Black Friday Solidarity with Garment Workers
Updated: Jan 8, 2021
As part of an International Day of Action on “Black Friday” members of the Industrial Workers of the World took part in solidarity actions with the former textile workers at Dragon Sweater and against excessive consumerism.
The international call was initiated by the FAU Hamburg, IWW Hamburg, and the Working Group Asia of the CIT ICL.
A representative of the IWW Branch in Derry commented following todays actions "The Industrial Workers of the World IWW endorses the international call made by the CIT-ICL in solidarity with Garment Workers and the #gwtuc in Bangladesh.
"Our members are once again highlighting the devastation caused to textile workers, to their families and wider communities throughout Bangladesh by ruthless companies who distribute to multinationals such as Lidl.
"These companies have known for sometime now just how workers involved with their suppliers such as Dragon Sweater and Imperial Sweaters are treated. Thousands have been illegally let go from their jobs and have received no payment of wages owed to them or redundancies which they are fully entitled to.
"After months of protests, strikes and standoffs, of which the IWW have taken part in internationally, these companies agreed to a fixed settlement earlier this month but have renegade on these. This in turn has left workers and the communities in which they come from destitute. [https://globalmayday.net/.../factory-owners-break.../].
"Those two factories belonging to the Dragon Group have been supplying Walmart, Lidl and New Yorker among others. Despite worldwide protests the companies involved didn’t take up any responsibility in how these workers have been treated. It is nothing short of a disgrace.
"Our union have initiated several requests along with the Free Workers’ Union (FAU) and the International Confederation of Labor (ICL) yet they continue to refuse to issue such a statement condemning the shocking treatment of workers.
"The IWW without question fully support the garment workers call which demands that these brands condemn such methods by factory owners and act accordingly – not only regarding their suppliers the Dragon Group but also in Sri Lanka, Myanmar, India and Cambodia where union busting is part of their daily agenda.
"We demand that these multinationals such as Lidl support the respective labour struggles on the ground. We must stand together in solidarity and emphasise that as consumers and as workers we don’t accept exploitation in the factories or in retailing."
Fundraising efforts with which the textile workers will be supported on a very pratical level: https://www.gofundme.com/gwtucsolidarity