Category: News

Online-Meeting #2: Coordinating Global May Day 2021

January 24th (Sunday) – Coordinations for a Global May Day 2021

This meeting will focus on the creation of a common framework:
We want to discuss the proposal submitted by FOB focussing on a universal basic income (copied below) as well as other points that should be included in a common call.

Everyone sympathizing with the Global May Day self-conception is invited to join the meeting!

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#UnitedAgainstTheDragon: Workers finally get paid!

International solidarity gains victory in workers struggle in Bangladesh

Report also available in German [auf Deutsch] and Spanish [en Español].

After months of protests and international solidarity actions the owners of two big garment factories finally pay owed wages and severance payments.

The workers of Dragon Sweater factory in Dhaka, Bangladesh were laid off illegally during the Pandemic (Starting March, 2020) without paying them their outstanding wages and benefits. The
workers started a movement to realize their demands and force the owners to pay their dues. International organizations and initiatives like Global May Day also started holding solidarity demonstrations.

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Online-Meeting #1: Coordinating Global May Day 2021

December 27th (Sunday) – Kicking off coordinations for a Global May Day 2021

This meeting will focus on two topics:
We want to explore how the #UnitedAgainstTheDragon movement in solidarity with former textile workers at Dragon Sweater in Dhaka went so far.
And following Global May Day 2020 we want to create a framework on the global level to connect May Day actions around the world in 2021.

Everyone sympathizing with the Global May Day self-conception is welcome to join the meeting!

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#UnitedAgainstTheDragon – International Day of Action on “Black Friday”

In Solidarity with the former textile workers at Dragon Sweater and against excessive consumerism!

This call was initiated by the Free Workers’ Union (FAU) Hamburg, Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) Hamburg, in Progress Braunschweig as well as the Working Group Asia of the International Confederation of Labor (ICL).
It is also available in German here.

November 27th marks the so called Black Friday. Crowds will flock into the shops to stock up on stuff such as clothes. Clothes that were also made in the Dragon Sweater factory in Dhaka (Bangladesh).

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#UnitedAgainstTheDragon: Workers block Factory Owner inside Labor Ministry

Since the Dragon Sweater factory management broke the agreement with the textile workers, hundreds of them have been taking to the streets again. Since November 11th workers are protesting continuously in front of the Labor Ministry in Dhaka.

On November 15th the Labor Ministry was blocked with Mostafa Golam Quddus, former president of BGMEA (Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association) and currently the managing director at Dragon Sweater as well as chairman of the Dragon Group, inside.

Monzur Moin, secretary of the Garment Workers Trade Union Center (GWTUC), says:

Workers have been struggling for more than six months. Workers are protesting in front of the labor building in protest of the violation of the dragon owner’s contract and demand for the immediate payment of all legal dues. That is why the workers have detained Mostafa Golam Quddus inside the building of the Labor Ministry.
The workers agreed to the contract and waived more than half of what they were entitled to. The owners proved that they have no the least respect for the laws of the country and the rights of the workers by violating the agreement made with the workers who accepted huge financial losses.

Article published in Bangla: ekota.live

To support the garment workers in their struggle this fundraising site was set up.

#UnitedAgainstTheDragon: Factory Owners break Agreement – Workers continue to fight!

To get straight to the point: The textile workers were not paid!

Since March/April hundreds of them have been struggling for overdue wages, bonus payments and severance pay. Following many rallies in Dhaka and an extensive Global Month of Solidarity, the factory owners signed an agreement with the workers on October 12th, 2020. According to that agreement workers and owners maintain an amiable relationship and refrain from conflict and renounced about half of all the money owed to them. In return the owners agreed to finally pay the remaining amount in four instalments. In addition an open letter – signed by 19 federations, labor unions/syndicates and collectives – was initiated after the agreement was signed. The first payment was suppose to take place on November 7th. Workers went to the factory – but no cash was seen.

In reaction to the non-payment hundreds of textile workers took to the streets of Dhaka the following day as well as on November 10th. For next Friday workers announced to hold a ‘hunger rally’ and lay siege to the Labor Ministry indefinately!

Local media like ekota.live report about those latest developments.

How will things continue now?
To discuss this further a local solidarity alliance consisting of the Free Workers’ Union (FAU) Hamburg and Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) Hamburg together with a local group from Braunschweig held a meeting today. They agreed to initiate an International Day of Action in Solidarity with the Dragon Sweater Textile Workers in collaboration with the Garment Workers’ Trade Union Center (GWTUC) for November 27th – the so called “Black Friday”. Furthermore a fundraising campaign initiated by the International Confederation of Labor (ICL) and with support of FAU Hamburg will be launched next week.

More details on the day of action as well as the fundraising campaign to be announced soon – Stay tuned!

Madrid: CGT calls for General Strike

CGT calls for a General Strike in Madrid and its region

CGT has called for a general strike in Madrid and its region on 11th November. For this strike, and on the basis of a vast array of shared demands, the union has brought together different unions and social organisations that are similarly concerned by the current situation in
Madrid.

The different governments have privileged economic rather than health and social criteria in their response to the collapse of the health system. In fact, the healthcare system is being privatised even at this time of pandemic for the sole benefit of private companies. Where are the public hospitals we need? What measures are being taken in care homes? What means have health and socio-sanitary workers at their disposal? What about those who cannot get a job, those are being ejected from their houses? What about the most underprivileged, who do not have a home neither a job? 

It is yet unknown whether public schools will stay open. Due to spending cuts, there is not enough staff (including healthcare staff), the number of students per classroom does not allow for the safety distance to be kept, and there are no means for distance learning and to guarantee attention to diversity. People are forced to take overcrowded buses, undergrounds and regional trains to get to their work and study places, which increases the rates of contagion. The use of private, more polluting means of transport is encouraged instead. The selective confinement of certain areas within the region of Madrid has had a clear ideological bias, targeting mainly working class neighbourhoods.

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Open letter to Dragon Group management

This open letter was sent to the Dragon Sweater Ltd./ Dragon Group management on November 1st, 2020:

In cooperation with the Garment Workers’ Trade Union Center (GWTUC) the following open letter was initiated and is herewith officially delivered to the management of Dragon Sweater Ltd.
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Dear Deagon Sweater Ltd./Dragon Group management!

First of all we welcome the fact that an agreement between the textile workers and the Dragon Sweater management was finally reached. At the same time we have to acknowledge that the owners got away cheaply, since by far not all payments were agreed on that the workers are entitled to.

We will continue to observe future developments closely. In case we realize that you deviate from the agreement – for example by not paying your dues on the given days – we are ready to become active again by confronting your customers (e.g. New Yorker, Lidl and Walmart). The campaign #UnitedAgainstTheDragon would become even bigger.

Kind regards,

International Confederation of Labor (ICL)
National Confederation of Labor (CNT) Aranjuez (Spain)
Free Workers’ Union (FAU) Bielefeld (Germany)
FAU Bonn
FAU Freiburg
FAU Hamburg
FAU Leipzig
FAU Sektion Mönchengladbach
FAU Münster
FAU International Committee
Feministische Gruppe Realitätenwerkstatt Freiburg (Germany)
Federação das Organizações Sindicalistas Revolucionárias do Brasil (Brazil)
Federación Obrera Regional Argentina
Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) Bristol (UK)
IWW Hamburg
IWW Ireland
Central Organization of Workers in Sweden (SAC-Syndikalisterna) Fairdruckt eG
Root of Compassion eG