated with the AFL-CIO. ‘The law says the right to organize cannot be denied. But the reality is very different.’"
UPI, “Buyers Tested on Worker Conditions in Asia,” September 3, 2013
After two workers died at a footwear factory in Cambodia in May—an event that followed a building collapse in Bangladesh that killed more than 1,100 workers—the media has been increasing its attention on issues of worker conditions, which has put pressure on Western importers, said David Welsh, director of the Solidarity Center ... in advance of a semi-annual buyers convention in Phnom Penh. "Generally, Western media paying attention to working conditions puts the pressure on them," said Welsh, who also said, "unlike other years, there are more people watching."
New York Times, "Bangladesh's Workers Deserve Better" (editorial), August 18, 2013
The Bangladeshi government has promised to compensate Rana Plaza survivors and victims' families but, four months since the building collapsed, it "has yet to distribute most of that money. It has provided sums ranging from $1,250 to $5,000 to about 777 families, far short of the total compensation it had promised, according to the Solidarity Center, a Washington-based group that helps workers around the world form unions.”
America's Work Force Radio/Labor Radio, "Working Conditions in Bangladesh" (minute 15:20), July 31, 2013
Tim Ryan, Solidarity Center Asia regional program director, discusses worker rights, the fire and building safety accord, and opportunities for workers to form and join unions.
South China Morning Post, “Cambodian Textile Workers Hang Thread under Chinese Bosses,” July 27, 2013
700-plus workers at the Pine Great Factory in Phnom Penh, Cambodia are demanding that the Ministry of Social Affairs pay them owed wages after their factory’s owner shut down the factory and returned to China. Workers across the country are demanding an increase in the minimum wage, improved working conditions, and an end to short-term contracts that allow employers to let go of workers without providing severance pay. “‘There are two main issues in Cambodia now: labor rights and land rights,’ said David Welsh, the Cambodia country director for the Solidarity Center.”
GlobalPost (U.S.), “Will Bangladesh's New Labor Law Prevent another Rana Plaza?” July 16, 2013
Amendments to Bangladesh’s Labor Act, which were passed under intense domestic and international pressure, are widely criticized. One amendment exempts fully export-oriented factories from the mandate that 5 percent of net profits go toward a workers’ welfare fund, other proposed changes would increase governmental restrictions on unions' access to foreign funding.
"‘Although union members no longer have to be vetted by owners, the directorate of labor still has wide discretionary powers,’ Abul Kalam Muhammad Nasim, senior legal counsel at [the Solidarity Center] in Dhaka, told the Wall Street Journal. ‘In practice, that means owners may be able to block unions’."
Wall Street Journal, “Bangladesh Passes New Labor Law. Workers Granted More Leeway to Form Trade Unions,” July 15, 2013
The Bangladeshi government passed a law allowing workers to form unions without the approval of factory owners. Some labor groups say the law leaves room for owners and authorities to discourage union formation.
"‘Although union members no longer have to be vetted by owners, the directorate of labor still has wide discretionary powers,’ said Abul Kalam Muhammad Nasim, senior legal counsel at the [Solidarity Center] in Dhaka. ‘In practice, that means owners may be able to block unions’.”
Article available upon request.
International Business Times, “Cambodia's Garment Industry Exported $1.56 Billion in First Half of the Year, A 32% Year-On-Year Growth,” July 9, 2013
Last year, Cambodia exported $1.56 billion worth of garments and textiles, a 32 percent year-on-year growth. However, there are growing concerns over the country’s working conditions, as two factory collapses in May killed two workers and injured 31. “‘The government and (the Garment Manufacturers Association in Cambodia) argued that if wages increase, manufacturers will flee, but they are pouring in at the moment,’ said David Welsh, the director of the U.S.-based Solidarity Center in Cambodia, adding that the raise itself is still less than a living wage for garment workers.”
