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2017, a year of global solidarity for workers in the sector

A year which started with a crackdown on labour rights in Bangladesh also saw action taken around the world to fight for workers’ rights in a sustainable garment industry.

2017 in Bangladesh export industry resulted in 35 union leaders jailed, union offices shut down, and over 1,000 workers illegally terminated for raising their collective voices for higher wages and better working conditions. On the other side of the world in Nicaragua, workers were terminated and jailed for striking.

However garment unions from across the globe took action. From New York to Tokyo to Amsterdam, solidarity support for these struggles came in the form of letters to governments and global brands, protests and petitions.

IndustriALL North American affiliate workers united, originally founded by immigrant garment workers who came to the United States and Canada seeking a better life for themselves and their families only to face exploitation and poverty at their jobs, holds an annual summer education seminar for all newly elected worker representatives.

IndustriALL held a session on the global textile, garment, leather and shoe sector on the importance of global solidarity and how Workers’ United’s history is intertwined with the textile and garment global supply chain. Workers United members formed unions that improved their lives and helped bring social reform to their countries, improving life for millions.