Denison Students Host Garment Workers From Bangladesh On Speaking Tour Of USA
Posted: October 25, 2001
Denison students who support the United Students Against Sweatshops movement will host garment workers from Bangladesh who are traveling on a national speaking tour of the United States. Sponsored by the National Labor Committee, the workers will speak at 7:30 p.m. on Monday (Oct. 29) in Herrick Hall. Their forum topic is "Sweatshops, Bangladesh, and the Clothes We Wear."
In the year 2000, U.S. companies imported 924 million garments made in Bangladesh with a wholesale customs value of over $2.2 billion, according to the National Labor Committee. Forty-nine percent of Bangladesh's worldwide apparel exports are destined for the U.S. market, while the other 51 percent head to European countries. U.S. apparel imports from Bangladesh were up 25.7 percent in 2000 says the labor committee.
Making these garments are 1.6 million workers, 85 percent of them young women in 3,500 export factories. Two young women garment workers from Bangladesh, the general secretary of the National Garment Workers Federation, and a representative of the NGO community in Bangladesh will join the National Labor Committee on this speaking tour, which opened with a press conference on Oct. 23 in New York City.
They will speak about the harsh working conditions, low wages, and long hours that garment workers at these factories endure to produce garments. The goal the National Labor Committee has established, in conjunction with the National Garment Workers Federation, the Textile and Garment Workers Union, the Bangladesh Center for Worker Solidarity, and other groups, is to work with U.S. companies to continue to provide work for the economically depressed population of Bangladesh, but to also have those U.S. companies work with their contractors to clean up the factories and to guarantee that Bangladesh's labor laws are respected, especially the right to organize.
Denison University, founded in 1831, is an independent, residential liberal arts institution located in Granville, Ohio. A highly selective college enrolling 2,100 full-time undergraduate students from all 50 states and dozens of foreign countries, Denison is a place where innovative faculty and motivated students collaborate in rigorous scholarship, civic engagement and the cultivation of independent thinking.
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