WELCOME TO THE ARCHIVE (1994-2014) OF THE MAQUILA SOLIDARITY NETWORK. For current information on our ongoing work on the living wage, women's labour rights, freedom of association, corporate accountability and Bangladesh fire and safety, please visit our new website, launched in October, 2015: www.maquilasolidarity.org
June 9, 2015
Over 300 workers were killed in devastating factory fires on 11 September 2012 at a garment factory in Karachi and a shoe factory in Lahore, Pakistan. We urge all MSN supporters to join a LabourStart campaign by writing to the Pakistani Prime Minister calling on his government to investigate and punish those responsible, fully compensate the victims and their families, and identify the gaps in public oversight that allow factory owners to operate unsafe workplaces.
A month ago we asked you to appeal to the Mexican authorities to protect the lives of members of the Worker Support Centre (CAT - Centro de Apoyo al Trabajador, a leading Mexican worker rights group) following the May 15 kidnapping and torture of one of its members, José Enrique Morales Montaño - the latest in a string of violent attacks against the organization. As a result of this campaign of violence against their members, the CAT has now been forced to close its office in Puebla. We are asking you to once again urge the Mexican government to take further action in response to this development.
On September 18, 2010 over 300 Cambodian garment workers, many of them trade-union leaders, were unjustly suspended or fired from their jobs for participating in a nation-wide strike for an increase in the minimum wage. Since then, efforts to get them reinstated have failed, despite a court order and the government calling on employers to allow the workers to return to work. Please take action and demand that these workers are allowed to return to work immediately.
MSN is pleased to announce that Kalpona Akter, Babul Akhter, and Aminul Islam of the Bangladesh Center for Worker Solidarity (BCWS) have all been released on bail though they still face prosecution. MSN is no longer requesting emails be sent to the Bangladeshi Government and thanks everyone who participated.
Your support is needed once again to stop the intimidation and harassment of the Bangladesh Center for Worker Solidarity (BCWS). On July 30, more criminal cases were filed against the BCWS staff and other worker leaders. On August 13, two more BCWS leaders were arrested by and are being held by the Bangladesh authorities.
The Bangladesh government has launched an attack on an outspoken workers' organization in a bid to silence mass protests for an increase to the poverty wages paid to garment workers. Last month, the government stripped the Bangladesh Center for Workers Solidarity (BCWS) of their legal status, alleging the organization was inciting unrest in garment factories. Bangladesh police detained, beat and threatened a BCSW staff member.
MSN is pleased to announce that Somyot Pruksakasemsuk was released on June 13, 2010. MSN would like to thank those who responded to the action alert.
Following the recent political upheaval in Thailand, Somyot Pruksakasemsuk, a well-known and respected human and labour rights advocate, was arrested. Somyot is founder of the Centre for Labour and International Solidarity Thailand (CLIST) and a former project coordinator for ICEM (International Federation of Chemical, Energy, Mine and General Workers' Unions) in Thailand. The Maquila Solidarity Network (MSN) is joining ICEM and the European Clean Clothes Campaign (CCC) in urging supporters to write to the Thai prime minister calling for Somyot's immediate release.
As consumers rush to get their hands on an iPad, Apple Inc.'s latest gadget, which officially hit Canadian stores today, Asian civil society organizations are protesting Foxconn, the world's leading electronics manufacturer and one of Apple's major suppliers, for its deplorable labour practices which have been linked to 12 worker suicides at one of its Chinese plants this year alone.
On April 27, Mexican human rights activist and indigenous leader Alberta ("Bety") Cariño and Finnish human rights observer Jyri Antero Jaakkola were killed and several people injured when the international aid caravan they were part of was ambushed by paramilitaries.
We urge you to write to the Mexican authorities today to condemn this crime and demand that those responsible be brought to justice.
Following a horrific factory fire that killed 21 employees of a garment factory in Bangladesh, the factory workers are demanding swift reforms, a criminal investigation and compensation for the victims. Support these workers' demands by writing to the Government of Bangladesh and international fashion brands sourcing from this factory.
Send a letter to Wal-Mart today, urging the world's largest and most powerful retailer to use its considerable influence to put a stop to blatant and serious violations of workers' rights at the Chong Won supply factory in the Philippines. To send a letter immediately, click here.