Bangladesh

Turning the world inside out!

The disaster in Rana Plaza on 24 April 2013, where at least 1,138 Bangladeshi garment workers died, has spurred more people to fight for better conditions for the world’s 75 million garment workers.

“Fashion Revolution Day” on 24 April marked the first anniversary of the Rana Plaza disaster in Bangladesh.

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From Maoism to Trotskyism in Bangladesh

Badrul Alam, a member of the Communist Party of Bangladesh (Marxist-Leninist), visited Britain recently. During his visit he told Sacha Ismail and Martin Thomas from Solidarity about the history of his group, and how it evolved from Maoism towards Trotskyism.

A member of the Communist Party of Bangladesh (Marxist-Leninist) who visited Britain recently discusses the history of his group and how it evolved from Maoism towards Trotskyism.

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End sweatshops! Support Bangladeshi workers!

When Rana Plaza, a multistorey building housing garment factories, collapsed in the Bangladeshi capital Dhaka in April 2013 the focus of the world media was on the conditions of Bangladeshi workers.

It seemed that a turning point might be reached in their fight for rights. But a new investigation by ITV journalists, featuring the campaigning NGO Labour Behind the Label, has shown that little has changed for the better.

A review of Exposure: Fashion Factories Uncovered (ITV, 6 February 2014).

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Mobilising workers in Bangladesh

Badrul Alam, a member of the Communist Party of Bangladesh (Marxist-Leninist), an observer section of the Fourth International, spoke to Solidarity about the political crisis in that country and its implications for working-class politics.


The Awami League and the Bangladeshi Nationalist Party (BNP), the two main bourgeois parties in Bangladesh, are fighting each other for power. There are no real ideological differences between them. Both parties belong to the bourgeoisie.

A member of the Communist Party of Bangladesh (Marxist-Leninist), an observer section of the Fourth International, discusses the political crisis in that country and its implications for working-class politics.

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Bangladeshi wage increase

Bangladeshi workers have won a 77% increase in the minimum wage which will rise to 5,300 takas (£43) per month.

The increase comes after months of struggle following the Rana Plaza factory collapse in April, in which over 1,000 workers were killed. A 10-day wave of protests from 21 September saw tens of thousands of workers mobilise, demanding an even higher increase (8,114 takas, a 170% increase). Protests were continuing as recently as Thursday 14 November. Many protests had been met with police repression, including the use of tear-gas.

Bangladeshi workers have won a 77% increase in the minimum wage which will rise to 5,300 takas (£43) per month.

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Global strikes and solidarity

The Hong Kong Confederation of Trade unions (HKCTU) held a solidarity rally on 1 October at a Government office in Hong Kong.

The demonstration called for the release of Wu Guijun, imprisoned for organising with co-workers against job losses when the furniture factory where they worked re-locates.

According to the IUF trade union federation:

Hong Kong unions rally for imprisoned activist; Bangladeshi textile workers walk out; South African miners strike.

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North London protest: Solidarity with Bangladeshi workers! No more factory deaths!

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19 May, 2013 - 11:30 to 13:00

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Gap, Unit 5, Parkfield Street, London N1 0PS

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Facebook event here.

The death toll from the Rana Plaza factory collapse has now passed 1,100.

Mass mobilisations by Bangladeshi garment workers, supported by international solidarity, has forced many retailers into compensating victims' families and signing the Bangladeshi Fire & Building Safety Agreement. Restrictions on unions' rights to organise have also been relaxed.

But some retailers, including Gap, are refusing to sign the accord. We'll be leafleting and petitioning outside Gap's outlet near Angel station (Unit 5, Parkfield Street, London N1 0PS) to demand they sign the agreement and respect their workers' rights to organise — in their suppliers' factories, and in their stores.

Bangladesh: workers oppose the Islamists

Badrul Alam from the Communist Party of Bangladesh (Marxist-Leninist) spoke to Solidarity.


We’ve read about big demonstrations organised by Islamists demanding stronger religious laws. What effect are they having on the garment workers’ movement?

An interview with Badrul Alam from the Communist Party of Bangladesh (Marxist-Leninist).

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No more blood for profit: solidarity with Bangladeshi workers. AWL London Forum

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29 May, 2013 - 18:00 to 20:00

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University of London Union, Malet Street, WC1E 7HY. Room 2B

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Facebook event here.

After the Rana Plaza massacre, where over 1,000 Bangladeshi workers were murdered for profit when their unsafe workplace collapsed, the Bangladeshi workers' movement has taken great steps forward.

The wave of militancy with which the Bangladeshi labour movement met the killing - with support from their allies around the world - has already won a series of victories, including a change in the law making it easier for workers to unionise, compensation, and improved building safety agreements.

The victories of organisations like the National Garment Workers Federation of Bangladesh show that real change is possible, that solidarity wins - and also that it is the workers' movement, not charity or ethical shopping that is the real force for human liberation and civilisation.

Come to this Workers' Liberty forum, which will be addressed by Bangladeshi labour activists via Skype, where we will learn about the workers' movement in Bangladesh and discuss positive steps forward we can make to help it.

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