In light of the Savar, Bangaldesh tradegy, many consumers are asking, “Where should I shop?” Here’s some tips to start you off on the right foot…
A building housing several factories making clothing for European and American consumers collapsed into a deadly heap on Wednesday, killing at least 108 workers and injuring at least 1,000 people. The catastrophe comes only five months after a horrific fire at a similar facility prompted leading multinational brands to pledge to work to improve safety in the country’s booming but poorly regulated garment industry. (Photo: AM Ahad / AP via The New York Times; caption via The Times)
I don’t think any good can be accomplished by me taking a strident outraged tone here, so I’m trying to keep it even-keeled, but here’s what’s up: 108 people are dead because people were cutting corners to save money. Terrorism is awful, lots of things are awful. One thing that’s awful and which costs lives, real lives, innocent lives, all the time, is when profit motive is placed ahead of the safety of the workers who have made the companies profitable. “Four Building Codes Violated To Save Money, Scores Dead; Need For Cheap Labor Cited” doesn’t have the headline glamor that bombs and guns bring to the table, and I’m not saying that stories of sudden nightmare violence shouldn’t be covered; the news only responds to the demands of its viewers. It’s on us as viewers and readers to say that when something like the collapse of Rana Plaza occurs, this, too, is an act of cruel and unimaginable violence, and its causes and culprits should be as vigorously pursued and investigated as the lone-wolf supervillains who command our attention from time to time.
Minutes ago, hundreds of minimum wage fast food and retail workers all over Chicago walked off their jobs.
Share this and join the Fight For 15: http://bit.ly/142eDr9
fuck yeah chicago!!
At least 76 garment workers have been confirmed dead in Bangladesh after an eight-storey building containing clothing manufacturing units collapsed, officials say. It has been confirmed that one of the manufacturers has previously supplied the UK discount fashion chain Matalan.
Mohammed Neazuddin, Bangladesh’s health secretary, confirmed the deaths of the 76 people, and police said hundreds more remained trapped under the rubble.
The building, in Savar, about 12 miles north of Dhaka, the capital, collapsed at 9am this morning, after production had started at the building. An official at a nearby hospital where most of the injured were taken said most of the dead appeared to be female workers.
Bangladeshi army units and fire service personnel are conducting rescue operations with help from local volunteers. A fire service official said they had rescued about 1,000 people from under the rubble.
Among the businesses in the collapsed building in Savar were New Wave – which has two garment factories there, New Wave Style and New Wave Bottoms – and Phantom Apparels Ltd.
… Dilara Begum, a garment worker who survived the accident, said workers had been ordered to leave after a crack appeared in the wall of the building on Tuesday, but on Wednesday morning supervisors had asked them to return to work, saying the building had been inspected and declared safe.
… The incident is the latest in a series of industrial accidents in Bangladesh. In November, a fire at the Tazreen Fashions Limited factory killed 111 workers. An inquiry blamed the factory management for criminal negligence.
In 2005, the Spectrum sweater factory in Dhaka collapsed, killing 64 people and injuring 80.
Woman finds a cry for help found inside a Halloween decoration, written by a Chinese factory worker
In October, a woman in Oregon bought some Halloween decorations at Wal-Mart and hidden inside one of the plastic decorations was this note from a Chinese factory worker. The authenticity of the note is still being looked into, but according to Human Rights Watch, it certainly looks and sounds legit:
We’re in no position to confirm the veracity or origin of this…. I think it is fair to say the conditions described in the letter certainly conform to what we know about conditions in…labor camps…. If this thing is the real deal, that’s somebody saying, “Please help me, please know about me, please react.” That’s our job.
This is one of the most meaningful things I have ever seen on the internet. I don’t have words…please Reblog. Please care.
Cambodian workers on hunger strike against Walmart & H&M
February 28, 2013
Self-organized garment workers at a Walmart and H&M supplier factory in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, have been camping in front of their shuttered factory for almost two months to prevent their bosses from taking out the sewing machinery.
Now the workers have escalated to blocking roads, and will launch a hunger strike February 27—all to push Walmart and H&M to pay them the back wages they are owed. Their cause is drawing support from workers at another Walmart subcontractor on the other side of the world.
“We decided to go on hunger strike to show that we not just any workers,” said one of the leaders, Sorn Sothy, 26, who works in the warehousing part of the Cambodian factory. “We are strong, committed, and united.”
The workers were informed in September that their factory, Kingsland Garment Co., Ltd., would temporarily close until January. Under Cambodian labor law, they would be paid 50 percent of their wages during this time, and brought back to work in January.
But in December, the paychecks stopped coming. The company union told the workers that the company was bankrupt and the owner had fled the country.
The garment workers are owed around $200,000 collectively—less than what Walmart makes in profits every six minutes.
Since their boss-run union wouldn’t fight back, 200 workers organized themselves and began protesting outside the factory gates January 1. In the middle of the night January 3, they noticed company staff attempting to remove the sewing machines from the factory.
“We decided to start sleeping outside of the factory to prevent management from taking the machinery out,” said Yorn Sok Leng, 30, who has worked at the factory for two years.
With the help of a worker center, the Community Legal Education Centre (CLEC), the workers occupied the outside of the factory—setting up tarps, a sleeping area, and a kitchen.
PUNJAMMIES™ are made by women in India rescued from forced prostitution seeking to rebuild their lives. Proceeds from the sales of PUNJAMMIES™ provide fair-trade wages, savings accounts, and holistic recovery care.
11 Dec 2012
A good thing:
Additional 4,500 cocoa farmers in the Ivory Coast benefit from FairTrade Premiums and the Nestlé Cocoa Plan. Nestlé UK & Ireland will double its commitment to FairTrade from January 2013 by gaining certification of its 2-finger KIT KAT. An extra 800 million chocolate bars a year will now carry the FairTrade mark.
A few things here:
- I didn’t even have to click through to the article to know that this woman was black. There’s no picture of the mall cop that shot her to death, but I’d be willing to stake my worldly possessions on him being white.
- The legal punishment for shoplifting isn’t death. Suspecting someone of shoplifting does not justify the use of deadly force. And even crimes that do carry the legal punishment of death requires that the accused stand trial and be sentenced - except, it seems, if the accused is black. Then whatever asshole happens to be around gets to be judge, jury, and executioner.
- Wtf was a Walmart cop doing with a gun?! Yes, this guy was apparently an off-duty police officer moonlighting at Walmart, but why was he allowed to carry his other job’s weapon around at the store security job?
This is disgraceful, and I hope this guy is prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.
Labor unions: weekends; overtime; wage protection; child labor laws; injury protection; workmen’s compensation