textiles

Wage battles erupt in the Bangladeshi garment sector – and unions can’t contain them

Garment workers protest - Jan 2019

The past two weeks have seen mass walkouts and wildcat strikes by thousands of garment workers. After five years the industry’s minimum wage structure has been adjusted but workers have rejected the proposed new wage levels.
The protests began after the first announcement by the government Wage Board of the new wage levels in September. By December there was a large movement of factory walk outs and road blockades as workers rejected the deal. These struggles reignited in the past two weeks before a general drift back to work in recent days.

The Courtaulds Red Scar Mill strike, 1965

Article on Courtauld's Red Scar Mill strike in the Lancashire Evening Post.

A short history of the unofficial strike at Courtauld's Red Scar Mill in Preston, 1965, the first of what would become a long list of significant 'migrant strikes' (such as Mansfield Hosiery in 1972, Standard Telephones and Cables in 1973, Imperial Typewriters in 1974 and, of course, Grunwick in 1976).

Nike and the Sweatshop problem

Recent anger over Nike's current endorsement deal reminded me of a period in the 1990s when Nike was facing consumer anger of its labour practices and a strike by Indonesian workers at one of its factories.

Pakistan: The struggles of workers making footballs for the FIFA World Cup

The Russian Ambassador to Pakistan, Alexey Dedo, confirmed that his country will be using footballs manufactured in the Pakistani city of Sialkot for the World Cup. More than 70% of the world's footballs are made in Sialkot. Despite the “hallmark of quality” and “exceptional product”, the reality of their production is the brutal exploitation of the local working class.

Smashing H&M in South Africa: not the first attack on the garment supply chain (and not the last either!)

A H&M that's seen better days, South Africa.

Hand-wringing over the trashing of a few H&M branches in South Africa ignores the often highly militant struggles of the workers in H&M's supply chain (and others like it), themselves often women of colour and one of the most combative sections of the international working class.

China on Strike: Narratives of Workers' Resistance

China on Strike cover

This book provides a revealing window into the lives and struggles of workers organizing in China’s factories. Drawing on dozens of interviews with Chinese workers, this book documents the processes of migration, changing employment relations, worker culture, and other issues related to China’s explosive growth.

Women in struggle: The Mansfield Hosiery strike

Mansfield hosiery strike

The strike at Mansfield Hosiery Mills in November-December 1972, involving male and female Asian workers, was a struggle which exposed not only the racialism of the National Union of Hosiery and Knitwear Workers and the management, but also showed the roles played by the Race Relations Board, the Loughborough Community Relations Council, and the Runnymede Trust, who 'are moving to find a new lease of life in the mediating machinery within industry and therefore present an image of management with a liberal face'.

Aire Valley Yarns Strike News - Issue 2

Newsletter of the Aire Valley Yarns Workers' Support Committee, published May 30th, 1983, Issue 2.

Aire Valley Yarns Strike News - Issue 1

Aire Valley Yarns Strikers

Newsletter of the Aire Valley Yarns Workers' Support Committee, published May 1983.

8,000 workers wildcat at Vietnam footwear factory

Textile factory in Vietnam

After 6,000 workers went on wildcat at a clothing factory in Thanh Hoa province for five days last month and won most of their demands, now 8,000 workers at Venus Vietnam Footwear Ltd. have gone on wildcat over bicycle parking restrictions.