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Update from Rana Plaza: "How Will I Raise My Children?"

June, 24 2013 Share

 

Today marks two months since the Rana Plaza building collapse in Bangladesh. Bodies, lives, hearts-broken by the quest for ever-greater corporate profits. Charlie and I just spent two weeks in Bangladesh doing all we could to support local activists and to get an in-depth picture of real conditions on the ground from partners including the Garment and Industrial Workers' Federation, the National Garment Workers Federation and Bangladesh Center for Worker Solidarity, with whom the Institute has partnered for over a decade.

Soon after the collapse, we asked you to join us in creating the Bangladesh Injured Worker Relief Fund. The expert on-the-ground knowledge of Federation leaders has enabled us to use your donations to this fund to help the injured and hospitalized. To date, the Fund has raised approximately $21,000 toward our goal of $50,000. Every penny has gone to workers in dire need. But they still need your help.

On our trip we heard the stories of workers like Moyna, who described lying trapped under a fallen pillar until she was rescued more than a day after the building's collapse. Today, she still cannot walk without help and worries that she may never be able to earn a living again.

Give today. Give $30, and a family of four-like Moyna's-will have rice for a month. Give $100, and a family can pay rent and doctor's bills for a month. For workers whose livelihoods have been ripped from them, your support means more than basic survival.

Survival-for what?

The devastation to Moyna's life and so many others need not be in vain.

Thousands of Bangladeshis have taken to the streets to protest the inhuman practices of the garment industry and to demand their fundamental, internationally recognized rights, including the right to organize and to bargain collectively. Our partners, who have long sought to organize workers, now have a chance to mobilize those whose outrage has been awakened.  A little bit of international support and back-up for their demands could make a tremendous difference at this moment.

Workers know that this deadly event did not have to happen. They know that it is wrong that they earn less than $40/month on average. They know that it is wrong that they work 90-100 hours a week in unsafe, unsanitary and exploitative conditions. And they have spoken by the thousands in recent weeks to say this must not continue. The Institute will continue to stand with these workers and provide tools for their struggle.

Help Bangladesh's brave workers get back on their feet to stand up-and march.

 

In solidarity,

Barbara

 

P.S. The Bangladesh Injured Worker Relief Fund, as promised, is dedicated entirely to helping workers with their immediate needs. Please support the Fund for today-and, if you can, contribute to the Institute's ongoing efforts around the world for justice tomorrow.

 

 

 

 

 

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