The action took place on July 3rd. More than 350 leaflets were distributed – many of them went to people who were about to enter the store or just left it. During the picket an audio message from Sadaat (GWTUC) was played several times.
[UPDATE:June 23rd, 2020: The occupation is currently into the third day. The union affiliated with the GWTUC leading the protests is called Paradise Cables Limited Workers Union. There are currently around 300 workers occupying the Labor Ministry building located in Bijoynagar, Dhaka. They are living on the premises and holding demonstrations and giving speeches all day, and into the night. The GWTUC has set up a makeshift kitchen for food for the workers. Members of other students and workers unions are coming by to offer their solidarity as well. The workers have been negotiating with Labor Ministry officials, but so far the owners have been unresponsive.]
The workers of Paradise Cable Limited factories in Naraynganj, Bangladesh, organized by the Garment Workers’ Trade Union Center (GWTUC) are leading an ongoing indefinite occupation of the Labor Ministry building in Dhaka. They are protesting for the immediate payment of their wages, which have gone unpaid by the owners of the factory for 13 months now. Their other demands include the payment of 3 years accrued overtime pay, vacation pay and bonus pay. The protesting workers are determined not to withdraw from their occupation until their demands are met. The workers had initially attempted to bring out a rally heading to the Prime Minister’s Office but were met with a heavy-handed response from police and security forces, who tried to intimidate the workers and disband the demonstration.
Approximately 6,000 workers used to earn a living in the Dragon Sweater factory nearby Dhaka. According to the Garment Workers’ Trade Union Center (GWTUC) 90% of them are union members. Since March many of them – usually producing for brands like Primark, H&M, Gap, Zara and Woolworth – are protesting lay-offs and missing wages.
Given the imposed confinement, CGT didn’t call for rallies this May Day. Instead a press conference was given to present the campaign for May Day. The campaign included the goal of a Basic Equal Income (RBIs) – Pictures were published using #1MayoRBIsYA.
Furthermore, after a brief statement by the Secretary General, a digital concert was streamed for about an hour:
For the past few weeks some anarchist students and workers in Kolkata got organized in a collective looking to build and promote worker solidarity, antifascism and autonomy within all communities. At first they did so as IWW Kolkata. Later they decided to change their name to Gana Samhati Sangha (People’s Solidarity Collective). From the start their focus was on organizing mutual aid in the villages around Kolkata – similar like the comrades of the Dabindu Collective in Katunayake (Sri Lanka) do for garment workers. Among others the Free Workers’ Union (FAU) supports their efforts.
In the Global May Day 2020 the People’s Solidarity Collective saw an opportunity to kick off a new outreaching effort to gather further support for their activities.
As part of these efforts the below video and statement were released:
Last Tuesday we helped the youth of Ghritokham village organise mutual aid in their community for distressed farmers and daily labourers. With the unfaltering support and solidarity of new and old friends, we have now reached out to over 500 families in 6 different villages in the Garh Shalboni region in Jhargram District, West Bengal. ________ The Lockdown Crisis in Jhargram Jhargram has remained a green zone so far with only one reported death. However, the lockdown has affected the economies of the villages here immensely. Since the restrictions began, shops and small businesses have suffered huge losses, labourers have had no income, farmers found themselves unable to sell and transport their produce. In response to the looming uncertainty, they scaled down operations, rendering many farm labourers jobless. The relief that is supposed to be distributed through ration shops are often in short supply. At the time of writing this post, there have been no supplies at some of the local ration shops for over two weeks. Even when there are provisions, a pecking order based on local politics and caste is followed for the distribution. This means that the poorest people in Jhargram have no work, no access to aid from the government, and many have already cut down to one meal a day. The youth of Jhargram have not given up. Each village we go to we find bright young minds taking initiative to take care of their fellow human beings. They understand that the struggle for the future survival of their communities will be a long one. Three weeks back we put out an appeal and solidarity poured in from across the country and the world. With that support we were able to distribute food and provisions to over a 100 families each in the six villages of Koima, Shalboni, Jitushol, Ghritokham, Bagmudi and Painabhanga. __________ We have reached out to a 100 families each in six villages so far, yet there are many others that need relief. We can only keep doing the good work as long as you keep supporting us, so consider making a contribution. At a time like this no amount is too little or too much. Feel free to message anytime for any questions or suggestions you might have.
Send your contributions to:
You can also transfer the amount to: Account Name: Abhijay Gupta Account No.: 20670110065914 Bank & Branch: UCO BANK – JHARGRAM IFSC Code: UCBA0002067
For international transactions: TransferWise definitely works!