In the News

Workers detail conditions of overseas factory jobs

The Delaware County Daily News

SWARTHMORE — Even as 33-year-old Kalpona Akter faces a potential death sentence in her home country of Bangladesh, she traveled halfway across the globe to talk about the working conditions in her homeland with the hope of creating an atmosphere of respect, dignity and a better life for her fellow citizens.

Aleya Akter, 26, journeyed with Kalpona to tell the tale of working 14 years of 11-hour days sewing jackets with 400 employees at a Dhaka factory for Walmart.

NYC unfairly biased against Wal-Mart?

Metro New York


New Yorkers’ fierce fight to prevent Wal-Mart from setting up shop in the city is well-known. But meanwhile, other big-box stores are quietly opening without a murmur of protest, like an Aldi store that launched in Rego Park, Queens, in February.

“People say that somehow New York City should erect a wall against Wal-Mart,” said Greg David, director of the business and economics reporting program at the City University of New York. “But Home Depot, Target, Kohl’s, the warehouse stores, now Aldi, are in important ways just like Wal-Mart.”

Stolen Wages and Death Sentences: Stories from the Wal-Mart Worker Tour

In These Times

Cynthia Murray and Robert Hines Jr. thought they had seen unfair treatment and bad working conditions at the Maryland Wal-Mart store and Chicago-area Wal-Mart warehouse where they worked, respectively. But they were floored to learn recently of the conditions workers in Bangladesh and other developing countries endure in the factories that produce goods for Wal-Mart.

Debating the 'Global Sweatshop'

Women's Wear Daily

NEW YORK — Tragic as the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire was, the most definitive moment of Thursday’s all-day symposium honoring its centennial was an impromptu exercise that reminded guests just how far removed they are from the factories that produce the clothes they wear.

Century after historic fire, focus is on worker safety

Houston Chronicle

On March 25, 1911, 146 workers died in the flames of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory, the largest blouse manufacturer in New York City. Locked doors trapped workers on the ninth floor, exposing them to fire and smoke. Some tried to escape on the narrow fire escape, but it collapsed. Many others jumped out of windows. All but 23 of the dead were women, most were young mothers, and some were children. All were immigrants in search of a better life. 

The Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire killed 146 but led to labor reform. A century later, has America forgotten its lessons?



That indignity, and the crowded and unsanitary factory floor, led many of the 400 Triangle Shirtwaist Factory workers to go on strike in 1909 as they began to claim their rights to respect, better wages and safer working conditions. They won concessions on pay, but little else from the factory owners, who kept the workplace in a shambles.

And the doors locked.

'Made in Newark' initiative hopes to introduce visitors to city's businesses, locally made products

The Star Ledger

NEWARK — Activity buzzed inside a nondescript, one-story manufacturing building near Newark’s Branch Brook Park.

Workers from Unionwear carefully cut zippers to length for royal blue gym bags emblazoned with a block-lettered "Made in Newark" logo on the side. Others focused on embroidery machines, guiding threads in red, orange and yellow patterns that spelled out "Go Newark Hoop Fest" on baseball caps.

Labour firm fakes paperwork

Phnom Penh Post

Labour recruitment firm T&P Co Ltd has been faking documents for under-age women to make them eligible for domestic work abroad, a local rights advocate said today.

Moeun Tola, head of the labour programme at the Community Legal Education Centre, said today that at least two of five women recently released from the firm’s training centre are under age.