Workers Protest Factory Shutdowns

Roughly 2,000 garment workers protested yesterday outside three factories after the owner abruptly shut down operations and fled​, leaving them without severance or pay for the month of January.​ The Solidarity Center’s William Conklin suggested that factories be required to put down a deposit that can be used to pay severance for workers.

How Short-Term Contracts Are Putting Cambodia’s Pregnant Factory Workers in a Precarious Position

While the perpetual use of short-term contracts creates uncertainties for workers of all stripes, pregnant women are particularly vulnerable. Somalay So, a program officer at labor rights group Solidarity Center, said there have been cases where even inquiring about the premier’s $100 “baby bonus” promise can put a target on workers’ backs for dismissal.

The Bangladesh Sustainability Compact: An Effective Tool for Promoting Workers’ Rights?

The impetus for the Bangladesh Sustainability Compact was the Rana Plaza industrial disaster, which took the lives of roughly 1,200 garment workers. The compact required the fulfillment of several time-bound commitments by the Bangladesh government—labor law reform, protection of the right to freedom of association and ensuring fire and building safety. Jeffrey Vogt argues the compact… [READ MORE]

How Garment Workers Used Fashion on the Picket Line

David Welsh, currently country director for the Solidarity Center in Southeast Asia, has worked in both Bangladesh and Cambodia. He says in both countries, “it’s the same brands and the same export markets, primarily the U.S., North America, and the EU,” and “the same 15 to 20 brands monopolize the market and set the conditions… [READ MORE]

FIVE YEARS ON FROM TAZREEN, WORKERS’ PROGRESS AT RISK

Solidarity Center Director of Asia programs, Timothy Ryan, says that the Bangladesh government and industry’s reaction to the empowerment of garment workers and their unions runs the risk of harming not only Bangladesh garment workers but the very trade deals that make the country’s garment and textile sector its economic engine.

Interview with Rose Omamo from Kenya and Cida Trajano from Brazil [Radio]

Solidarity Center Director of Trade Union Strengthening Sarah McKenzie introduces two women union leaders from Brazil and Kenya visiting the U.S. on a 20-member, all-women Solidarity Center Exchange Program—Omamo, general secretary of the Amalgamated Union of Kenya Metalworkers, and  Trajano dos Santos, president of the Brazil garment workers union, Confederação dos Trabalhadores nas Indústrias do Vestuário… [READ MORE]

UN Sanctions and North Korea’s Forgotten Workers

The United Nations Security Council recently adopted Resolution 2371—the latest sanctions on North Korea. In so doing, the Security Council acquiesced to the continuation of the country’s state-sponsored, forced-labor-for-export scheme and abandoned an important opportunity to protect the rights and dignity of workers as defined by UN conventions, writes the Solidarity Center’s Jeff Vogt.  

Labor Law Reform Meeting Calls for Freedom of Association

Jennifer Kuhlman, country director of the Solidarity Center, and Timothy Ryan, the organizations’s regional program director, said the government has a unique opportunity to reform the Bangladesh Labor Act and Export Processing Zones Authority Act expressing hopes that it could be done through broad-based input from stakeholders and the people, building consensus and creating a… [READ MORE]

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