MAY DAY 2019: STANDING UP FOR WORKER RIGHTS ACROSS THE GLOBE

MAY DAY 2019: STANDING UP FOR WORKER RIGHTS ACROSS THE GLOBE

From Haiti to Ukraine, and in Kenya, Nepal and Palestine, hundreds of thousands of workers and their families celebrated International Workers Day last week, honoring the dignity of work and the accomplishments of the labor movement in defending human rights, job stability, fair wages and safer workplaces. Together, workers and their unions demonstrated their commitment to sustaining and improving worker lives.

Here is a roundup of May Day events by Solidarity Center allies around the globe.

[Above: In Jordan, leaders of the Domestic Workers Network (DWN) rallied in support of migrant domestic and agricultural workers and against gender-based violence at work, the kafala system—in which migrant worker visas are tied to a specific employer—and a new labor law they say is unacceptable.]

Georgia, Solidarity Center, May Day 2019

Georgia, May Day 2019. Credit: GTUC

3,000 union members gathered in front of the government chancellery in Tbilisi, Georgia, requesting that the prime minister sign a social contract between citizens and the government whereby government accepts the responsibility of ensuring social equality and democracy in the country.

Guatemala, Solidarity Center, May Day 2019

Guatemala, May Day 2019. Credit: Maria Elena Sabillon Paz, Solidarity Center

Haiti, May Day 2019, Solidarity Center, GOSTTRA

Haiti, May Day 2019. Credit: Reginald Lafontant, GOSTTRA

Honduras, Solidarity Center, May Day 2019

Honduras, May Day 2019. Credit: Red Contra La Violencia AntiSindical

May Day 2019, Solidarity Center, Myanmar, Burma

May Day 2019, Burma (Myanmar). Credit: .Jamie Davis/Solidarity Center

Kenya, COTU-K, May Day 2019, Solidarity Center

Kenya, COTU-K youth celebrate May Day 2019. Credit: ITUC-Africa

Maldives, May Day 2019, Solidarity Center

Maldives, May Day 2019. Credit: Sonia Mistry, Solidarity Center

Nepal, May Day 2019, Joint Trade Union Coordination Center (JTUCC), Solidarity Center

Nepal, May Day 2019. Credit: Joint Trade Union Coordination Center (JTUCC)

In Kathmandu, approximately 3,500 members from 27 affiliate unions participated in a May Day rally organized by the Nepal Trade Union Congress (NTUC) under the slogan: “Decent work for sustainable development: Strengthen democracy and prosperity.”

Nigeria, May Day 2019, Solidarity Center

Nigeria, May Day 2019. Credit: Craig Phelan, Solidarity Center

Palestine, May Day 2019, Solidarity Center

Palestine, May Day 2019. Credit: Solidarity Center

More than 1,000 union members from cities in the West Bank gathered in Ramallah to rally under the slogan: “Freedom, dignity and social justice .”

Ukraine, May Day 2019, KVPU, Solidarity Center

Ukraine, May Day 2019, KVPU. Credit: KVPU

Solidarity Center, Iraq, Kurdistan, KUWU

Members and supporters of the Kurdistan United Workers Union (KUWU) rally outside Parliament in support of a new labor law. Kurdistan, Iraq, May Day 2019. Credit: Soran Fareeq, Solidarity Center

Members and supporters of the Kurdistan United Workers Union (KUWU) rallied outside Parliament in support of a new labor law.

Kyrgyzstan, May Day 2019, Solidarity Center

Kyrgyzstan, May Day 2019. Credit: Lola Abdukadyrova, Solidarity Center

Hundreds of union members commemorated workers’ solidarity at a May Day marathon and concert organized by the Metallurgy and Mining Workers’ Union of Kyrgyzstan (MMTUK).

 

‘Sometimes I am lucky to get a task for three days’: Etaf Awdi Hamdi Eqdeeh

‘Sometimes I am lucky to get a task for three days’: Etaf Awdi Hamdi Eqdeeh

This Solidarity Center photo essay offers a look into the life of mother and agricultural worker Etaf Awdi Hamdi Eqdeeh, who lives and works in Khuza’a, near Khan Younis, Gaza. The Solidarity Center partners with Palestinian unions as they fight for sustainable jobs and labor law enforcement, and to improve the lives of working people.

(All photos by Abed Zaqout for the Solidarity Center.)

