Look For the Union Label

ilgwu3Jeremiah grieves for the Bangladeshi garment workers.  They had that fire back in November, and now more people killed.  The Triangle Fire Coalition held an event for that tragedy only last month.

Activism is led by Triangle, FLA, and the Fair Wear Foundation.  They are a good place to start, if you want to get involved.  We recommend a “fair wear” label, like the famous campaign of old.

Government agencies have incentives to preserve the status quo.  Here, Bangladesh urges the EU not to react.  We would really like to see leadership from international unions.  Unions and factory owners will always achieve a balance, as long as there is no government interference.

The government has set up a 2,990-strong Industrial Police force to collect intelligence and prevent unrest in factory zones.

Workers in the developing world are living through the same struggle we did, one hundred years ago.  Ironically, the ILGWU was undone by competition from cheap labor overseas.  Bangladeshi workers will have to reinvent it – and this is a lesson for union organizers.  When the work moves overseas, the union should follow it.

Update:  For those who do not remember it, the “union label” song is here.  Wait for the second verse, with the female vocalist.

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