Bangladesh: Free the jailed unionists and workers
Bangladesh: Free jailed unionists and workers
See call to action from UNI Global Union General Secretary Philip Jennings and related campaign documents:
At least 26 Bangladeshis have been jailed
Most of the workers and trade unionists have been jailed for participating in a strike in late 2016. The government of Bangladesh is using the strike as an opportunity for a broad crackdown on labour, arresting other unionists not involved in the strike. Many union leaders have gone into hiding for fear of being arrested and union offices have been closed down.
We must fight back to defend the jailed workers and basic trade union rights in Bangladesh. UNI is coordinating with IndustriALL and ITUC a campaign to demand their immediate release and an end to the repression of trade unions.
There are multiple ways you can participate:
Either deliver the attached protest letter to the Bangladeshi embassy or send it directly to the Bangladeshi government (in English only). Put it on your union’s letterhead, insert your union’s name in the first sentence, add a signature and send it to the email addresses listed at the top of the letter.
Send the attached letter to your government asking it to demand the Bangladesh government free the jailed trade unionists and respect workers’ rights.
We again urge you to stand with the jailed Bangladeshi trade unionists. Every day counts, so take action now. The Bangladeshi government is very sensitive to its public reputation across the world since its economy is heavily dependent on the export of garments. This means that we can be sure that your actions will have a strong impact.
The Bangladeshi government and garment factory owners are using the wage strike as a pretext to crack down on the labour movement.
Wages in Bangladesh’s garment industry are among the lowest in the world. It is unacceptable that the demand to increase the minimum wage is met with arbitrary detentions, suspended production at 59 factories, the firing of well over 1,600 workers and police cases against 600 workers and trade union leaders.
Garment workers in Bangladesh have the unequivocal right to organize and must be paid a living wage on which they can survive.
Nearly four years have passed since the collapse of the Rana Plaza building. Considerable progress has been made in the area of fire and building safety, primarily through the Accord, the Government of Bangladesh has done tragically little to guarantee the respect for the rule of law, including labour law and international labour standards.