Wall Street Journal, “UN Hoping to Expand Fair Labor Program to Bangladesh,” July 6, 2013
“Following the example of Cambodia and several other countries, Better Work — a program run by the International Labor Organization and the International Finance Corporation — could start operations in Bangladesh If the Bangladesh government reforms its labor laws to increase worker participation in trade unions. Solidarity Center program director in Bangladesh, Alonzo Suson, said unions ‘have long had a weak presence in Bangladesh. There are about 37 factory-level unions representing some 5,400 garment factories in the country.’ Recently, Better Work-Cambodia has focused on improving the transparency of its reporting on factory conditions. ‘But that won’t be easy given the program is a voluntary one,’ said Solidarity Center program director in Cambodia, David Welsh.”
Wall Street Journal, “Asics Tightens Oversight in Cambodia,” July 7, 2013
“Japanese sneaker company Asics Corp. said it is overhauling its oversight of suppliers in Cambodia and has developed a plan to compensate families of two workers who died in a recent accident at one of its factories there... David Welsh, who was involved in the negotiations, said that ‘each family would receive more than double what the factory initially offered to pay in total’.”
Article available upon request.
Daily Star (Bangladesh), “Existing Labor Law Better than the Proposed Draft,” July 5, 2013
“The proposed amendment to the labor law, which is expected to be finalized this month, still have some provisions that go against the garment workers’ interests, experts said yesterday. ‘In some areas, the existing law is better than the draft proposal,’” said AKM Nasim, Solidarity Center senior legal counselor.
Phnom Penh Post (Cambodia), “Map Connects Factories and Buyers,” July 1, 2013
The Cambodian Center for Human Rights (CCHR) has released a “Garment Factory Map” that indicates 559 factory locations, the nationality of owners, number of employees and, where information is available, the international brands that the local producers supply. Dave Welsh, Solidarity Center country program director in Cambodia, said “providing transparency on the contracting level is really the key.”
Huffington Post, "Aminul Islam, Murdered Bangladeshi Labor Activist, Still Without Justice 14 Months after Death," June 22, 2013
More than a year after Islam, a union organizer, was kidnapped for a third time—then mutilated and killed—the Bangladeshi government has named a suspect and announced a reward for conviction. The pronouncement comes as the government faces criticism over dangerous and inhumane working conditions in the world's third-largest garment manufacturing sector. Akm Nasim, Islam's lawyer and an attorney with the Solidarity Center in Bangladesh, said he had a detailed conversation with his client immediately after one of the kidnappings. “It is beyond doubt that a National Security Intelligence officer was involved in the kidnapping," Nasim said in an interview. The findings, if any, of the government’s investigation into Islam's murder have not been made public.
Phnom Penh Post (Cambodia), "NagaWorld Strikers Fired en Masse," June 24, 2013
Nagaworld casino fired more than 400 striking workers, targeting workers identified by name in an internal management memo leaked to the media. David Welsh, Solidarity Center Cambodia country director, said NagaWorld did not have grounds to sack the workers and had used such internal memos to threaten strikers in the past. “They would have to be fired for cause – and there was no cause,” he said. “If they’re using the reason that the strike was illegal, it wasn’t illegal. There was notice given.”
Australian/AAP, "Nike Seeks Probe on Cambodia Factory Raid," June 22, 2013
The U.S. sportswear multinational Nike Inc. has called for an inquiry by Cambodia into a police crackdown on workers at one of its suppliers, during which a pregnant women miscarried and other people were injured… "Violence by security forces is an important issue. The right to strike is part of the Cambodian constitution," said David Welsh.
All Africa/Leadership (Nigeria), "Nigeria: Casualization—Danger to Regular Employment," June 16, 2013
“A report by the U.S. Solidarity Center detailed the Nigerian oil industry's shift from permanent, direct employment towards outsourced and temporary labor. The report argues that the casualization of labor is industry-wide and is a clear attempt to reduce the cost of doing business while simultaneously breaking workers' strength.”
El Pais (Spain), "Los Escombros de la Tragedia (The Rubble of Tragedy)," June 14, 2013
The collapse of Rana Plaza in Bangladesh and its aftermath are examined, with quotes from the Solidarity Center’s Alonzo Suson and Roxana Yasmin, and Solidarity Center statistics cited. (In Spanish).
El Pais (Spain), "La Tragedia del Rana Plaza (The Tragedy of Rana Plaza)," June 14, 2013
Graphic of the Rana Plaza layout, including number of workers and with a gender breakdown. Information provided by the Solidarity Center.