Gaza, Solidarity Center, worker rights, Palestine, farmworker, agricultural worker

Palestine.Part-time ag worker.Etaf Awdi Hamdi Eqdeeh.Portrait.Gaza.Abed Zaqout.12.18

Etaf Awdi Hamdi Eqdeeh, now in her 60s, works in the agricultural sector—which is the main source of income for many families in the area. She must work temporary jobs on area farms to help support her large extended family.

Because she cannot find permanent work, she visits local farms daily to look for any kind of temporary job.

“Sometimes I am lucky to get a task for three days,” she says.

Gaza, Solidarity Center, worker rights, Palestine, farmworker, agricultural worker

Palestine..Part-time ag worker Etaf Awdi Hamdi Eqdeeh weeding.Gaza.Abed Zaqout.12.18

Better work is not available to Etaf because work is scarce in Gaza and it is too difficult, expensive and dangerous to travel further afield. Across Gaza and the West Bank, Israeli checkpoints and road obstructions, as well as frequent road closures, severely restrict freedom of movement, commerce and employment in Palestine.

Gaza, Solidarity Center, worker rights, Palestine, farmworker, agricultural worker

Palestine.Part-time ag worker Etaf Awdi Hamdi Eqdeeh with husband and grandkids.Gaza.Abed Zaqout.12.18

After work, Etaf drinks tea with her husband and some of her grandchildren, at home. Her wages help support her 65-year-old husband, who is unemployed because of a disability, as well as five grandchildren and her own children. Etaf’s six grown children work temporary jobs and cannot earn enough to sustain the extended family, she says.

Gaza, Solidarity Center, worker rights, Palestine, farmworker, agricultural worker

Palestine.Part-time ag worker Etaf Awdi Hamdi Eqdeeh picks tomatoes.Gaza.Abed Zaqout.12.18

Etaf picks tomatoes, which will be sold at a nearby market.

Because her daily wage is not enough to cover the cost of one meal for her large family, she supplements her wages by keeping her own chickens and pigeons.

Gaza, Solidarity Center, worker rights, Palestine, farmworker, agricultural worker

Palestine.Part-time ag worker Etaf Awdi Hamdi Eqdeeh rides to work.Gaza.Abed Zaqout.12.18

Etaf and other women head to work in the fields on an open-bed truck.

Agriculture, which employs nearly half of the world’s workforce is one of the three most hazardous sectors for workers. The precariousness of this work is compounded by informal employment arrangements or agreements with labor brokers, violence and harassment on the job.

Agriculture workers are often denied decent wages and women, despite their predominance in the sector, earn up to 50 percent less than their male co-workers for doing the same job.

Despite the hardships, agricultural workers around the world—cacao harvesters in the Dominican Republic, Moroccan vineyard and olive grove laborers in Meknes and agricultural workers in Gaza—are joining with unions and worker associations to improve their workplaces and win rights on the job.

Gaza, Solidarity Center, worker rights, Palestine, farmworker, agricultural worker

Palestine.Part-time ag worker Etaf Awdi Hamdi Eqdeeh picks vegetables.Gaza.Abed Zaqout.12.18

Through an onsite office supported by the Solidarity Center, Palestinian labor activists provide workers like Etaf with a variety of services, including job counseling; legal referrals for unpaid wages, medical treatment and employer reimbursement for workplace injuries; and education around labor rights. Solidarity Center supported the PGFTU women’s committee’s outreach to women workers in 75 work sites in West Bank in 2018, meeting face-to-face with 1,149 women workers and helping them form 14 worker committees.

 

Gaza, Solidarity Center, worker rights, Palestine, farmworker, agricultural worker

Palestine.Part-time ag worker Etaf Awdi Hamdi Eqdeeh brings tea for husband and grandkids.Abed Zaqout.12.18

“I have been dreaming of a normal decent life like that lived by humans in the rest of the world,” Etaf says.

Make Every Job a Good Job: Workers Achieve Decent Work Together

Make Every Job a Good Job: Workers Achieve Decent Work Together

Around the world, workers, their unions and other associations are striving to promote the rights of working people at their jobs and in their everyday lives.

While every job has value, not all jobs are “good jobs.” Millions of jobs around the world do not offer the social protections or the sense of dignity that allow workers to enjoy the benefits of their own hard work.

The Solidarity Center works with unions and other allies to empower workers around the world to achieve decent work together.


WHAT MAKES A “GOOD JOB”?

In Thailand, Burmese migrant workers and their families learn about their rights on the job through training programs organized by the Human Rights Development Foundation (HRDF), a Solidarity Center ally.

