Following the victory of the former textile workers at Dragon Sweater the Garment Workers’ Trade Union Center (GWTUC) sent this letter of acknowledgement:
International solidarity gains victory in workers struggle in Bangladesh
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.
All reports related to the International Day of Action in Solidarity with former Textile Workers at Dragon Sweater (Dhaka) and against Excessive Consumerism on Black Friday (Nov. 27th, 2020) are listed below.Continue reading
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).Continue reading
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.
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.
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.
International Confederation of Labor (ICL)
National Confederation of Labor (CNT) Aranjuez (Spain)
Free Workers’ Union (FAU) Bielefeld (Germany)
FAU Sektion Mönchengladbach
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)
Central Organization of Workers in Sweden (SAC-Syndikalisterna) Fairdruckt eG
Root of Compassion eG
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.
As part of What YOU can do! labor groups/unions are asked to record short audio messages, which can be aired in public during the pickets in different parts of the world. The messages can include: Short intro to your group/union. Expression of solidarity with the garment workers at Dragon Sweater. Introducing your planned activities.
Send your recordings to firstname.lastname@example.org so they can be shared here.
Though the Global Month of Solidarity ended …
This was the call for the Global Month of Solidarity:
☆ August 15th – September 15th, 2020 ☆
Approximately 6,000 workers used to earn a living in the Dragon Sweater factory located in the capital of Bangladesh, Dhaka. In March 2020 the factory closed down using the CoViD-19 pandemic as a pretext.
The owners decided to terminate the workers without severance pay, owed wages, owed provident fund amounts and owed bonus pay. The action to fire workers without the pay and benefits owed to them is illegal.
The factory owners are part of a large conglomerate called Dragon Group, which also has an office in London. Until now they reject to cooperate with the workers. Most of them are organized with the Garment Workers’ Trade Union Center (GWTUC) and they have been taking their struggle to the streets since the factory closure was announced.
So far we can confirm that the workers were sewing, ironing and packing for New Yorker, Walmart and Lidl in huge numbers in 2019!
Those brands directly profitted from the exploitation of those workers. Therefore we want to carry this struggle to where the big bucks are made with their work – the sales markets in Europe, North America and around the world. Some unions already organized solidarity actions, such as IWW Bristol, FAU Hamburg and FAU Freiburg.
To break the wall of silence by the owners as well as brands and support the garment workers in this struggle, we call for the Global Month of Solidarity with the Workers at Dragon Sweater!
Solidarity is our weapon!
This call was initiated by the ICL Working Group Asia together with GWTUC and IWW Ireland.
Do let us know of any activities you might plan as part of this call and also submit reports, so they can be shared with the workers in Dhaka.
To join this call and submit any related materials, send an email to email@example.com!
For more Information: globalmayday.net