Reflections on “Unprecedented Changes” in the Garments Sector of Bangladesh

Garments workers

The Institute for Global Labour and Human Rights’ report Unprecedented Changes.

Reflections on “Unprecedented Changes” in the Garments Sector of Bangladesh

by Farida Khan for AlalODulal.org

The Tazreen fire and Rana Plaza collapse has made many Western consumers shudder at the thought of their complicity with sub-human conditions in the Third World factories where their clothes are sewn. While consumers are often careful to avoid purchasing soccer balls sewn by child labor Continue reading

Unprecedented Changes in the Garments Sector of Bangladesh

frontpage

The Institute for Global Labour and Human Rights’ report Unprecedented Changes.

Unprecedented Changes in the Garments Sector of Bangladesh

by Farhad Mahmud for AlalODulal.org

Soon after the Tazreen fire and Rana Plaza collapse, there were two types of reaction from the buyers who were sourcing garments from Bangladesh.  There was one group who felt they need to move away from sourcing from Bangladesh.  Another group felt somewhat responsible  Continue reading

TUBA STRIKE: What a country have we become!

Photo: SouthAsianMedia.net

TUBA STRIKE: What a country have we become!
by Faruk Wasif for Prothom Alo, translated by Irfan Chowdhury for AlalODulal.org
Kidnappers demand ransom after taking innocents hostage. Prisoners are exchanged during wars. But what sort of ransom is being sought for the Tuba Group, where sixteen hundred workers are made captive? If their co-owner, the arrested Delwar Hossain, is not released, the workers will not be paid. Nowhere in the company law is it mentioned that other business-partners will not be able to withdraw money from the accounts in the absence of a partner. The Tuba Group has made this case and Delwar Hossain’s bail has been granted.

Just as it is a crime to use hapless humans as shields in wars, the Tuba group has committed a crime by using hungry and wage-depraved workers. The Labour Minister has legitimised this use. The Shamim Osman(s) rely on the support of the party in power, and garment factory owners rely on the government support. What a dreadful situation.

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‘Beauty’ for the Owner, ‘Deformity’ for the Labor

Tulshi Rani, missing at Rana Plaza.

Tulshi Rani, missing at Rana Plaza.

In scores of rallies and public meetings, workers raised questions about the luxurious life led by factory owners while they lived in sheer misery. `While you (factory owners) eat the chicken’s thigh, we chew its feet, its claws.”

‘Beauty’ for the Owner, ‘Deformity’ for the Labor
by Saydia Gulrukh Continue reading

Liberation through the Gunday lens

Bangla poster of Hindi film 'Gunday'

Bangla poster of Hindi film ‘Gunday’


Liberation through the Gunday lens
By Fahima Durrat for AlalODulal.org

Factual errors made in a fictitious storyline may seem like a trivial matter, but they can hide icebergs. The iceberg that showed its tip in the film Gunday seems to have reappeared again in the headlines of Indian newspapers. Bangladesh protests against “distortion” of history, they report. Those inverted commas reveal a deeper source of offence.

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The state of the Bangladesh economy

by Abdullah Shibli for AlaloDulal.org

Bangladesh, the country and its economy, is full of contradictions. To list a couple, while it is one of the world’s fastest growing nations, it has pockets of extreme poverty and malnutrition in urban and rural areas. Another paradox: for the last two decades it has been ruled by two political parties, the Awami League and the Bangladesh Nationalist Party, led by two head-strong leaders, who never can seem to agree on anything, but ran the gauntlet and survived many potentially dangerous threats, including religious fundamentalism, military takeovers, and internal revolt, to its fledgling democracy. Continue reading

Where have all the negotiating tables gone?

By Nadine S Murshid and Awrup Sanyal for AlalODulal.org

 2013-09-14 15.03.10

“Economic growth cannot sensibly be treated as an end in itself. Development has to be more concerned with enhancing lives we lead and the freedoms we enjoy,” posits Amartya Sen in his book Development as Freedom (1999). Yet, Bangladesh has grown – developed at a decent rate of 6.7% over the last year – without enhancing the lives of workers, without the freedoms that Sen would like workers to enjoy, as exemplified, perhaps, by the recurrent protests by garment factory workers in Dhaka, protests that have a history of turning violent.

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