The factory owners at the Dragon Sweaters factory in Bangladesh, recently attempted to fire 6,000 workers using the excuse of economic losses due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Members of the Garment Workers Trade Union Center have been protesting against their illegal termination by the factory ownership since the beginning of the COVID-19 lockdown in March.

As members of Bristol IWW we recognise how the global capitalist system works only in the interest of the bosses and so workers are forced to take direct action to attain justice. We also recognise how the rights and conditions for workers in one country affects those elsewhere and so it is in the interest of the international working class to see these circumstances improved. Therefore, we send our solidarity to the workers of Dragon Sweaters who demand to be compensated with their unpaid wages, owed provident fund amounts and bonus pay and that their attempted illegal terminations be overturned. They have attempted to engage in negotiations with the owners, but they have been unresponsive and adamant on every occasion, instead resorting to scare tactics. GWTUC are currently attempting to create pressure on the owners by appealing to the government against their illegal actions. To this end, workers have taken part in almost daily demonstrations, programmes, and most recently laid siege to Labour Ministry offices to press home their demands.

The workers at Dragon Sweaters have produced clothes for brands such as Gap, Zara, Primark, H&M, Next, Lidl and New Yorker. Thus, we believe that international solidarity actions in countries which house these brands, such as demonstrations in front corporate offices, stores, mass call ins, and other measures would amplify the pressure on the owners of Dragon Sweaters to accept the demands of our fellow workers.

For this reason, Bristol IWW will be holding solidarity pickets and leafleting starting from outside of the Primark store (Located on Horsefair, BS1 3BB) on Thursday 25th and Friday 26th June at 6.30pm, and a further rolling picket starting at Primark on Saturday from Midday. We invite supporters to join us for these actions to raise awareness of how companies like Primark, H&M, Next and Zara are profiting from the exploitation of our fellow workers in Bangladesh and force the bosses to agree to the demands of the GWTUC.

An injury to one is an injury to all!

Sab Cat

Bristol IWW Secretary

bristol [at] iww [dot] org [dot] uk