But what are those rights? What makes a job a “good job”?

At the Pae Pla Pier in Mahachai, Thailand, Burmese dockworkers cart barrels of fish. Credit: Solidarity Center/Jeanne Hallacy

GOOD JOBS ARE SAFE

At the Gldani Metro Depot in Tbilisi, Georgia, employees work with dangerous chemicals and face constant danger from high voltage electrical wires. Their union, the Metro Workers’ Trade Union of Georgia (MWTUG), is addressing these safety and health risks with assistance from the Solidarity Center.

Georgia, metro, unions, job safety, decent work, Solidarity Center

At the Gldani Metro Depot in Tbilisi, Georgia, employees like repairman Tamaz Simonishvili work with dangerous chemicals and face constant danger from high voltage electrical wires—safety and health risks his union, Metro Workers’ Trade Union of Georgia, is addressing with the assistance of the Solidarity Center. Credit: Solidarity Center/Lela Mepharishvili

The Solidarity Center also partners with numerous unions and worker associations in Bangladesh to train garment workers in fire safety and other measures to improve their working conditions.

Bangladesh, fire safety, job safety, garment workers, unions, decent work, Solidarity Center

The Solidarity Center partners with numerous unions and worker associations in Bangladesh to train garment workers in fire safety and other measures to improve their working conditions. Credit: Solidarity Center

GOOD JOBS PAY LIVING WAGES

At the Palmas del César palm oil extraction plant in Minas, Colombia, workers are represented by Solidarity Center union ally Sintrapalmas-Monterrey. The union organized subcontracted workers into its bargaining unit, significantly improving their wages, benefits and job conditions.

Colombia, palm oil workers, unions, decent work, Solidarity Center

At the Palmas del César palm oil extraction plant in Minas, Colombia, workers are represented by Solidarity Center union ally Sintrapalmas-Monterrey. The union organized subcontracted workers into its bargaining unit, significantly improving their wages, benefits and job conditions. Credit: Solidarity Center/Carlos Villalon

In Sri Lanka, where jobs are shifting from the industrial to service sector, workers like members of Food, Beverage and Tobacco Industry Employees’ Union (FBTIEU) are forming unions in the hotel and tourism sectors to ensure that the new jobs pay living wages and offer social benefits.

Sri Lanka, tourism, hotels, unions, decent work, Solidarity Center

In Sri Lanka, where jobs are shifting from the industrial to service sector, workers like members of Food Beverage and Tobacco Industry Employees’ Union are forming unions in the hotel and tourism sectors to ensure the new jobs pay living wages and offer social benefits. Credit: Solidarity Center/Pushpa Kumara

GOOD JOBS TAKE CARE OF WORKERS

The National Union of Mine, Metal, Steel and Allied Workers of the Mexican Republic (SNTMMSSRM, known as “Los Mineros”) has won many bargaining pacts that include significant economic benefits and essential safety and health protections for workers.

Mexico, miners, mine workers, unions, decent work, job safety, Solidarity Center

A miner in Mexico’s Baja California Sur, Ruth Rivera also is a shop steward for her union, SNTMMSSRM (Los Mineros), which has won bargaining pacts that include significant economic benefits and essential safety and health protections. Credit: Solidarity Center/Roberto Armocida

Agricultural workers in Rustenburg, South Africa, are members of the Food and Allied Workers Union (FAWU), a Solidarity Center partner, which represents migrant farm workers in Mpumalanga Province and assists them in gaining access to health care and other services.

A FAWU member plants cabbage seedlings on a farm in Rustenburg, South Africa. Credit: Solidarity Center/Jemal Countess

GOOD JOBS GIVE WORKERS A BREAK

Across the Arab Gulf, more than 2.4 million migrant domestic workers often toil 12–20 hour days, six or seven days a week. Domestic workers in Jordan recently formed a worker rights network that advocates for better working conditions and includes migrant workers from Bangladesh, Indonesia, the Philippines and Sri Lanka.

Sri Lankan domestic workers in Jordan defend their rights. Credit: Solidarity Center/Francesca Ricciardone

The Kenya Union of Domestic, Hotel, Educational Institutions, Hospitals and Allied Workers (KUDHEIHA), a Solidarity Center partner, has been at the forefront of championing the rights of domestic workers at the national level and working locally to organize workers into the union and educate them about their rights.

