While tea is not the largest export for Bangladesh, the plight of tea garden workers are similar to that described by Nazdeek in Francesca’s Feruglio’s piece, Perspectives: Mobilizing for Justice in the Tea Gardens in Assam – Law at the Margins http://bit.ly/1bZwezA <Read More>
By Francesca Feruglio
Background on Assam’s Tea Gardens and Nazdeek
The State of Assam, in North-East India, is home to more than half of India’s tea production and one sixth of the world’s production. However, thousands of tea garden workers living and working on the gardens have yet to benefit from such large-scale profit. Over 150 years ago Adivasi (indigenous) communities, were forcibly brought to Assam from India’s Central States to work as labourers in the gardens. Today, their living and working conditions remain shockingly poor, with the gardens lacking adequate essential services, such as hospitals, schools and food ration shops, and tea garden workers paid the lowest wage in India’s organized sector ($1.50/day). <Read More>
By Shahinur Begum, Researcher, Sramabikesh Kendra of UBINIG (Center for Labor Education)
Women wage earners are the cheapest in Bangladesh due to the socio-economic condition of the country, which is why so many girls are employed in the garment industry. About 3.2 million workers are engaged in these factories and 95% of them are women. Now there are about 5,000 garment factories since its inception in late 1970s. Women are the vibrant work force of these factories. Hundreds of workers have to give their lives due to neglect of the owners of the garment factories every year. The families of the victims have been passing their time with extreme hardship due to the death of the earning members. The situation of the children of victims is dire. Soft touch of mother’s hand is the eternal gift for a baby. That lovely mother is gone and gone forever. The situation of orphans is very heavy to bear and hard to hold back tears. It is understandable that there are lots of activities involving the victims just after any accident in a garment factory but there is little space to think about the children of the victims. The present report is prepared to look at the working conditions of women workers and the impact of the Rana Plaza building collapse on their children. <Read More>
The Orphan’s Place (http://orphansplace.com) The Children’s Place produced apparel at Rana Plaza before the factory collapsed in a horrific industrial homicide, killing 1,132 garment workers and leaving children without a parent, grandparent, brother, or sister.
Lailufar Yasmin is an Associate Professor with Department of International Relations, University of Dhaka, Bangladesh, and currently undertaking research on ‘secularism in International Relations’ at Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia.
Immanuel Kant, a principle theorist on secularism proposed that human beings should assume responsibility for their acts in the public sphere instead of taking refuge to some divine explanation for such acts. Referring to the principles of secularism, Kant suggested that the goal of Enlightenment was simply a release from the “self-incurred tutelage” of religion rather than the eradication of religion. As part of this release, the public sphere of a modern, enlightened life would be secular i.e. free of religion so that it could engage with the problems of modern life through reason. However, this intended separation between religion and the public sphere is not practiced in its ideal form in secularism’s heartland, i.e., the West. <Read More>
Jonathan Harris is a Brooklyn based labor lawyer and former organizer
“Most holidays we celebrate ain’t nothing but scams and lies and tricks and all the real meaning be lost/For me it’s time-and-a-half or just another day off ” from “Holiday Pay” by rapper Tahir, 2001 (Raptivism)
Many workers today think that unions are not for them. They may tell you that an older relative was in a union at one time, but they really don’t know what the union was or did. It’s simply assumed that a worker must negotiate one-on-one with her boss, or more likely, that she must accept whatever the boss offers her and she should feel lucky to even have a job in this economy.
It wasn’t always like this. <Read More>
Victor Narro is the Project Director for the UCLA Center for Labor Research and Education, and a lecturer at UCLA Law School and UCLA School of Urban Planning.
On September 8, the AFL-CIO will kick off its national convention in Los Angeles. The last time it was held in L.A. was in 1999, when the AFL-CIO announced its historic declaration for a legalization program for all undocumented immigrants, increased workplace protection for immigrant workers and an end to employer sanction laws, which it supported back in 1986 as part of the Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA). The national convention this year in LA will also be a historic one. With union density at around 12% (the private sector below 7%), the labor movement today is in a state of crisis. As the recent deep recession, or depression as some economists have labeled it, has shown us, the labor movement is really the only safety net that we have in this country for the working class. <Read More>