Three times each month, dozens of women gather in dusty courtyards in rural towns in Manikganj, Dinazpur or other districts across Bangladesh to learn all they can about the only means by which they can support their families: migrating to another country for work.
Protesters gathered today in front of the St. Regis Hotel in New York City to call on Ralph Lauren to sign onto the Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh to improve workplace safety for garment workers. The protest preceded Ralph Lauren’s annual shareholder meeting where the AFL-CIO Reserve Fund (its investments) had a proposal on the ballot related to human rights reporting.
Many of us know the hardships that Walmart workers in the U.S. and in Walmart’s global supply chain endure. But their stories need to be told far and wide, and you have the chance to bring Walmart workers’ battle for justice to a wider audience.
One year ago today, as the walls of the multistory Rana Plaza building collapsed around her, Moriom Begum was trapped, injured and unable to move in the dark, surrounded by the lifeless bodies of her co-workers.
Bangladeshi union organizer Hasina Akter was talking with garment workers in Dhaka when a group of at least 20 people accosted her, as well as the three other union organizers and a worker leader who were with her. She and her companions were threatened and beaten, one into unconsciousness. Two organizers had to be hospitalized following the assault, and the factory worker went into hiding.
“I thought I wouldn’t survive,” Aklima Khanam said, as she described how she felt when she was trapped under machinery in the collapsed Rana Plaza building in Bangladesh, one of the most deadly workplace accidents in history. Khanam and Aleya Akter, both garment workers, came to the AFL-CIO on Monday to discuss the ongoing struggle to obtain justice and prevent more needless deaths in the garment industry.