From Bangladesh to Burma and throughout Asia, the AFL-CIO assists workers in their struggles to form unions and maintain them. In Burma, trade unions are trying to register new unions under a recently passed labor law. In Bangladesh, workers in shrimp processing plants are seeking to improve their working conditions.
Nearly five years after the torture and assassination of Bangladeshi labor leader Aminul Islam, the country's garment-sector employers and the government continue to persecute workers who try to exercise basic rights. In the three weeks since a December strike to protest the paltry $68 per month minimum wage, garment employers and the government have again shown their hostility toward workers and their rights. At that wage, workers in Dhaka would need to spend 60% of their income solely to rent substandard housing in a slum, leaving little to live on in a city about as expensive as Montreal (where the minimum wage is more than ten times higher).