Global March against Child Labor (press release), "Child Domestic Labor—A Modern Form of Feudalism," June 11, 2013
“Ratifying ILO Convention 189 and putting into place laws to enforce it should be at the top of national agendas. Child domestic workers don't have just their childhood robbed from them, but their futures as well,” said Tim Ryan, Solidarity Center Asia regional program director and Global March board member.
Phnom Penh Post (Cambodia), "Corruption Worse than in Bangladesh: NGO," June 12, 2013
Transparency International (TI) said in a country where corruption is as rife as it is in Cambodia, global brands must work with governments to ensure garment factories are safe and working conditions legal. Dave Welsh, Solidarity Center country program director in Cambodia said that brands, factories and the government needed to respond better to issues raised by Better Factories Cambodia.
NBC/Reuters and Chicago Tribune/Reuters, "Not just Bangladesh, Garment Makers Pressured in Cambodia as Well," June 5, 2013
"If the brands are not pressuring factories to improve, they are not going to improve because everybody is out to make as much money in the industry as they possibly can," said David Welsh, Solidarity Center Cambodia country director.
Phnom Penh Post (Cambodia), "Wing Star Widow in Limbo (Cambodia) June 3, 2013
The widow of the man crushed to death last month at the Wing Star Shoes factory, a supplier to Asics, will likely be denied compensation from the National Social Security Fund (NSSF) because she cannot provide an official marriage certificate. “The marriage certificate thing is a real issue, as they’re not issued in a widespread (way),” said David Welsh.
MAATI TV, "Solidarity Center: Promoting Workers Rights in Pakistan," June 2, 2013
The Solidarity Center, in collaboration with the Interactive Resource Center, conducted a training workshop in Islamabad to help workers and trade unionists identify and resolve problems and to access social media.
|Central America: Can Unity and Good Governance Work?” (opinion) l May 31, 2013
Nation (Thailand) l “Guatemala remains one of the most dangerous countries in the world for trade unionists. Six died last year, according to the Washington-based Solidarity Center, including one shot while carrying his son in his arms.”
|Cambodia Advised to Mend Its Textile Industry l May 30, 2013
Deutsche Welle l Solidarity Center Cambodia director, David Welsh, said if “the government's findings aren't being enforced by the owners of the factories, then those owners should not be allowed to operate."
|Global retailers Reject Bangladesh Factory Safety Plan l May 26, 2013
Oregon Live / AP l In the five months since last year's deadly blaze at Tazreen Fashions Ltd., there were 41 other "fire incidents" in Bangladesh factories — ranging from a deadly blaze to smaller fires or sparks that caused employees to panic, according to [the Solidarity Center.]
|H&M Apparel Linked to Collapsed Factory in Cambodia l May 22, 2013
Marketplace/Just Style l “Although Cambodian garment factories have been hailed as providing safer working conditions than those in Bangladesh, that does not constitute a safe industry,” says David Welsh Cambodia country program director at Solidarity Center.”
|H&M: Clothing Made in Accident-Hit Cambodia Factory l May 21, 2013
Wall Street Journal l “David Welsh, Cambodia country director for Solidarity Center, a nongovernmental organization affiliated with the AFL-CIO, questioned whether H&M should have known where its orders were going.” Subscription only.
|Factory's Walkway Collapses, 23 Injured l May 21, 2013
UPI l “Dave Welsh, [Solidarity Center country program director in Cambodia] called for widespread reform of factory safety. ‘I'm not sure we need any more indications that there must be dramatic improvements,’ he said. A recent ILO report indicated that a quarter of garment and footwear factories surveyed were found to have industrial hazards, Welsh said.”
|A Tale of Two Factory Disasters: What Cambodia Can Teach Bangladesh l May 20, 2013
Time l Since the [Better Factories] monitoring program debuted in Cambodia in 2001, various versions of it have been implemented across the globe, and at the end of last year there were talks regarding its introduction into Bangladesh. That proposal has now taken on a sense of urgency. There are questions, however, about the extent to which Better Factories has been a model program… Today, says David Welsh, the Cambodian representative of the [Solidarity Center], an advocacy group, more than 80% of [Cambodian] garment workers are employed through short-term contracts, usually lasting less than a year, which allow factories ‘to fire workers at the drop of a hat’ by not renewing their contract.”
