Action Materials

February, 04 2004 Share


Use this as a model for your letter and send it to Wal-Mart, 
Kohls and other companies on the attached list of 
companies that produce clothing in Bangladesh.
-You can access this letter and The Pledge at
*PLEASE also send the NLC copies of all your correspondence and any response you receive back so we can let others know.

NLC contact information:
75 Varick St., Suite 1500, NY, NY 10013 / fax: 212-242-3821 / email:

Company Name

Dear _______________:

I write to you regarding an urgent women's and human rights issue, which is surely of concern to you and your company. In Bangladesh, over 1.5 million women garment workers have legal protection guaranteeing that they will receive at least three months of maternity leave with full pay. However, it is estimated that over 90 percent of the factories sewing garments for some of the largest companies in the U.S. are routinely and systematically violating this law. Adherence to this legal obligation to provide maternity leave with benefits is a matter of life and death for these women workers and their children, since the below-subsistence wages in Bangladesh do not allow for any savings. As it is, they are forced to live from day to day, hand to mouth.We ask you to please sign the attached pledge, guaranteeing that your company will assure that all women workers producing your company's clothing receive their legal maternity leave with benefits. We intend to highlight and reward companies that take this pledge.

Thank you.


Maternity Leave Pledge

On behalf of the ___________________ (Company), I ___________________ (Name/ Title) hereby sign this pledge that to the best of our abilities we will guarantee that any woman sewing our garments in Bangladesh will be afforded her legal maternity leave of at least three months with full pay.
Signature: ___________________
(Company representative)

Please return to:






Send a Letter to the Editor

Letters to the Editor are effective action tools that reach a large audience and are monitored closely by local companies and elected officials.

Please click here for the American Civil Liberties Union guide to writing a Letter to the Editor. 

Click here to find contact information for your local newspaper. the sample letter below, and please, send us a copy of anything you write. 


To the Editor:

As we remember and celebrate Mother's Day ("Title of Article, Date") we should take the time to remember mothers around the world, who are also workers in factories producing clothing for our families, and whose legal rights are too often violated.In Bangladesh, over 1.5 million women garment workers are supposed to receive a paid three month maternity leave. This may seem pretty generous, since women in the U.S. enjoy no such protection. But it's a matter of life and death for these women and their infants, since they are barely surviving on wages of just 10 to 18 cents an hour, with no savings, no cushion to fall back on. Yet over 90% of the factories sewing garments for the  largest companies in America routinely violate this law. We owe it to these women to call on companies like Wal-Mart that make the clothing we buy, to guarantee that they will make sure these hard-working women receive their legal maternity leave.



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