Kenya, unions, domestic workers, decent work, Solidarity Center

The Kenya Union of Domestic, Hotel, Educational Institutions, Hospitals and Allied Workers union, a Solidarity Center partner, has been at the forefront of championing the rights of domestic workers at the national level and working locally to organize workers into the union and educate them about their rights. Credit: Solidarity Center/Kate Holt

GOOD JOBS EMPOWER WOMEN

Dozens of journalists and media professionals have taken part in the Solidarity Center’s ongoing Gender Equity and Physical Safety training in Pakistan, identifying priority gender equality issues at their workplaces and in their unions, and outlining strategies for addressing those issues.

Journalists in Pakistan participate in Solidarity Center-sponsored gender equality workshops. Credit: Solidarity Center/Immad Ashraf

Through her union, the Palestinian General Federation of Trade Unions Workers Union (PGFTU) and the Solidarity Center, kindergarten teacher Khadeja Othman says she has gained new skills in workshops, training courses and hands-on experience.

Khadeja Othman, a Palestinian kindergarten teacher in Ramallah’s Bet Our Al Tahta village. Credit: Solidarity Center/Alaa T. Badarneh

ORGANIZED WORKERS HELP CREATE GOOD JOBS

Workers and their families on the Firestone rubber plantation used their union, the Firestone Agricultural Workers Union of Liberia (FAWUL), to negotiate work quotas that could be met without the need for children to assist their parents. Children also now receive free education as a result of union negotiations.

Liberia, rubber plantation, Firestone, unions, decent work, Solidarity Center

Opa Johnson, a rubber tapper on the Firestone plantation, is a member of the Firestone Agricultural Workers Union of Liberia, which negotiated work quotas that could be met without the need for children to assist their parents. Children also now receive free education as a result of union negotiations. Credit: Solidarity Center/B.E. Diggs

Even self-employed workers have organized to defend their right to decent work. The Zimbabwe Chamber of Informal Economy Associations (ZCIEA), a Solidarity Center partner, trains negotiators in collective bargaining with municipalities to provide adequate space for vendors and other informal workers throughout their cities.

Nyaradzo Tavariwisa makes and sells peanut butter to support her family. Credit: Solidarity Center/Jemal Countess

UNIONS HELP MAKE JOBS BETTER

Working people time and again have proven that when they are free to form and join unions and bargain for better working conditions, they can achieve decent work, improve their lives and benefit their families and communities.

In Peru, two unions, both Solidarity Center allies, represent palm workers on plantations and in processing factories. These unions have helped improve dangerous working conditions, access to healthcare and job stability through collective bargaining and labor inspections.

Peruvian palm oil workers travel across the plantation where they live and work. Credit: Solidarity Center/Oscar Durand

THE SOLIDARITY CENTER HELPS WORKING PEOPLE ATTAIN DECENT WORK

Decent work means employment that provides living wages in workplaces that are safe and healthy. Decent work is about fairness on the job and social protections for workers when they are sick, when they get injured or when they retire.

Young Minds At Work: Educating the Children of Burmese Migrant Workers in Thailand

Young Minds At Work: Educating the Children of Burmese Migrant Workers in Thailand

TIME TO LEARN

The migrant children diploma center opened in 2013 as the first school for children of Burmese migrant workers in the community known as “little Burma” located an hour outside Bangkok in Mahachai, Thailand.

Thousands of children accompany their parents who are among the estimated 200,000 Burmese migrant workers in Mahachai.

The school is supported through donations from private companies, religious organizations, and migrant workers who contribute 60 Thai baht (USD 1.68) a month to pay the salaries of the seven teachers.

More than 200 students attend this elementary school based in a Buddhist temple. For many of them, it is their first experience with formal education.

TIME TO LEARN

TIME TO THINK

TIME TO WRITE

TIME TO SPEAK

TIME TO TEACH

NOW IS NOT THE TIME FOR KIDS TO WORK

When parents are protected at work, kids can go to school.

Domestic Workers Fight for Their Rights in Kenya

Domestic Workers Fight for Their Rights in Kenya

Domestic workers are some of the world’s most vulnerable workers, comprising a significant part of the global workforce in informal employment. Lucy Nyangasi, 26, a domestic worker in Nairobi, is one of some 67 million workers who labor in households around the world, often in isolation and at risk of exploitation and abuse. The Kenya Union of Domestic, Hotel, Educational Institutions, Hospitals and Allied Workers (KUDHEIHA) is attempting to improve the working conditions and wages of domestic workers like Lucy, as well as those who migrate out of the country for work, with the support of the Solidarity Center.

