The latest human disaster in the Bangladeshi garment industry - a poorly constructed factory building collapses...
Comments on the horrific fire of Saturday 24th November 2012 that swept through a Bangladeshi garment factory.
Another fire in a Bangladeshi garment factory, over 120 lives lost and more than a hundred injured - the only difference this time from the many other factory fires in the past 30 years is the scale of the deaths and human suffering. It is this that makes it 'worthy' of comment, for a brief moment, in the international media.
Garment workers resume work with issues unresolved...
Thursday 21st June 2012, Ashulia, Dhaka; after a week of intense struggles for higher wages, followed by a 4-day lockout of half a million workers (see earlier article), 350 factories in the industrial zone come to life again.
The resurgence of unrest in the Bangladeshi garment sector continues with over 500,000 workers now locked out in Ashulia...
The main costs of living for garment workers are food and rent; both are rising much faster than wages. The overall inflation level is around 10%. So workers are demanding pay increases of up to 50% and are calling for rent controls to be implemented.
After a long period of relative quiet, workers are again taking mass action in the Bangladeshi garment industry. Also; some comments on the recent wave of political 'disappearances'.
Since the deployment of the new Industrial Police Force (IPF) in 2010 struggles had been much reduced by the IP's innovative tactics(1). But recent events in Dhaka's industrial suburb of Ashulia and elsewhere suggest that workers' anger, solidarity, willingness to struggle and sheer weight of numbers can't be contained indefinitely.
Inspired by the destruction of most of the best pubs in our locality and the increasing difficulty in finding a pub with a bearable atmosphere to enjoy a drink in, Last Orders For The Local? casts a critical eye over recent changes to pub environments and the emergence of Theming as a marketing factor in various fields of leisure and consumption; and ponders how this connects to the balance of class forces and changes in the way we relate to history and memory.
Reflections on the recent evolution of Maoism in Nepal.
A general overview and analysis of developments in the garment worker struggles we have been covering for the past few years.
The class struggle in Bangladesh is fought at a consistently high level and concentrated in the ready made garment (RMG) sector, the country's dominant industry(1). Mainly unmediated by trade unions, struggles frequently assume an explosive character. In Part 1 we give some idea of the content and extent of these struggles - followed in Part 2 by some historical background.
In January and April 2009 two libcom news articles were published reporting that the Maoist-led government had expressed their intention to use legislation to ban strikes in some industries. These articles were quite widely reproduced on various websites and caused some controversy; online pro-maoists were particularly upset. So much so that some of them used a combination of inaccuracy and distortion in an attempt to discredit the articles. We have refuted these dishonesties wherever possible, but as they have continued we have decided to restate the facts here for convenient reference.
Since the articles were written we have also found some additional proof of the Maoists' intentions to ban strikes and we present it here.
Part 2 is a more general commentary on the political role of Maoism in Nepal and its function in promoting capitalist development.
The past four days have seen widespread protests and rioting against the announcement of the new minimum wage structure for Bangladeshi garment workers.
The industry's monthly minimum wage was last raised after the mass revolt of 2006. The increase, to Taka 1,662[£15/$23/€18], was already inadequate - and since then inflation of basic foodstuffs has risen over 70%.