Bangladesh Garment Workers Solidarity

Bangladeshi garment workers have been thrown out of work and plunged into crisis as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, a situation that has been significantly exacerbated by the anti-social behavior of large retailers and brands (e.g., Gap, WalMart), which responded to the crisis by cancelling billions of dollars   worth of in-process and already completed orders in a shameless attempt to evade responsibility and shift the costs of the crisis onto those occupying the most vulnerable positions on the global fashion commodity chain - factory owners and workers.  

For factory owners, the threat is bankruptcy.  For garment workers, however, whose low wages result in hunger and malnutrition   even in "normal times," the sudden loss of wages has resulted in a struggle for survival.  The Bangladeshi government has announced a $588 million package to help factory owners pay their workers, but labor leaders insist that it's not nearly enough, with Kalpona Akther, the founder of the Bangladesh Centre for Worker Solidarity stating that "If Western buyers and owners don't come together to support workers, it's going to be a disaster."  It's time for concerned consumers to stand in solidarity with the people who make their clothes.  You can do this in two ways:  

1) Sign the #PayUp petition   designed to shame the brands and large retailers that have wreaked havoc on workers, manufacturers and communities by walking away from billions of dollars worth of in-process and already completed orders, and share the petition widely among friends

2) Make a small monthly contribution, via this site, to the grassroots organization Bangladesh Garment Workers Solidarity, founded by internationally renowned photographer and labor activist Taslima Akhter  .  Bangladesh Garment Workers Solidarity is currently providing food, face masks and hand sanitizer to garment workers while lobbying the government and employers associations to provide relief on the scale necessary to avert a crisis of survival for garment workers.   Your contributions will go toward these efforts, and we will receive regular reports from Taslima about the situation on the ground, and the efforts of Bangladesh Garment Workers Solidarity.  

It is our hope that this emergency response to the coronavirus crisis results in an ongoing partnership between our group of contributors and Bangladesh Garment Workers Solidarity.  Though financial support is important, we can do much more than send money.  The idea is to create a two-way exchange by which much-needed funds flow from consumers in support of the efforts of labor activists, while the activists provide regular reports from the front lines of their struggle which document, in workers' voices, the conditions in factories and their struggle to overcome them.  It will then be up to us to find creative ways to use this information to bring pressure to bear on the retailers and brands responsible for a system that derives profit from poverty.  

I'm looking forward to this international collaboration.  Please sign the #PayUp petition  , make a small contribution here, and look forward to communication from Bangladesh Garment Workers Solidarity about how we can use our leverage as consumers here to augment the efforts of garment workers to improve their conditions in Bangladesh.  Thank you! 

  • Sarah Sokolowski 
    • $30 
    • 4 mos
  • Maxine Phillips 
    • $25 
    • 4 mos
  • Rezwana Uddin 
    • $10 
    • 5 mos
  • Tanzila Rashid 
    • $120 
    • 5 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • $15 
    • 5 mos
See all

Fundraising team (2)

Jason Rhodes 
Raised $95 from 3 donations
Atlanta, GA
Britt Pickering 
Team member
Raised $100 from 1 donation