Solidarity Center, Kenya, Domestic Worker

Fighting back against exploitation, during the past year, domestic workers organized by KUDHEIHA joined with allies in hosting a series of public informational forums in the Mombasa area to educate domestic worker migrants about their rights, and rallied in Nairobi for ratification by Parliament of International Labor Organization (ILO) Convention 189, Decent Work for Domestic Workers.

In Mombasa, to educate communities that send domestic workers to the Middle East about migrant worker rights, KUDHEIHA joined with allies in hosting a series of public informational forums throughout the area during the month of August last year. Local migrant worker and anti-human trafficking organizations, TRACE Kenya, Haki Africa and the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights helped support the events. 

Solidarity Center, Kenya, Mombasa, domestic workers, migration, KUDHEIHA

KUDHEIHA joins with local allies in a street mobilization in the Majengo area in Mvita in August 2017, inviting the public to a labor migration forum located at the chief`s office in Majengo. Credit: Solidarity Center

Solidarity Center, Kenya, Mombasa, KUDHEIHA, domestic workers, migration

KUDHEIHA staff hand out information booklets for Kenya`s migrant workers in a market in Majengo, inviting market vendors to a public forum on safe migration. Credit: Solidarity Center

The Safe Migration Forum in the Majengo area of Mvita was opened by the local chief and attended by village elders and local administrators, including the county commissioner, as well as by members of the general public. There they learned from former migrant domestic workers to various Gulf countries that unscrupulous labor brokers in Kenya and elsewhere often will not show migrating workers their contracts until they are at the airport or bus station, and frequently, the contracts are written in Arabic or a language the workers cannot understand. When they arrive at their destination, the contracts and promised salaries may even change.

Solidarity Center, Kenya, Mombasa, domestic workers, migration, GCC

Bakari Mwakifunga, Mikindani constituency chief, opens the Safe Migration Forum, attended by member of the public, village elders and local administrators, including the county commissioner. Credit: Solidarity Center

Mikindani constituency – Bakari Mwakifunga

Solidarity Center, Kenya, Mombasa, domestic workers, migration, GCC, Gulf Countries

A Safe Migration Forum participant shares her experience as a migrant worker in Jordan. Credit: Solidarity Center

In Nairobi, hundreds of domestic workers rallied in front of the Kenya Parliament on February 21, 2018, advocating for legislators to ratify International Labor Organization (ILO) Convention 189, Decent Work for Domestic Workers. The effort is part of a larger campaign to improve wages and working conditions for the country’s domestic workers by (KUDHEIHA) as well as to help build momentum for a global movement for domestic workers. Although the convention went into force in 2013, it has been ratified by only 23 countries. Of these, only two African countries have ratified the convention: South Africa and Mauritius.

Solidarity Center, Kenya, KUDHEIHA, domestic workers, C189,

Kenya.C189 Rally.Banner.SC.2.18

KUDHEIHA’s push for government ratification of Convention 189 this year is an effort to secure additional recognition, rights and standards for Kenyan domestic workers working inside and outside the country. That effort is part of a larger campaign to help build momentum for a global movement for domestic workers as well as improve wages and conditions for the country’s domestic workers by KUDHEIHA. Convention 189 established the first global standards for the more than 50 million domestic workers worldwide, addressing wages, working conditions, benefits, labor brokers and child labor. 

Domestic workers and supporters rally in front of the Kenya Parliament in Nairobi on February 21, 2018, advocating for legislators to ratify International Labor Organization (ILO) Convention 189, Decent Work for Domestic Workers. Credit: Solidarity Center

“It is amazing. It shows [the] power of the domestic workers in Kenya,” said Vicky Kanyoka, Africa regional coordinator for the International Domestic Workers Federation (IDWF). 

IDWF, Domestic Workers,Vicky Kanyoka

Credit: IDWF

On June 16, International Domestic Workers Day, we honor the women who make other people’s lives easier. This day, as every day, the Solidarity Center is committed to helping domestic workers attain safe and healthy workplaces, family-supporting wages, dignity on the job and greater equity at work and in their community. The Solidarity Center works with domestic workers and other organizations that represent them around the world, including in Cambodia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Jordan, Kenya, Liberia, Mexico, South Africa and Sri Lanka.

Invisible Work: Exploitation in the Global Garment Industry

Invisible Work: Exploitation in the Global Garment Industry

Approximately 1 in 5 workers worldwide are employed in global supply chains. Millions of them do not have access to decent work and must endure long hours, low wages and hazardous working conditions.

