Safety & Health

Worker Rights Experts Field COVID-19 Queries in Ukraine

In Ukraine, as workers face employer efforts to shortchange their pay, lay them off or take other adverse actions during the COVID-19 crisis, many are turning to Labor Initiatives, a Solidarity Center-supported Ukrainian NGO that provides legal assistance to workers. Teleworking from home under Ukraine’s COVID-19 quarantine, the six-member staff, along with eight legal student… [READ MORE]

COVID-19: Unions Mobilize Across Middle East/N. Africa

Across the Middle East and North Africa, unions and worker associations are mobilizing to educate workers about their rights during the COVID-19 crisis, provide them with resources to protect themselves and their families, and push for fair treatment at the workplace. The Kuwait Trade Union Federation (KTUF) convened a meeting in recent days with leaders… [READ MORE]

Bangladesh Garment Workers: New Blocks to Form Unions

In Bangladesh, garment workers often seek to form unions and worker associations to better protect against wage theft, unfair treatment and lack of health and safety protections, including large-scale safety threats like building collapses. Yet they increasingly are being denied the ability to do so because of an intensifying anti-worker environment…

Bangladesh Garment Workers Safer after Fire Trainings

  • April 23, 2019
  • Istiak Ahmed Inam

Six years ago, the preventable Rana Plaza collapse in Bangladesh killed 1,134 garment workers in the world’s worst garment industry disaster. Corporate greed, inadequate labor and building code enforcement, and worker exploitation all contributed to the April 24, 2013, tragedy, which spurred efforts to improve factory safety and support workers seeking a voice on the… [READ MORE]

6 Years after Rana Plaza: Bangladesh Set to Backslide

  • April 17, 2019
  • Istiak Ahmed Inam

On a recent Friday, the only day off for Bangladesh garment workers—if they get a day off—I went to visit workers at their homes to better understand how the people who stitch our clothes live their lives. Walking through the puzzling narrow alleys, I entered a tin shed-like building. A corridor tore through the center… [READ MORE]

Kyrgyz Unions Find Unreported Worker Deaths and Injuries

An independent,12-month monitoring program by a coalition of worker rights advocates in Kyrgyzstan found that the lives and safety of working people are at significantly higher risk than official data indicates—requiring urgent changes to the country’s occupational safety and health (OSH) monitoring system. “I am asking government to take OSH issues into consideration because they… [READ MORE]

Colombia Palm Workers Win Landmark Agreement

Some 750 palm workers at Colombia’s largest plantation yesterday signed a landmark agreement with their employer, Indupalma, culminating a years-long effort in which many workers risked their lives to achieve decent wages and safe working conditions. The workers formed a union and fought to force the company to sign a formalization accord and negotiate a… [READ MORE]

Bangladesh Garment Employers Retailate Against Workers

Tens of thousands of Bangladesh garment workers waged weeks-long strikes in December and January to protest low wages and unequal pay increases—and now workers say factory employers are using the walkouts to further repress their efforts to form unions and collectively bargain better wages and working conditions. More than 11,000 garment workers have lost their… [READ MORE]

For Bangladesh Garment Workers, Safety Still an Issue

  • December 13, 2018
  • Istiak Ahmed Inam

More than five years after the Rana Plaza and Tazreen Fashion disasters killed more than a thousand garment workers and injured many more, workers in ready-made garment factories in Bangladesh still struggle to make ends meet. And even now, garment workers often are forced to work in unsafe and unhealthy conditions.   Workers recently interviewed… [READ MORE]