Urgent Appeal to Assist Bangladeshi Garment Worker Relief & Organizing Efforts


Solidarity with Bangladeshi Garment Workers

Solidarity with Bangladeshi Garment Workers

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DRUM – Desis Rising Up & Moving
72-18 Roosevelt Avenue, 2nd Floor
Jackson Heights, NY 11372

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South Asian Workers in Solidarity with Bangladeshi Garment Workers and Demand Corporate and Governmental Accountability for Factory Collapse that Killed more than 300 Workers

Walmart, Benetton, and numerous other European and North American corporations and local Bangladesi factories must respect workers rights and organizing, compensate the affected families, and join the Bangladeshi Fire and Building Safety Agreement

As an organization of South Asian immigrant workers, DRUM (Desis Rising Up & Moving) members and leaders are heartbroken but also outraged by the devastating loss of life caused by the collapse of a Rana Plaza garment factory in Bangladesh. So far, we know that at least 300 workers have lost their lives, over a 1000 have been injured, and the recovery efforts are still underway.

The factory produced garments for Wal-Mart, Benetton, and many other clothing corporations.

It is outrageous that despite the fact that workers saw and complained about major cracks appearing in the building a day earlier to the collapse, the workers were forced to go back in and work in the factory. We know that not only local contractors and factory owners are responsible for this, but that foreign corporations must take responsibility and be held accountable for their own practices, and the practices of their subcontractors in Bangladesh. For years now, local labor organizations and workers have been pressuring the corporations to sign the Bangladesh Comprehensive Fire and Building Safety Agreement, and yet numerous corporation have declined to do so in the name of costs. Wednesday’s accident shows that the pursuit of corporate profits comes at the expense of the lives and livelihood of Bangladeshi workers.

It is also astounding that the Bangladeshi government has repeatedly chosen to prioritize the interests of foreign corporations and factory owners, rather than the lives of the Bangladeshi workers. Even as hundreds of workers remain trapped underneath the rubble, Sohel Rana, the owner of the building was initially rescued and protected by the Bangladeshi authorities as a result of his affiliations with the ruling government, until public pressure forced his arrest.

In partnership with the Bangladesh Centre for Worker Solidarity, who organize and support garment workers and resistance, we will be collecting donations to provide support for the workers and their families, and to give solidarity to their efforts to organize workers for their rights and for justice. We will be collecting donations from through our website, or through donations at our office.

In addition to organizing low-wage and undocumented South Asian workers here in the United States, DRUM has recently launched the Global South Asian Migrant Workers Alliance (GSAMWA) with partners in 11 different countries. GSAMWA is linking and organizing migrant workers displaced and impacted by neoliberalism within their home countries and across the world (from Bangladesh to Greece to New York) to fight and change local and global economic policies to support workers rights, and for global justice.