Perspectives: Mobilizing for Justice in the Tea Gardens in Assam

By Francesca Feruglio Background on Assam’s Tea Gardens and Nazdeek The State of Assam, in North-East India, is home to more than half of India’s tea production and one sixth of the world’s production. However, thousands of tea garden workers living and working on the gardens have yet to benefit from such large-scale profit. Over 150 years ago Adivasi (indigenous) communities, were forcibly brought to Assam from India’s Central States…

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Perspectives: “Children’s Place” as Orphans in Rana Plaza Tragedy

By Shahinur Begum, Researcher, Sramabikesh Kendra of UBINIG (Center for Labor Education)  Introduction Women wage earners are the cheapest in Bangladesh due to the socio-economic condition of the country, which is why so many girls are employed in the garment industry.  About 3.2 million workers are engaged in these factories and 95% of them are women.  Now there are about 5,000 garment factories since its inception in late 1970s.  Women…

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Campaign for Children Impacted by Rana Plaza Tragedy

  United Students Against Sweatshops and International Labor Rights Forum  have an ongoing campaign to seek compensation for the children of Rana Plaza.  For more information, see: The Orphan’s Place (http://orphansplace.com)  The Children’s Place produced apparel at Rana Plaza before the factory collapsed in a horrific industrial homicide, killing 1,132 garment workers and leaving children without a parent, grandparent, brother, or sister.

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Perspectives: Democracy, we have a problem: Religion

Lailufar Yasmin is an Associate Professor with Department of International Relations, University of Dhaka, Bangladesh, and currently undertaking research on ‘secularism in International Relations’ at Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia. Immanuel Kant, a principle theorist on secularism proposed that human beings should assume responsibility for their acts in the public sphere instead of taking refuge to some divine explanation for such acts. Referring to the principles of secularism, Kant suggested that…

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Bioethics, Scientific Research and the GMO Debate

“Concern for man himself and his fate must always form the chief interest of all technical endeavors…in order that the creations of our minds shall be a blessing and not a curse to mankind.  Never forget this in the midst of your diagrams and equations.” – Albert Einstein’s Speech to students at California Institute of Technology on February 16, 1931 “Science is a wonderful thing if one does not have to…

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Perspectives: Black Workers, the Public Sector and the Future of Labor Unions

Bill Fletcher, Jr. is an internationally known racial justice, labor and global justice activist and writer.  The attacks on the public sector over the last several years by the political Right have brought forward increasing concerns about the impact of such assaults on communities of color generally, and workers of color in particular.  Economists, such as Dr. Steven C. Pitts at UC-Berkeley Labor Center, have called attention to the impact…

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Perspectives: What’s There to Celebrate on Labor Day

Jonathan Harris is a Brooklyn based labor lawyer and former organizer “Most holidays we celebrate ain’t nothing but scams and lies and tricks and all the real meaning be lost/For me it’s time-and-a-half or just another day off ”  from “Holiday Pay” by rapper Tahir, 2001 (Raptivism) Many workers today think that unions are not for them.  They may tell you that an older relative was in a union at…

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Labor’s Renaissance: Bold Organizing and Partnerships Needed in the New Economy

From Dissent Magazine In 2011, Wisconsin public sector workers demonstrated to fight changes to their state collective bargaining laws, and upwards of 100,000 workers assembled on the state capitol.  Rightly, the workers saw this change by Governor Walker as an effort to bust unions, given that union density in the private sector had decreased to 7%, but in the public sector it is at 35%.  Pitting public sector unions against the…

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Perspectives: Worker Centers and the AFL-CIO National Convention

Victor Narro is the Project Director for the UCLA Center for Labor Research and Education, and a lecturer at UCLA Law School and UCLA School of Urban Planning. On September 8, the AFL-CIO will kick off its national convention in Los Angeles.  The last time it was held in L.A. was in 1999, when the AFL-CIO announced its historic declaration for a legalization program for all undocumented immigrants, increased workplace…

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