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.
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.
Bangladeshi workers have won a 77% increase in the minimum wage which will rise to 5,300 takas (£43) per month.
The Hong Kong Confederation of Trade unions (HKCTU) held a solidarity rally on 1 October at a Government office in Hong Kong.
This article appeared in Our Times, a Canadian trade union magazine. Click here for the original article.
Gap, Unit 5, Parkfield Street, London N1 0PS
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.
Badrul Alam from the Communist Party of Bangladesh (Marxist-Leninist) spoke to Solidarity.
University of London Union, Malet Street, WC1E 7HY. Room 2B
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.
The death toll from the Rana Plaza factory collapse has now passed 700. It is one of the worst industrial disasters in recent history, and the worst ever in Bangladesh.
Primark, 190 Lewisham High Street Lewisham SE13 6JL
On 4 May Workers' Liberty organised an action outside Primark in Lewisham to protest about the deaths of hundreds of garment workers in Bangladesh and demand safe factories and recognition of unions. On 11 May, we're protesting again. Please come along!
After the deaths of hundreds of garment workers in Bangladesh, the National Garment Workers' Federation (NGWF) in Bangladesh has launched a campaign and petition. It asks UK high street chains Primark, Mango, and Matalan to commit to forcing their Bangladeshi suppliers to comply with the Bangladesh Fire and Building Safety Agreement.
We demand that the big chains force suppliers to allow trade unions to organise in their factories and to negotiate with workers' own representatives.
More info: 07883 520 852
NGWF petition here
LabourStart campaign here