In the wake of Colombia’s narrow rejection of a peace accord and the subsequent bestowing of the Nobel Peace Prize on the country’s president last October, Colombian trade unions vowed to remain part of the process to end the Western Hemisphere’s longest war and work toward a more inclusive society, the Solidarity Center reported.
Throughout the Solidarity Center’s recent conference, “Achieving Fair Migration: Roles of African Trade Unions and Their Partners,” union leaders and migrant rights advocates explored the xenophobia, racism and sexism migrant workers face, and sought to increase vital connections between unions and civil society organisations to campaign for laws and policies to level the playing field… [READ MORE]
William Conklin said fashion brands are partly to blame for poor wages in factories producing their clothing. “What we see now is that brands squeeze factories and therefore workers,” he said. “If you a pay a low price per piece of clothing, that dribbles down to the workers. Workers are now being seen as disposable.”… [READ MORE]
Starting in mid-December, the Solidarity Center, which works closely with workers and unions, documented instances in which 14 national union federations were either forced by police to shut their offices in Ashulia, Gazipur, and Chittagong, or closed them because of police harassment.
“You don’t leave your human rights in one country when you cross into another. You don’t check your human rights at a border; you keep them with you”—Solidarity Center Executive Director Shawna Bader-Blau in interview with International Catalan Institute for Peace.
The Conditions at Bangladeshi Apparel Factories Are Still Horrible. What Happens to Workers Who Speak Up Might Be Worse
The factories reopened in late December, but a “really intense” security presence is everywhere, Jennifer Kuhlman from the Dhaka office of the Solidarity Center, an AFL-CIO allied organization, told me: not just in Ashulia, but also in other industrial areas across the country. She said the arrests, the mass firings and the continuing heavy surveillance… [READ MORE]
Arrests of trade union organizers and workers, along with the suspension by garment manufacturers of as many as 1,500 workers from their jobs, has been a great success for the employers.
A new briefing from the Solidarity Center detailed the intimidation, arrests and firing that followed the garment worker walk-out in December. The Solidarity Center warned that the “broad crackdown on garment workers, union leaders and worker rights activists in Bangladesh marks a troubling escalation of workers to silence garment workers.”
Writes Solidarity Center’s Tim Ryan: “Over the past 20 years, awareness and activism around the issues of child labor, slavery and human trafficking have grown significantly, mirrored by both growing economic inequality and broad concerns about that inequity. [There] is a clear recognition that decent work for adults can create a more secure environment for… [READ MORE]
“I am grateful for organizations like the Solidarity Center, who teach us about our rights. I am learning to speak up more. I want my story and my colleagues’ stories to spread to people throughout the world.”