As the movement spreads around the world, some Bangladeshi mainstream media became suddently concerned about the international coordinations in solidarity with the textile workers at Dragon Sweater and Imperial Sweater (Dragon Group). They are mostly framed as “anti-national”, stating that they tarnish the interests of the garment sector in Bangladesh. A strategy already used by the Dragon Sweater management in the past to defame the labor union Garment Workers Trade Union Center (GWTUC) and its actions.
Here are two examples:
An attempted translation of the second article:
The country’s export sector in the image crisis!original article (published online and offline)
This time there is a series of actions in Europe to get owed payments of the garment workers.
Dissatisfaction has been going on for two years over the issue of layoffs and dues in several factories of Dragon Group in Malibagh. Last Monday, the workers also took position in front of the Labor Ministry in the capital’s Vijayanagar. This time the workers’ rights organizations are walking a different path to realize their demands.
Representatives of various labor rights organizations have organized pickets in several European countries in front of Dragon’s international buyers and brand stores. Apart from Hamburg, Germany, there have been reports of rallies in several cities, including in Ireland, Spain and Brazil, alleging layoffs and non-payment of wages.
It is known that Dragon’s factories make clothes of brands like New Yorker, Walmart, Lidl. Gathering in front of the retail outlets of these brands, workers’ representatives from different countries demanded an end to the ‘illegal layoffs’ of the factories and the payment of dues.
The Garment Workers Trade Union Center is leading the Dragon labor movement in the country. The organization is part of the International Federation of Unions. It seems that this organization is the main source of communication on the international level regarding the issue of collecting the owed wages and benefits of Dragon workers. “We have been forced to tell the international trade unions to put pressure on the buyers,” said Monzur Moin, international affairs secretary at the Garment Workers Trade Union Center. For some time now, they have been standing in front of retail stores of brands in different parts of the world, including Germany and Ireland.’
Meanwhile, questions have been raised in various places about the issue of the country’s workers being dragged into the international arena. This is tarnishing the image of brands as well as garment exporters of the country as a whole. In this context, Monzur Moin said, “If the workers are not paid, why do they say that international buyers are also responsible. Because the brands are taking advantage of the deprivation of workers here. ‘
Joly Talukder, general secretary of the Garment Workers Trade Union Center, said, “We have suspended the program for the time being after factory and establishment inspection (DIFE) officials assured us that the issue would be resolved tomorrow (Wednesday).”
By the way, the struggle of the Dragon Sweater garment workers is also getting increasing attention in Turkey: