National Garment Workers Federation.
There has been one fire after another in the horrible slums where mainly garment workers and other poor people live – the workers themselves feel as if it is part of a plot to clear the cities of slums and poor people.
Now the NGWF have started distribution of emergency support to those affected by the fires. In the meantime there have been local collections from workers, members and well-wishers, some friendly International organizations also responded.
3 proposals were considered to distribute relief packages to the value of 2000 Bangladeshi Taka (BDT) to each worker – equivalent to about £15.34 – either in cash, a mixture of goods and cash or rice and cash.
Over 3 days the NGWF provided support to 1200 affected workers out of a list of 3,500, on 20th October each person received one 10kg bag of rice, and BDT 1600 in cash; on 23rd and 25th October they provided BDT 2000 to each person. However this list is still growing for two reasons: many affected workers expected help from the government, factory owners or NGOs of which only one called BRAC responded; secondly many were isolated and did not feel free to come forward until they saw others receiving help.
Our own class struggle is futile unless we stand together with our Fellow Workers around the globe. Only by establishing ties with those who produce most of the goods we consume and spend our own wages on can we truly recognize our common interest. We must re-establish the social relationship between producer and consumer which capitalism reduces to the exchange of tokens. Only together can we take on our common enemy in global capital, their fight is our fight.
We extend our solidarity to our comrades in NGWF, we hope shortly to have an address to make contributions to their efforts.
Pictures from distribution:
The Guardian: Why we must own up to the human cost of our obsession with cheap clothes Article from 2010 after 100 workers died in a fire.