Since March 2020 thousands of textile workers of the factories Dragon Sweater and Imperial Sweater (both belonging to Dragon Group) have been fighting for wages and severance pay owed to them. Workers that used to produce for retailers such as New Yorker, Lidl and Walmart.
On October 4th some of them rallied to form a human chain as a way of protest nearby the factories. While doing so the workers were attacked by a group of goons. They were most likely hired by the owners themselves to intimited the fighting workers. Witnesses recognized some of the attackers as they are familiar with the owner’s security staff. They often observe the rallies held by the workers, but for the first time they also physically attacked them. After a while they managed push back the attackers. In the end 12 workers had to be treated at Dhaka Medical College Hospital.
In reaction hundreds of textile workers came together for a torch procession in the evening.
At night the GWTUC went to Hatir Jheel police station to file a complaint about the incident. The officer in charged denied to accept the complaint. He insisted that first two parts need to be removed. One decribing an incident in front of the police station and another the physical abuse of female workers. In the end the GWTUC decided to issue a complaint at the district court.
At night the union was informed that the factory management submitted a complaint as well registered by police unter penal code 326, which is the charge of attempt to murder – a section not allowing any release on bail.
According to the GWTUC the owner claims that the incident happened in his factory, where workers forcefully entered with deadly weapons and tried to kill and loot. Which simply wasn’t the case.
The following day workers held a demonstration to the Dhaka Metropolitan Police Commissioner office. There they found out that 15 workers were named and up to 30 workers remained anonymous in the charges filed by the factory owner.
The struggle continues. Check here to find out what you can do in support!
The Global Month of Solidarity ended with many different activities around the world. But the struggle continues.
Keep letting us know, if you plan further actions or want us to publish reports: email@example.com
Join the e-mail campaign!
Send an email to New Yorker, Walmart, Lidl and the Dragon Sweater management via unitedagainstthedragon.info.Continue reading
Dozens of people joined Tour de Classe – a bicycle rally in Dresden – on September 22nd. In solidarity with the textile workers at Dragon Sweater they stopped at three Lidl and two New Yorker stores in the city.
Both, Lidl and New Yorker, had business relations with the Dragon Group at least until 2019. Therefore we expect a public statement from them announcing to blacklist the Dragon Group as long as wages and severance pay are owed to the workers.
The tour was organized by the local syndicate of the Free Workers’ Union (FAU).
On September 19th members of the Free Workers’ Union (FAU) Section Mönchengladbach in Germany rallied in front of the shopping center Minto in the city center.
Today we held a rally in front of the New Yorker branch of the Minto shopping center in solidarity with the 6000 workers laid off and cheated for wages at the Dragon Sweater factory in Dhaka, Bangladesh.source: duesseldorf.fau.org
In February/March this year they were dismissed under the pretext of corona incisions. More realistic is the assumption that union involvement there should be destroyed. For the vast majority of the workers were part of the Garment Workers‘ Trade Union Center (GWTUC), a union of sewers and others.
In the factory of the Dragon Group clothes were produced, which were and are sold profitably in Germany by LIDL and New Yorker.
We stand in solidarity with the exploited workers in Dhaka and their struggles! That is why we are trying to build up pressure here on the spot – as in many other cities and regions of the world through different grassroots unions.
Because we are convinced that we as workers, who have to sell their labor every day to satisfy our needs, are all confronted with the same problem. No matter how different the concrete situations of workers in Dhaka or Mönchengladbach may be, we are ultimately cost factors for our bosses. And they have to be kept as small as possible in capitalist competition.
There is no use in moaning, only our collective organization and the fight for better working conditions and ultimately a world in which we manage the production and all other areas of life ourselves according to our needs.
So what can you do concretely now to support the exploited workers? Here are a few possibilities: globalmayday.net
The Global Month of Solidarity is over, but the fight for full wages and severance pay continues for the garment workers at Dragon Sweater in Dhaka. On September 17th hundreds of them rallied once again in the city and managed to lay siege to the Labor Ministry after breaking through a police line. They shouted slogans such as “Action! Action! – Direct Action!; Workers’ Action! – Direct Action!” and “Workers of the World unite!”.
Comrades of CNT Bisbal in Spain took this picture to send greetings for solidarity to the textile workers at Dragon Sweater in Dhaka (Bangladesh) still fighting for their full wages and severance payments.
The struggle of garment workers at Dragon Sweater (Dhaka, Bangladesh) for full wages and serverance pay continues. So do solidarity activities at brands that profited from the exploitation of exactly those workers.
In the focus is also the brand New Yorker. Until 2019 they profited from the workers at Dragon Sweater. Therefore people rallied in front of a New Yorker store in Hamburg for the third time already (1, 2).
The store management was not amused and confirmed to inform the headquater in Braunschweig (Germany).
In the context of the Global Month of Solidarity with Garment Workers at Dragon Sweater in Dhaka, Bangladesh a local alliance consisting of the Free Workers’ Union (FAU) Hamburg, Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) Hamburg, the Libertarians H-Burg as well as individual comrades recorded this video message:
As an act of solidarity with the fighting garment workers at Dragon Sweater in Dhaka members of the anarcho-syndicalist Free Workers’ Union (FAU) Freiburg, feminist organisations and socialist party „Die Linke” rallied in front of a New Yorker store in the city center of Freiburg on July 18th. They were one of the first to do so.
Since not only New Yorker (a clothes retailer with its headquarter in Braunschweig, Germany) but also Lidl (a major grocery store chain also selling some clothes) placed orders in huge numbers with Dragon Sweater at least until the year 2019, the same alliance pickets in front of Lidl in Freiburg today, Sept. 12th, 2020.
They also spoke to the sales manager of the store, passed him a letter and contact details of the GWTUC and demanded that Lidl publicly states to blacklist the Dragon Group as long as wages and compensations are not paid.
During the Global Month of Solidarity the (former) garment workers at Dragon Sweater in Dhaka organized with the Garment Workers’ Trade Union Center (GWTUC) held a press conference on August 29th, blocked the Labor Ministry on August 31st and attempetd to lay siege to the factory owner’s residency on September 7th. The fight continues.
After negotiations with the factory owners broke down, hundreds of workers took to the streets again on September 10th. They stopped at the National Press Club as well as the Labor Ministry.
Though the police came to the scene, there were no confrontations this time.