International Solidarity with GWTUC Garment Workers
Updated: Aug 10, 2020
The Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) Ireland send their solidarity and support to the Garment Workers Trade Union Centre (GWTUC) in Bangladesh who refuse to be silenced on the illegal dismissal and withholding of wages owed to their members by the Dragon Sweater Group.
The GWTUC have called upon the International labour movement to draw attention to companies with business relations with a company currently acting in violation of the Bangladesh Labor Act 2006 (specifically section 26 and 29).
To this end the IWW in Ireland have initiated a series of solidarity pickets at Lidl and Walmart (ASDA UK/ Ireland) stores across the country and internationally with International Confederation of Labour (ICL-CIT) from Saturday 15th August to 15th September to raise awareness of the treatment of garment workers who create some of the clothing sold here.
The IWW has written to Lidl and ASDA to formally highlight that their supplier, Dragon Group, has illegally terminated the contracts of almost 6000 workers, mostly at their Dragon Sweater factory in Dhaka. Despite attempted negotiations and protests since the beginning of March the workers are left struggling to obtain their overdue wages as well as bonus and compensation payments. We have also been informed that the Dragon Group factory is simply relocating while citing economic slowdown and losses due to the Covid-19 as reason for closure.
We have asked both Lidl and ASDA to take action to quickly resolve the current impasse, which violates local labour laws and contravenes their own code of conduct. We have not received any reply or seen any progress since.
The IWW firmly believes that no company should be allowed to leave workers in their supply chain open to exploitation and that customers want to make informed choices regarding the provenance of their purchases.
We recognise how the rights and conditions for workers in one country affect those elsewhere and in the interests of international working class solidarity we intend to make public and amplify the demands of the GWTUC members and Garment workers.
We invite supporters to join us in highlighting how companies like Lidl and ASDA are profiting from the exploitation of our fellow workers in Bangladesh. We invite the trade union movement in Ireland to support and join the pickets and to echo the call for solidarity with the GWTUC to help force the bosses of Dragon Sweaters to agree to the demands of the GWTUC.
You can send additional messages of support and solidarity to the Garment Workers Trade Union Center at firstname.lastname@example.org
Global May Day: https://globalmayday.net/unitedagainstthedragon