Media Highlights

COVID-19 and the Garment Industry [Southeast Asia]

The garment industry tends to invest where the rule of law is weakest, where there are sizable degrees of poverty and a degree of impunity, said the Solidarity Center's David Welsh on the podcast, "On the Level with Jeff Hutton," With the advent of the pandemic,...

Indonesia’s Labor Laws Discourage Investment and Leave Workers Worse Off: Experts

Even so, David Welsh, country director of Southeast Asia of the Solidarity Center, a nonprofit aligned with the U.S.-based labor federation AFL-CIO, said the reforms, in the garment sector at least, risk amounting to a “race to the bottom”–slashing benefits to appease big international brands that can afford to pay. During the three months ended August–the most recent data available–Sweden’s H&M, which has manufacturing facilities in Indonesia, reported a gross profit margin of 50 percent before tax.

10 Years Ago, We Pledged to Help Haiti Rebuild. Then What Happened?

Haitians who do the physically demanding and repetitive work of sewing and assembling clothing in the new industrial park earn the Haitian minimum wage of just 500 gourdes (about $5.25) a day—three times less than the estimated cost of living in Haiti, according to the Solidarity Center.

Can Malaysia Solve Its Big Migrant Worker Challenge?

Dave Welsh, country director for labor rights group Solidarity Center, said that historically, migrant workers in Malaysia were initially operating outside “the purview of what were very bad labor laws” which were harshly enforced. Malaysia’s laws, he added, were “very transparent and completely, deliberately almost proudly out of whack with any international labor law norms, and applied vigorously.”

From the Gallows to Labor Laws, Malaysia Is Rewriting the Rule Book

In the works is a radical overhaul of labor laws, which will redefine the lives of more than six million impoverished migrant workers. “The conditions [in Malaysia] are appalling,” said the Solidarity Center’s Dave Welsh. “If even a modicum of what trade unions put forward is enacted into law, this is a huge game changer.”

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Media Mentions is a daily digest of major media coverage of issues that affect workers, workers’ rights, and workers’ organizations overseas, discusses the impact of globalization, or mentions the work of the Solidarity Center.

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