If women’s empowerment is a progressive mainstream agenda, then why are the struggles of women garment workers for living wages and safe and secure working conditions not solidly a part of larger progressive movements being waged in Bangladesh? Movements which struggle to democratise state and society, to re-construct gender relations on equitable lines.
It is a question that is not only worth raising, it is urgent that we raise it, that we seek answers to it.
Democracy, Social Justice, Human Development. These core principles that move progressive politics are all direct outcomes of labor rights: living wages, non-discrimination, safe workplaces, and, most importantly, the rights to freedom of association and collective bargaining. No justice without fair pay, no development without rising incomes, and no democracy without participation in corporate decision-making.
DHAKA, Bangladesh — A fire at a garment factory north of Dhaka, the capital, killed at least 20 people and injured dozens on Tuesday, in the latest blow to the country’s largest industry.
The fire at a 10-story factory in the Ashulia industrial area, about 16 miles from the capital, started on the ninth floor around lunchtime, when most of the workers were outside. Local reporters who had canvassed hospitals said at least 24 people had been killed. Factory officials said they knew of about 20 deaths....
Led by the 3-year-old daughter of a laid-off longshore worker whose sign read “Del Monte ruined my Christmas,” more than 400 dockworkers and community and labor allies marched in the busy noontime streets around City Hall here on Nov. 22. They were protesting the layoffs of more than 200 members of the International Longshoremen’s Association Local 1291 due to the decision by Fresh Del Monte Products to dock its incoming ships at a below-union-wage pier in Gloucester City, N.J.
As a bunch of enthusistic villagers gathered at a courtyard in Badarpur Khada on Tuesday evening under a dimly lit shade, not many could believe that the residents of this 250-year-old village still live in the dark ages, literally. Just 35 km north-east of the Supreme Court, this village still doesn’t have electricity connection.
During a 13-month tour in Iraq with her National Guard unit, Amber Hicks ate her share of the military rations known as "meals ready to eat," or MREs. Then, as chance would have it, she returned to her hometown of Cincinnati and found a job in the Wornick Company's factory -- making those familiar MREs.