Striking Bangladeshi garment workers win a 77% pay rise

Following a four day shutdown of hundreds of factories by strikes and a series of violent confrontations involving tens of thousands of people, Bangladeshi garment workers have forced the bosses into a 77% rise to the minimum wage, although it is still the lowest minimum wage in the world. This victory will hopefully be a catalyst to other garment workers in India, China, Cambodia, and Laos, who are being held back from confrontation by the boss’s threats of relocation and dismissals.

Cambodian garment workers march on the Prime Ministers house

Protesting garment workers in Cambodia have clashed with police leaving scores injured. Workers employed at SL Garment processing – who make clothes for Nike, H&M, & Gap - marched on the Prime Ministers house, demanding better pay and working conditions. They were met by heavily armed police who were intent on violence, using live bullets and tear gas to disperse the marchers. A woman selling rice at the side of the road was shot and killed by the indiscriminate shooting of the security forces.

Three million Indonesian workers strike for a 50% pay rise

Three million workers across all sectors (mainly textiles) have begun a week-long strike to demand a nationwide pay rise of 50%, stricter rules on outsourcing, and universal health cover. Indonesia’s economy grew by 6% last year and the workers want a bigger piece of the pie. A group of 37 huge companies – mainly in the textile industry – have submitted a statement to the government demanding no wage increases in 2014, or they will close their factories and leave the country.

Who can ride the garment tiger?

On Saturday September 21st there began a 10 day mass agitation by Bangladeshi Ready Made Garment(RMG) workers demanding a 170% increase in their minimum wage.

The US national textile workers' strike, 1934 - Jeremy Brecher

Striking textile workers come up against state troopers in 1934

Jeremy Brecher's history of the largely unsuccessful nationwide strike of textile workers during the great depression, which the union nevertheless declared a victory.

A stitch in time: the ‘orchestrated networks’ of bloody Taylorism - John Barker

'All Enterprises' Factory on fire, Baldia Town, Karchi, September 2012

An analysis of the global clothing supply chain, its technology and organisation of labour; it's historical development and recurring high death rate for workers, with reference to recent factory disasters in Asia.

From its beginnings, the sewing machine’s role in shaping global capitalism has been crucial. In today’s high-tech and globalised production landscape, little about the actual machine has changed. A fact which keeps costs down and makes sewing a point of intensive value extraction in an assymetrical and retailer oriented system. John Barker ties together the threads linking the likes of Walmart and Primark to lethal garment factory conditions around the world

The legacy of the dead - the Savar collapse, part 2

A woman, Shefali, learns of the discovery of her sister's corpse.

The site of the Dhaka factory collapse is now cleared; new concessions and reforms are announced. Some further reflections...

The house of cards: the Savar building collapse

A detailed account and analysis of the latest human disaster in the Bangladeshi garment industry - a poorly constructed factory building collapses...

Hundreds of thousands of Bangladeshi garment workers strike after factory collapse

Hundreds of thousands of workers went on strike on Thursday in protest at the deaths of hundreds of workers in a factory collapse the previous day.