The majority of people working for the world’s biggest multinational corporations are ‘hidden’ in subcontracted work around the globe. Without global rules governing supply chains, multinational corporations are rarely held accountable for violating worker rights in places around the world.

The Solidarity Center partners with unions and other organizations to educate workers about their rights on the job and to empower them with the tools they need to improve their workplaces together.

Learn more about the Solidarity Center’s work in the global garment industry

IN THE NAME OF FASHION

The global garment industry that produces the world’s clothes employs as many as 75 million workers. Garment workers’ earnings usually fall well below the living wage for the urban areas where their factories are located.
Bangladesh, unions, garment workers, human rights, Solidarity Center

Garment workers in Gazipur, Bangladesh. Credit: Solidarity Center

DISASTER STRIKES TAZREEN

Poverty isn’t the only problem for garment workers. Hazardous working conditions and poor safety measures put the lives of millions of garment workers around the world at risk for the sake of fashion.

On November 24, 2012, a massive fire tore through the Tazreen Fashions Ltd. factory in Dhaka, Bangladesh, killing more than 100 garment workers and gravely injuring thousands more.

Bangladesh, Solidarity Center, Tazreen, fire safety, garment worker

Anju, a Tazreen factory fire survivor, suffered severe injuries but never received compensation. Credit: Solidarity Center/Mushfique Wadud

Just five months later, more than 1,000 garment workers were killed and more than 2,500 were injured when the Rana Plaza garment factory building collapsed outside of Dhaka.

A structural engineer had already declared the building structurally unsafe and had demanded it be closed, but workers were told to show up anyways or else risk losing their jobs.

The site of the Rana Plaza building two years after it collapsed. Credit: Solidarity Center

While the Tazreen fire and the Rana Plaza collapse were catastrophic, they are not isolated incidents.

In the four years following Tazreen, fires, building collapses and other tragedies have killed or injured more than 4,800 garment workers in Bangladesh, according to data collected by the Solidarity Center.

A young woman protests garment worker deaths in Bangladesh. Credit: Solidarity Center/Sifat Sharmin Amita

WORKERS DEMAND CHANGE

In the wake of these disasters, garment workers throughout Bangladesh are standing up for their rights to safe workplaces and living wages. Workers have staged rallies to demand that multinational corporations respect their human rights.

Tens of thousands of workers rallied on the one-year anniversary of the Rana Plaza disaster. Photo: Solidarity Center/Sifat Sharmin Amita

Workers and loved ones protest in Bangladesh at the Rana Plaza five-year anniversary rally. Credit: Solidarity Center/Musfiq Tajwar

The invisibility of garment workers and their struggles makes it difficult for them to hold big clothing brands accountable.</p> <p>The subcontracting process in global supply chains obscures human rights abuses and distances workers from the multinational corporations for whom they produce.

Credit: Solidarity Center/Rakibul Hasan

WORKERS STAND TOGETHER

Worker disenfranchisement also isolates individual workers and makes it harder for them to stand up for their rights. Garment workers who try to speak out about unsafe working conditions often fear retaliation from their employers, including violence, threats or even being fired.

Unions have helped to change that.

The Solidarity Center partners with numerous unions and worker associations in Bangladesh. Credit: Solidarity Center

UNIONS SAVING LIVES

Worker voices have yielded real results. The 2013 Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh provides legally binding means for unions to hold multinational clothing brands accountable for protecting the lives and rights of workers in their supply chains.

Union leaders participate in the Solidarity Center’s 10-week fire safety certification course. Credit: Solidarity Center

Union leaders participate in the Solidarity Center’s 10-week fire safety certification course. Credit: Solidarity Center

The Solidarity Center also provides training for workers, union leaders and factory managers to learn about fire and building safety codes, practice emergency response procedures and gain hands-on experience using fire extinguishers and other tools for saving lives.

Garment workers learn fire safety and other measures to improve their working conditions. Credit: Solidarity Center

INVISIBLE NO LONGER

As workers strengthen their collective voice in their workplaces and beyond, their hard work, their lives and their humanity become visible once more.

Bipasha, Quality Inspector (bottom left). Rina, Operator (bottom right) . Ratan, Tailor (top right). Credit: Solidarity Center

Mahfuza, Assistant Operator (top right). Sharifa, General Operator (bottom right). Credit: Solidarity Center

To learn more about garment workers in global supply chains and how the Solidarity Center supports them, visit solidaritycenter.org.

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