Workers’ fight for decent wages has been ongoing in Bangladesh, as has government repression whenever workers organize to achieve improved wages and working conditions.
In December 2016, worker protests for decent wages were met with violent crackdowns by national and industrial police forces. Despite the repression, workers have continued to mobilize and lobby industry and government for substantial increases to the country’s minimum wage.
Two separate joint letters have been sent by international civil society organizations and global apparel and footwear brands to Cambodian Prime Minister, Samdech Hun Sen, expressing their concerns regarding recent amendments to the country’s Law on Trade Unions, which were approved by the Cambodian Senate in early December 2019.
The first letter, dated December 18, 2019, was co-signed by 36 Cambodian and international civil society organizations, including MSN, and the second by 23 global brands and multi-stakeholder organizations with an interest in Cambodia.
Five months after Montreal-based clothing manufacturer Gildan Activewear’s surprise announcement that it was closing its STAR factory in El Progreso, Honduras, the SITRASTAR union and Gildan have finally reached an agreement on compensation and other issues.
On December 11, 2018, six prominent Cambodian union leaders were found guilty of instigating violent protests in December 2013 and January 2014 and ordered to pay a collective fine of approximately US$8,600. The sentence comes just two months after Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen, under increasing international pressure, publicly urged labour and justice ministers to finalize all court cases against union leaders, a call originally lauded by union leaders.
Read more about Six Cambodian union leaders unjustly sentenced in a trial riddled with irregularities
Fifteen workers who were subjected to beatings, death threats and firings for attempting to form a union at a Shahi Exports garment factory in Bangalore, India have won reinstatement and an apology from their employer.