Exposing Reality Changes Reality

wages

In 2013 the Pittsburgh-based, the Institute for Global Labour and Human Rights began investigating the working conditions in the “New Collections” factory in Dhaka, Bangladesh. The factory makes clothes for the Gap and Old Navy. Bangladesh is the world’s second largest garment manufacturer in the world. Garment exports account for $26.9 billion in 2014 – 80% of the country’s entire export earnings. [1]

Global Labour found that the workers, 80% of whom are women, were required to work 14-to17 plus hour shifts, seven days a week. This amounted to 100 to 120 hours a week! At the same time the Wall Street Journal also began an investigation into what they found were “gross worker rights violations” in the same factory. Because of their work, dramatic improvements will now benefit over 10,000 workers in Bangladesh.

Factory workers at “New Collections” used to be paid just 20 to 24 cents an hour. They were sometimes beaten and robbed of overtime pay. Now, ten of the abusive and corrupt senior managers at Next Collections have been fired and for the first time women workers are receiving their maternity leave and full benefits. After four years of being cheated workers now are paid in full and on time, including all overtime and back wages according to the law. No more 17- to 20-hour shifts, seven days a week, earning just 20 to 24 cents an hour. Workers are no longer threatened, physically abused and fired for demanding their rights.All overtime is strictly voluntary, and cannot exceed two hours a day, six days a week, for a regular 48-hour workweek with 12 hours of overtime.

This report shows how organizations like the Global Labour and Human Rights Institute can, through their investigation and publicity, create real and meaningful changes for people who are not able to organize, who cannot form a union, who do not make a living wage. Become an advocate for a Living Income Guaranteed and help those who need help.

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