Bangladesh. “Digital Garment Worker Database Launched.” Research Initiative for Social Equity (March 10, 2013). The Prime Minister of Bangladesh inaugurated the “Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) worker database” for the RMG Industry workers of Garment Manufacturers who are a member of this apex trade body that represents the export oriented woven, knit and sweater garment manufacturers and exporters of the country. On 9 March 2013, BGEMA signed two agreements with two organizations on issuance of digital certificate of origin (CoO) and biometric identity of garment workers.
Sri Lanka. “Sri Lankan garment workers rally to keep jobs.” IndustriAll (March 14, 2013). On 10 March more than 400 garment workers, members of IndustriALL Global Union’s affiliate FTZ-GSEU, demonstrated and demanded that the Sri Lankan government collaborate with unions to keep their industry in the country.
Cambodia. “Garment Wage Raised to $75.” Phnom Penh Post (March 21, 2013). Shane Worrell and Mom Kunthear. GARMENT and footwear workers across the country will be paid a minimum wage of $75 per month – an increase of $14 – beginning in May, according to a document released by the Ministry of Social Affairs this morning.
Cambodia. “Walmart, H&M Pay Cambodian Workers $200,000 in Historic Settlement.” AOL Jobs (March 14, 2013). Claire Gordon. But workers at one factory in the developing world appear, at least, to have a happy ending. For two months, around 200 garment workers have been keeping vigil, day and night, outside their former factory in the Cambodian capital, which made clothes for Walmart and H&M. The workers claimed that for four months their wages were inexplicably cut, before the owner closed the factory altogether — with no notice, or severance. But their strike has ended in success, reports the advocacy group Warehouse Workers United. The Kingsland factory workers won over $200,000 in back pay.
Cambodia. “Repression at Cambodian Garment Factory Continues.” Equal Times (March 20, 2013). Workers at a Cambodian garment factory, that provides items for big fashion brands like Diesel, spirit and Marks & Spencer, continue to face a campaign of violence and intimidation as they fight for basic labour rights.
United States. “Practice What you Preach: How the US Government Can End Bangladesh´s Factory Fires.” Huffington Post Blog (March 13, 2013). US Department of State issued a bold new statement urging US companies to do more to protect workers in Bangladesh. This attention comes in the wake of the tragic Tazreen factory fire in November 2012 that killed over 100 workers. Many of these workers leapt to their deaths from a building with no emergency exits. The factory was exposed throughout world media as producing goods for Walmart, Disney, Sears and Ikea. Would it surprise you to learn that the factory was used by companies who make federal uniforms? Labor rights organizations were able to photograph labels in the factory wreckage linking Tazreen to two US government contractors.
Sri Lanka. “Los trabajadores de la confección de Sri Lanka se manifiestan en defensa de los empleos.” IndustriAll (Marzo 14, 2013). El 10 de marzo, más de 400 trabajadores de la confección, miembros del FTZ-GSEU, afiliado a la IndustriALL Global Union, se manifestaron y exigieron al Gobierno de Sri Lanka que colabore con los sindicatos para mantener la industria en el país.
México. “STPS condena a 50 ex obreros de la industria textil a vivir en la pobreza, en Río Blanco.” La Jornada Veracruz (Marzo 19, 2013). Fernando Inés Carmona. La Secretaría del Trabajo y Previsión Social (STPS) condenó a 50 ex obreros de la industria textil de este municipio a la pobreza y mendicidad; por presuntos actos de corrupción en oficinas laborales detuvieron la liquidación económica de los ex obreros, pese a que ya ganaron cinco laudos, los mantienen en la pobreza económica. En los hechos, estarían involucrados, la presidenta de la Junta de Conciliación y el administrador de la empresa, quien ahora aspira a la alcaldía de este municipio.
España. “Por una ropa limpia de explotación.” Diario Co Latino (Marzo 14, 2013). Inés Benítez. La explotación laboral que practica la industria globalizada de la vestimenta no es un secreto para el público consumidor español. Pero los precios bajos, los bolsillos magros y el poder de las marcas ejercen una poderosa disuasión contra el consumo responsable.