(Fwd) Urgent -Forwarded (fwd)

Chegitz Guevara mluziett at shrike.depaul.edu
Mon Feb 5 07:44:25 MST 1996


Marc, "the Chegitz," Luzietti
personal homepage: http://shrike.depaul.edu/~mluziett
political homepage: http://shrike.depaul.edu/~mluziett/chegitz.html

o/~ When an eel lunges out and it bites off your snout, 'ats amore o/~

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Dear Comrades,

The International day of action has been called in solidarity with the 350
sacked workers from Titas apparels in Dhaka Bangladesh.  It is hoped that
people will picket Bangladesh Embassies on this day: 

Thursday 15th of February 1996

Please do your best to make as big a protest as possible. Please contact
Preston Solidarity Federation and inform us about what you are doing, at
the address below. 

You can send donations and solidarity greetings to the following address.
The National Garments Workers Federation of Bangladesh, G.P.O. Box 864,
Dhaka, Bangladesh, FAX: Attention: Amin : 880-2-867485

Money is also urgently needed, please send US dollars, remember your money
will go along way in Bangladesh, $10.00 US is a months wages for a garment
worker in Bangladesh. 

Send protest letters, please do not threaten boycotts as this will cause
the union more problems and they have enough to deal with, to your local
Bangladesh embassy and to: 

Bangladesh Garments Manufacturers and Exporters Association
7-9 Kawran Bazar
Dhaka
Bangladesh
Fax: 880 2 813951



Yours in Solidarity 
Shaun Ellis
Preston Solidarity Federation
 ILLEGAL LOCKOUT IN GARMENT FACTORY TO CRUSH UNION

On December 30th 1995 the Titas Apparels Ltd factory in Dhaka, Bangladesh
was closed leaving 350 people jobless. This closure was illegal because it
was a reaction to the strike that had started on December 27th 1995. The
registered union Titas Apparels Workers and employees Federation
affiliated with the National Garment Workers Federation of Bangladesh
decided to go on strike after a labour conflict of several months. 

On June 23rd 1995 the union got its registration from the Ministry of
Labour. >From that day onwards, the owners of the factory have tried to
break the union. They used intimidation and hired musclemen to threaten
the workers in the factory. The owners also announced that the factory
would have to close. However, the union states that the factory was making
a profit and had no lack of orders. 

The working conditions in the factory were bad. At times wages were paid
with months delay. The working week usually lasted 80 hours, and the
workers had to work 7 days per week. The workers had 11 days off per year.
(According to Labour Law there are 14 legal holidays per year, plus one
day off per week). The ventilation in the factory was insufficient, the
factory was crowded, the chairs were bad, there were 2 toilets for women
and 3 for men. The workforce consisted of 300 women and 50 men. (According
to Labour Law there should be a toilet for every 25 workers). 

The union presented a 7 point list of demands to both the owner of the
factory and the Labour Department. The demands were the following: paying
the legal minimum wage, paying wages and overtime payments on the 7th of
the next month (as stated in Law), a day off on Fridays (the equivalent of
Sunday) and on legal holidays, the immediate stop to any threats against
workers, recognition of the union and demands concerning health and
safety. 

The Labour Department called for a meeting to discuss the matter. However,
the owners refused to appear. The union now had the right to strike as the
last means to resolve the problem and used this right on December 27th.
Instead of allowing negotiations, the factory was closed on December 30th
and all 350 workers were fired. The union now asks for international
support to safeguard the right to organise. 

Titas Apparels has existed since 1994 and produced garments for the United
States, Britain, Spain and Italy. Buyers were among others Ganis Brothers
in New York, Cradlecourt in London, Nortons in Milan and Seldis Espanola
in Madrid. 

The National Garment Workers Federation would like all workers
organisations to support this campaign and its demands. 

Stop the illegal lockout of Titas Apparels and reinstate all fired
workers. 
 
Respect the right to organise and guarantee union rights.

Contacts:	

The Solidarity Federation - IWA, PO Box 384, Preston, Lancs, England.
Email: 100517.1573 at Compuserve.Com

The National Garments Workers Federation of Bangladesh, G.P.O. Box 864,
Dhaka, Bangladesh, FAX: Attention: Amin : 880


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