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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:

Archived Posts/Articles

September 16, 2013

Victims of the Rana Plaza disaster still waiting for compensation

Rana PlazaAlmost five months after the collapse of the Rana Plaza building in Bangladesh, only nine of the twenty-nine brands invited to discuss compensation for the victims showed up for a meeting convened by IndustriALL Global Union and chaired by the International Labor Organization (ILO).

July 11, 2013

Walmart/Gap program undermines progress in Bangladesh

Walmart, Gap and the corporations that have chosen to join them are unwilling to commit to a program under which they actually have to keep the promises they make to workers and accept financial responsibility for ensuring that their factories are made safe. Instead, they offer a program that mimics the Bangladesh Accord rhetorically, but that omits the features that make an agreement meaningful.

July 8, 2013

Which companies haven’t committed to worker safety in Bangladesh?

Why have only one Canadian company and five US companies signed the Accord for Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh so far? Let's tell the companies that have not yet joined the Accord that there is no other credible alternative to this Accord, and inaction is not an option.


June 19, 2013

FLA fails to act on CODEMUH complaints

Two complaints about the impact of high production targets and long work shifts on women workers’ health has exposed the limitations of existing multi-stakeholder code monitoring initiatives.

June 19, 2013

Poverty wages: the excuses are running out

“A living wage is a human right,” says Ineke Zeldenrust, Coordinator of the Clean Clothes Campaign’s International Secretariat, “and the right of workers to a living wage needs to be respected. Full stop.”  MSN spoke with Zeldenrust about why cross-border organizing is necessary to win respect for that right.

June 19, 2013

Women, Brands and Labour Rights

On May 22-24, 30 women leaders from 17 Central American and Mexican women’s and trade union organizations came together in El Salvador for a workshop on “Women, Brands and Labour Rights: how and when do we engage with brands?” Participants in the three-day workshop, which was organized and facilitated by MSN, shared their experiences in attempting to engage with and/or campaign against international brands, retailers and manufacturers to seek solutions to violations of workers’ rights.

June 19, 2013

Global brands sign historic fire and building safety accord

It took the worst industrial disaster in the history of Bangladesh to move global apparel companies to take serious action, but some good may come out of the April 24 Rana Plaza building collapse that killed over 1,100 workers and injured over 1,000 more. More than 50 international retailers and brands have signed the groundbreaking Accord for Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh with the Global Unions IndustriALL and UNI.

June 19, 2013

Apparel brands challenge short-term contracting in Peru

A March 6 open letter from six international apparel companies has created a lively public debate in Peru regarding proposals to repeal three articles of a decades-old “emergency” law allows employers in the garment and textile export sector to hire workers on consecutive short-term employment contracts.

April 5, 2013

In Memory: Stephen Coats

On April 2, MSN received the devastating news that our long-time friend Stephen Coats had died in his sleep the previous night. For more than 25 years, Stephen worked tirelessly to defend the rights of Latin American workers as the director of the Chicago-based US Labor Education in the Americas Project (USLEAP), formerly the US/Guatemala Labor Education Project (US/GLEP). MSN joins the chorus of voices in the international labour rights movement in offering our condolences to Stephen’s wife, Kim Bobo, and their two sons.

February 28, 2013

Apple cited yet again for worker rights abuses

As Apple held its Annual General Meeting in Cupertino, California on February 27, activists from the labour rights group Students and Scholars Against Corporate Misbehaviour (SACOM) rallied in front of Apple stores in Hong Kong to protest the continuing abuse of workers that make the company’s popular electronics products.