|Cambodia Factory Collapse: How Did Inspectors Miss It? l May 18, 2013
Alaska Dispatch/Global Post l “Global retail giants—such as H&M, Gap, Puma and Wal-Mart—have flocked to Cambodia as a cheap labor alternative. Experts even have exalted Cambodia as something of a ‘model’—at least in comparison with Bangladesh… To become a ‘model industry,’ [David Welsh, Solidarity Center country program director in Cambodia] recommends that the Cambodian government impose an appropriate living wage, enact a trade union law to protect union activists, and abolish the excessive use of short-term contracts—which union leaders believe creates job insecurity for workers.”
|After Factory Collapse, Questions Mount over ILO Monitoring” (Cambodia) l May 17, 2103
Cambodia Daily l “Of the 45 footwear factories currently exporting shoes from Cambodia, only nine are being monitored by Better Factories… [and] participation in the program is voluntary… David Welsh, country director of the Solidarity Center, a U.S.-based workers’ rights organization, said that ILO was trapped as full transparency regarding the conditions inside garment and shoe factories could mean many factories would simply opt not to participate in the program.”
|Cambodian Factory Deaths Shine Spotlight on Conditions l May 16, 2013
Deutsche Welle l “[David Welsh, Solidarity Center country program, director] said the casualties could have been far higher: ‘This is huge factory by Cambodian standards with 7,000 workers, but the collapse happened in a corner section’… Welsh said the deaths and injuries at Wing Star were symptomatic of wider problems.”
|Ceiling Collapse at Cambodian Factory Shows Extent of Safety Issues l May 16, 2013
Globe and Mail (Canada) l “Comparing safety conditions in garment factories in Bangladesh and Cambodia, David Welsh, [Solidarity Center country program director in Cambodia], says: “The industry [in Bangladesh] is 10 times bigger, but in both places it’s an industry that preys on extremely low wages and the ability to cut corners.”
|Cambodia Shoe Factory Collapse Kills Two” (video) l May 16, 2013
AFP l “Soundbite: Dave Welsh [Solidarity Center country program director in Cambodia]: "If you've seen recent ILO report findings for this quarter, there are serious deficiencies in fire safety still, in terms of factories being closed when they shouldn't be, workers being locked into factories. We don't know the circumstances here, but obviously there's vast improvement that needs to be made.”
|What Brands, Workers, Governments and We Must Do in the Wake of the Tragedies in Bangladesh l May 8, 2013
Fashionista l Says the Solidarity Center’s Alonzo Suson, “I don’t think you can change the employers’ position on organizing, unless brands say unionized labor is required to do business. That would trigger something…. Of the 4,000+ garment factories, there are only 30 factory level unions, 20 of which formed in the last six months after the Tazreen factory fire. Workers were organizing, but the government refused to recognize them and register the unions. Without unions, it’s hard, if not impossible, for workers to raise issues.”
|Bangladesh Building Collapse Kills More than 500 l May 6, 2013
Voice of America (China) l Alonzo Suson, Solidarity Center country program director in Bangladesh, said a 16-year-old worker told the Solidarity Center that, on the day of the collapse, she was threatened with losing a week's pay if she failed to enter the factory. She survived, but doctors had to amputate her arm. “Suson says clothing workers cannot refuse to work in unsafe conditions... (O)nly 25 to 30 factories have labor unions, and most were organized in the past six months.”
|Why Big Fashion Labels Shouldn’t Pull out of Bangladesh l May 3, 2013
Time l "It’s the responsibility of the government to protect its citizens. It’s not the brands’ responsibility to do that,” says Alonzo Suson, the Bangladesh country director for the Solidarity Center, a labor-rights organization. Suson agrees that private companies should make sure their local partners are compliant with safety standards. “But it’s not correct to say everything is the brands’ problem.”
|Retailers Face New Calls for Change Following Factory Collapse l April 30, 2013
UPI l “Companies are looking for the cheapest possible places to produce their goods, and they’re not asking, why are these places so inexpensive?” said Solidarity Center Executive Director Shawna Bader-Blau.
