The TUC is backing a global union campaign calling on the Bangladesh Government to improve its labour law, and we need your help. Sign up now and then encourage everyone you know who cares about the rights of the workers who make our clothes to do the same.
Since the Rana Plaza factory disaster at the end of April, unions have at last been getting a hearing for our concerns about what’s going on in Bangladesh. We’ve finally persuaded over 50 companies to sign up to the Global Union Accord on fire and building safety in Bangladesh (there will be more news on the Accord’s progress tonight – I’ll blog about that on Touchstone at 11pm) and, after six years of review, the US Government has suspended the trade privileges Bangladeshi goods entering the US have had. That seems to have pushed the Bangladesh Government to improve its labour laws, but they need an extra push.
Unions are using global supply chains and multinational trade agreements as powerful tools to improve standards in Bangladesh’s ready made garment sector. But it isn’t all about those supply chains. The Government of Bangladesh needs to give workers a stronger right to join unions (at present, unions have to inform the employer who’s joined: a powerful disincentive!) and more rights at work over health and safety, minimum wages and collective bargaining.