Sunday, September 05, 2010


The following appeal to send a Labor Day message to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton comes from the International Labor Rights Forum.

Ask Secretary Clinton to help the workers in Bangladesh who make our clothes.

Send an Email This Labor Day to Request Secretary Clinton Make Good on Commitments to Labor Rights as a Priority in U.S. Trade Policy!

As you have seen over the past couple of weeks, our comrades in Bangladesh continue to remain imprisoned as the Government of Bangladesh uses them as a scapegoat for the turmoil in the garment industry.

The highly respected labor leaders Kalpona Akter and Babul Akhter of the Bangladesh Center for Worker Solidarity need more support from the US government. Secretary Clinton has an opportunity to use the policies already in place to demand swift action by the Government of Bangladesh to end this harassment campaign. Right now, the US government is considering the status of special trade preferences for Bangladesh. Our government needs to be clear whether it stands behind human rights for workers, or just business as usual. Secretary Clinton can do the right thing but needs some encouragement from you.

Send an email NOW to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton urging immediate action.

Just two days ago, ILRF and the AFL-CIO provided new information about Bangladesh to the United States Trade Representative. Secretary Clinton and others within the Obama Administration have ample evidence that the charges against Kalpona and Babul are completely false and that intervention is required immediately.

Justice will prevail for Kalpona and Babul though we all need to help make this a realization. Your action on this important message means a great deal to us and we will continue to update you as things move forward in Bangladesh.

Bama Athreya, Executive Director

PS. By taking action now, not only will your message get sent immediately, but I will also hand-deliver all the messages to the State Department next week.

This message was brought to you by the International Labor Rights Forum.
Please go to this link to send the following letter to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

I want you to know I am very concerned about the harassment, unlawful arrest, detention and physical abuse of courageous labor activists in Bangladesh.

On August 13, 2010, two internationally known labor leaders, Kalpona Akter and Babul Akhter of the Bangladesh Center for Worker Solidarity (BCWS), were arrested and detained by the Government of Bangladesh. BCWS is a highly respected organization that the US government itself has looked to for information and insight concerning labor conditions in the country's garment industry.

The US is a key importer of apparel and consumers like myself ask that our government help ensure we are not exploiting workers or repressing human rights to make our clothes. As a citizen concerned about human and labor rights around the world, I am appalled by the persecution of these activists and expect the US to take immediate action.

The persecution of labor rights advocates is taking place in the context of severe and ongoing labor rights abuses and lack of respect for the rule of law in Bangladesh. Most of those making these clothes are women. They need decent jobs to support their families, and they need advocates like Kalpona and Babul to support them as they stand up for their rights. I know that the US has continued to state that our trade policy is one that does require those we trade with to respect human and labor rights, and you yourself have been a champion for human rights and particularly women's rights around the world.

I urge you to do the following:

- Hold an immediate hearing on trade preference benefits that are received by Bangladesh.

- Take all possible measures to communicate to the Government of Bangladesh the urgency of ending the persecution of BCWS and its leaders.

- Make it known to the Government of Bangladesh that the US is committed to making sure workers' rights are respected around the world.

The US government has done business as usual with Bangladesh for too long. Now it has an important opportunity and obligation to speak out against these injustices in Bangladesh and I hope that you will be a leader in this charge.


1 comment:

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