Commentary Archive

Disastrous Outcome on Wages Made Worse by the Price Workers Are Paying for Speaking out

November 22, 2023

1. Current Wage Proposal Is Untenable, Brands Must Formally Call—and Commit to Pay for—Livable Wages for Workers Brands Failed to Support a Wage of US$215, the Proposed US$113 per Month Knowingly Condemns Workers to Poverty The Bangladesh Government is proposing a minimum wage of US$113 (12,500 Bangladesh taka, “BDT”), well below the US$215 (BDT 23,000–25,000)…

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Garment workers in a crowd, many hands raised.

Bangladesh Minimum Wage Negotiations Put Brands’ Living Wage “Commitments” to the Test

October 25, 2023

Poverty wages and high inflation, make substantial minimum wage increase for garment workers long overdue—international brands must take responsibility Impoverished garment workers in Bangladesh earning US$73 per month, while making apparel for top international brands, are calling for an increase in the country’s minimum wage to US$215 (23,000–25,000 Bangladesh taka, “BDT”) per month—a figure recent…

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First Pakistan Building Inspections Indicate Deadly Fire Hazards Are Widespread

October 5, 2023

The complex work of formally registering the Pakistan Accord as an entity able to operate in Pakistan is complete. This was an important hurdle, now cleared, which will allow vital safety inspections to commence. The urgent need for the Accord program in Pakistan is underscored by the results of pilot safety assessments already conducted by the Accord in seven Pakistani garment and textile factories.

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El Monte Workers

Thai El Monte Garment Workers Inducted into US Labor Hall of Honor

September 18, 2023

Twenty-eight years ago last month, consumers opened their newspapers to learn that sweatshops had returned to the US apparel industry, on domestic soil, under conditions unheard of in nearly a century. In August 1995, more than 70 Thai migrant workers were found to be sewing garments sold by major US retailers, under slave labor conditions,…

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One Year Back Pay, Rehiring for Haitian Workers Fired over Wage Protest

July 14, 2023

After nearly a year of investigation and engagement by the WRC, Centri Group, a garment factory in Haiti that supplies the Canadian apparel company, Gildan Activewear, has committed to remedy violations of its workers’ fundamental right to freedom of association. As previously reported, a WRC investigation had found that, in 2022, Centri Group violated its…

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WRC Statement in Response to Murder of Shahidul Islam

June 28, 2023

The WRC stands with the international labor rights community in mourning and condemning the devastating murder of longstanding union leader, Shahidul Islam of the Bangladesh Garment and Industrial Workers Federation (BGIWF). Our thoughts are with his wife and sons, and the union movement in Bangladesh that he tirelessly dedicated 25 years of his life to…

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‘শহীদুল ইসলাম হত্যার প্রতিক্রিয়ায় WRC’র বিবৃতি’

June 28, 2023

আন্তর্জাতিক শ্রমিক অধিকার সম্প্রদায়ের সাথে একাত্ম হয়ে ‘শ্রমিক অধিকার সংঘ’ (Worker Rights Consortium, WRC) বাংলাদেশ গার্মেন্টস ইন্ডাস্ট্রিস ওয়ার্কার্স ফেডারেশনের (BGIWF)  নেতা, শ্রমিক আন্দোলনের দীর্ঘদিনের বন্ধু শহীদুল ইসলামের নৃশংস হত্যায় শোক ও নিন্দা জ্ঞাপন করছে। তাঁর স্ত্রী ও ছেলেমেয়ে এবং বাংলাদেশের ট্রেড ইউনিয়ন আন্দোলনের বন্ধুদের মতো আমরাও এই মর্মান্তিক ঘটনায় শোকাহত ও সমব্যাথী; তাঁদের প্রতিও আমরা…

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New Report Details Impact of Lesotho Anti-GBVH Program

May 4, 2023

A new report details the impact of the Lesotho Anti-GBVH Program over the past two years. This Program was created by a set of landmark agreements between apparel companies, a major manufacturer, unions, and women’s groups to address gender-based violence and harassment (GBVH) in Lesotho garment factories. The WRC has played a central role throughout…

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The Lesson of Rana Plaza: Corporate Self-Regulation Is a Formula for Disaster

April 21, 2023

The Rana Plaza factory collapse killed 1,138 workers, more than any other manufacturing disaster in human history. These deaths, and the injuries to 2,500 others on April 24, 2013, were the culmination of more than a decade of mass fatality incidents in Bangladesh’s garment industry—most of them in factories producing for leading fashion brands and…

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Workers with back pay

WRC Engagement with Target Secures Compensation for Seven Unlawfully Fired Employees, Restores Stolen Severance Rights for 400 Workers at Supplier JNB Global in Guatemala

March 2, 2023

JNB Global, a garment factory in Guatemala that supplies Target Stores, has provided legally owed severance and back pay to workers whom the factory unlawfully fired in February 2021, and it has restored severance and seniority rights for the factory’s entire workforce of 400 employees, following a WRC investigation and subsequent engagement with Target for…

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