Massachusetts Jobs with Justice is working with organizations across the country, and around the world, to support Bangladeshi garment workers & labor activists as they fight to improve the lives of working people in Bangladesh.
In 2010, workers at a Walmart supplier factory approached the Bangladesh Center for Worker Solidarity (BCWS), a grassroots organization dedicated to protecting the human and labor rights of workers and children in Bangladesh. Working with the BCWS, workers began to demand higher wages and safer working conditions. Soon after, three BCWS leaders — Kalpona Akter, Babul Akhter and Aminul Islam — learned that the workers’ employers had fabricated criminal charges against them. They endured 30 days of interrogation and tortured, until they were finally released on bail, after much international pressure. In April 2012, Aminul Islam was murdered, causing further outcry from the international community. We continue to support these labor leaders and work with them as they defend their right to organize.
We are also actively engaged in a campaign to end the deadly sweatshop fires that plague Bangladesh. According to the report Deadly Secrets, since 1990, over 1000 garment workers have been killed due to unsafe working conditions. We are working with the International Labor Rights forum (ILRF) to demand that major retailers, including Walmart, sign on to a fire safety agreement.
To join the fight for justice in Bangladesh, contact Paul Drake.