Women Garment Workers and Walmart: Factory Fire Fuels Women's Labor Activism in India

Bangladeshi labor activist Kalpona Akter holds up the remnant of a Wal-Mart brand short after the factory fire that killed 120 garment workers this week.

This week, over 120 garment workers were killed in a factory fire in Bangladesh, India. The employees of the garment factory, which manufactured clothing for Wal-Mart, included its trademark Faded Glory brand, are mostly women. The factory had no working fire extinguishers or fire escapes, and workers had previously protested for better working conditions and better wages. (This comes, too, on the tails of nationwide boycotts of Wal-Mart, whose U.S. workers protested on Black Friday for better wages and benefits.) According to reports, when the fire alarms went off, women were told to stay at their machines. One worker broke a window, and many women escaped that way.

Watch the full story at Democracy Now, including a report from global labor activist Kalpona Akter of the Bangladesh Center for Worker Solidarity, who now faces the retaliation of criminal charges for her activism, and Scott Nova of the http://WorkersRights.org.


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