|The High Price of Cheap Clothing" (podcast) l April 30, 2013
To the Point/KCRW l Solidarity Center Asia Regional Director Tim Ryan discusses working conditions in Bangladesh, the recent building collapse and what can be done to protect workers in the garment sector.
|Big Brands Rejected Bangladesh Factory Safety Plan l April 27, 2013
Loredo Sun/AP l “After a factory fire killed 112 garment workers in November, clothing brands and retailers continued to reject a union-sponsored proposal to improve safety throughout Bangladesh's $20 billion garment industry… The Solidarity Center, the non-profit group affiliated with the AFL-CIO, said its staff in Bangladesh compiled the list of 41 ‘fire incidents’ from local media and counted any incident that caused injury or evacuation as an indication of compromised safety.”
|Big Brands Rejected Bangladesh Factory Safety Plan l April 26, 2013
Bloomberg Businessweek l “In the five months since last year's deadly blaze at Tazreen Fashions Ltd., there were 40 other fires in Bangladeshi factories, killing nine workers and injuring more than 660,” according to the Solidarity Center.
|Savar Tragedy Triggers Outcry Worldwide l April 26, 2013
Financial Express (Bangladesh) l Solidarity Center Asia Department's Director Timothy Ryan “told the Business Insider that the unsafe factory conditions in Bangladesh stem from an 'institutional failure of the government. This happens all the time’.”
|Poor Countries Can Keep Workers Safe and Still Escape Poverty l April 25, 2013
Washington Post l In Cambodia, the Solidarity Center provided advice and technical assistance to indigenous unions forming in Cambodia.
|In Bangladesh, a Frantic Search for Survivors after a Factory Collapse l April 24, 2013
Atlantic Cities l Repeats Alonzo Suson’s quote from the New York Times.
|Latest Bangladesh Garment Factory Disaster Kills over 100 l April 24, 2013
Fahionista l Repeats Alonzo Suson’s quote from the New York Times.
|Building Collapse in Bangladesh Leaves Scores Dead l April 24, 2013
New York Times l “An eight-story building in Bangladesh that housed several garment factories collapsed on Wednesday morning, killing at least 70 people, injuring hundreds of others, and leaving an unknown number of people trapped in the rubble.” Alonzo Suson, Solidarity Center country director, “said Wednesday’s accident illustrated the repeated failure of government inspectors to ensure that safety standards were met.”
|In the Wake of a Deadly Fire, Garment Workers Push for Stronger Protection l April 24, 2013
The Atlantic l According to the Solidarity Center, “as of mid-April at least 41 (fire incidents) have taken place in Bangladesh since the blaze at Tazreen, a facility in the capital...”
|Bangladesh Factory Disasters Will Become 'More and More' Common l April 24, 2013
Business Insider l Timothy Ryan, Asia regional director for the Solidarity Center, said “that the unsafe factory conditions in Bangladesh stem from an ‘institutional failure of the government” to regulate factories. “Workers noticed cracks in the building on Tuesday but were forced to show up for work on Wednesday anyway. ‘There's a level of callousness and greed in this context,’ Ryan said.”
|Global Brands Come Under Fire as another Factory Disaster Claims Nearly 100 in Bangladesh l April 24, 2013
Brand Channel l The Solidarity Center, in a statement, said: “Another four garment factories in Bangladesh became death traps today… The organization is calling on the Bangladesh government to enforce its labor and building codes, on brands that source from the country to prioritize health and safety conditions in factories, and on both to respect the rights of workers and to recognize that the only way Bangladesh will have safe factories is if workers have a voice on the job.”
|'Historic’ Deal for Workers | March 4, 2013 (Cambodia)
Phnom Penh Post | The deal will result in about $200,000 in wages and benefits being paid to workers who were stranded when the garment factory in Phnom Penh closed unannounced in December. “It’s an enormous moment in Cambodia’s labor history, brands sitting down with the poorest workers,” said Dave Welsh, Solidarity Center country director.
