Tagged: solidarity

Chronology: Struggle at Dragon Sweater

1994: Dragon Sweater and Spinning Limited incorporated as a private limited company in Bangladesh. This is the period when many of the current experienced workers entered the workforce.

2012: Dragon Sweater becomes a public limited company with shareholders.

February/ March 2020: Dragon Group management in contravention of  Bangladesh Labor Law, illegally lays off majority of workers, citing ‘economic losses’ from the COVID-19 pandemic as a reason. Management terminated the workers’ without compensating years of back pay and benefits.
Sidenote: Vast majority of workers were organized in the Garment Workers’ Trade Union Center (GWTUC) by then. One might suppose that union busting was a driving force behind the owners decsion to lay-off almost everyone.

March 2020: The Dragon Sweater workers start demonstrating at the factory in Malibag and in front of National Press Club to press home their demands.

June 2020: The textile workers lay siege to the Labor Ministry in support of their demands. There is also a siege of the Prime Ministers office in conjunction with workers from other factories agitating for their wages and benefits.

June 2020: Dragon Sweater management reaches out to ICL and Global May Day. ICL and GWTUC responded.

June/ July 2020: FAU Hamburg, FAU Freiburg as well as IWW Bristol, IWW Hamburg and other international comrades hold solidarity demonstrations in support of the Dragon workers. Also in Dhaka workers rallied again.

July 2020: New Yorker contacts FAU Hamburg and GWTUC saying that under these circumstances they will blacklist Dragon Sweater. BUT we are still waiting for a public statement!
No proper feedback from Walmart nor Lidl (yet).

July 2020: Labor union FOB (Brazil) joins the movement.
ICL working group Asia together with GWTUC and IWW Ireland decide to call for a Global Month of Solidarity with workers at Dragon Sweater! The idea of #UnitedAgainstTheDragon is born.

August 2020: The pressure is working. Workers representatives,  owners, and the government sit for ongoing tripartite negotiations. However, the owners still continue to stall proceedings and deny workers their legally-owed arrears.

Call for Solidarity: Paradise Workers Occupy Labor Ministry in Dhaka

[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.]

Dear Comrades,

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.

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