|Wal-Mart and H&M Suppliers Pay Workers at Closed Cambodia Plant | March 2, 2013
Bloomberg Businessweek | “Following a two-day hunger strike, suppliers to Wal-Mart and Hennes & Mauritz agreed to pay about $145,000 in back wages and severance to about 160 workers at a Cambodian factory that closed in November...” The agreement was reached at a meeting in Phnom Penh that included representatives from the brands and their suppliers, according to David Welsh, country director in Cambodia of Solidarity Center.
|A Flurry of Fires in Bangladesh Raise Concerns over Garment-Worker Safety | March 1, 2013
Washington Post | According to the Solidarity Center in Dhaka, “The Smart Exports blaze was only one among 39 that have taken place in the three months since the Tazreen fire.”
|No Rest for Weary Massage Workers | February 22, 2013 (Cambodia)
IPS | “Formal employment is hard to come by and many workers find themselves drifting in the murky waters of the ‘informal’ market, where wages are unregulated and labor laws are seldom honored… ‘ [T]he field ‘is largely unregulated,’ according to David Welsh of the Solidarity Center, a non-governmental organization that advocates for workers’ rights.’”
|Association Hailed on Gender Programs | February 22, 2013 (Nigeria)
Nation (Nigeria) | “Stakeholders have praised the leadership of the National Association of Nigerian Nurses and Midwives (NANNM) for its determination to encourage female members’ active participation in leadership activities… Through Solidarity Center support between 2009 and 2012, the union conducted [a] series of gender and leadership trainings for members and eventually developed its gender policy document in 2010.”
|Shrimp Firms Working to Beef up Compliance Before GSP Hearing | February 20, 2013
Daily Star (Bangladesh) | “A tripartite body has been formed to make an action plan… Bangladesh Frozen Food Exporters Association (BFFEA), Bangladesh Shrimp and Fish Foundation (BSFF) and ([the Solidarity Center) chalked out an agreement last month to achieve desired standards at shrimp processing plants as per the ILO Core Labor Standard and Bangladesh Labor Act 2006.”
|Report Says Factory Initiative a Failure | February 19, 2013 (Cambodia)
Phnom Penh Post, (Cambodia) | Dave Welsh, Solidarity Center country director said, “it was crucial that BFC (Better Factories, Cambodia) be able to enforce its findings by issuing a penalty or punishment—or at least by publicly naming a factory violating the law… Welsh said the BFC model was planned for Bangladesh, where the number of factories is 'tenfold' and problems, including assassinations, were rife.”
|Thousands of Workers Take to Picket Lines | February 13, 2013 (Cambodia)
Phnom Penh Post (Cambodia) | Yesterday, on the anniversary of the shooting of three garment workers at the Manhattan Special Economic Zone, some 5,000 workers went on strike. Simultaneously, about 7,000 workers blocked the road outside a shuttered garment factory to demand unpaid wages. Dave Welsh, Solidarity Center country program director in Cambodia, said ”…the government needed to provide a framework in which to discuss a national minimum wage and regular pay rises.”
|Human Trafficking: A Big Business Built on Forced Labor | February 1, 2013 (op-ed)
Huffington Post | “Trafficking in persons has become a big business. Globally, it's a $32 billion industry involving 161 countries… Some 78 percent of forced labor is based on state or privately imposed exploitation, not forced sexual exploitation," writes Neha Misra, Solidarity Center Migration and Human Trafficking specialist.
|The Plight of Cambodia’s Garment Workers | February 1, 2013
Asian Correspondent | Dave Welsh, Solidarity Center program director in Cambodia, told the Voice of Democracy in August that, “it really is the brands putting the squeeze around the world on the industry. But the industry doesn’t mind, because the people who suffer are not the owners, the people who suffer are the workers.”
|GSP Hinges on Government’s Detailed Work Plan | January 30, 2013 (Bangladesh)
Priyo (Bangladesh) | “The continuation of duty-free export under U.S.'s GSP scheme depends on the Bangladeshi government and industry owners, [Alonzo Suson, Solidarity Center Bangladesh country program director] said yesterday. … ‘All they have to do is come up with a binding and comprehensive work plan that has evidence of immediate and substantial implementation,’ Suson said. … amid mounting concerns over the extension of the generalized system of preferences by the U.S., after the U.S. Trade Representative sought a report from the government about the progress in labor standards and compliance in factories.”