When I was in Bangladesh earlier this year, I met dozens of garment workers, most of whom live in utter poverty despite the fact that they produce high-ticket clothing for major corporations like Disney. Now those same workers are facing an even bigger disaster - massive flooding that has put many of their homes underwater, made their children sick, and destroyed the fresh water supplies in their villages. Already 1,600 people have been killed by the flooding, and another two and a half million are homeless. In Dhaka alone, 500,000 garment workers have lost their homes and most of their few possessions. Fifty percent of the garment factories have shut, and hundreds of thousands are out of work.
The Bangladesh Center for Worker Solidary and National Garment Workers Federation, with whom I met, has been overwhelmed by the pressing needs of the garment workers with whom they work. They need your help.
Join me and contribute whatever you can...$10, $25, $50, $100, $250. We know this tragedy seems overwhelming and sadly is just one of many that the poorest people in the world are suffering.
But we can tell you this: Every cent you send will reach these garment workers, 85 percent of whom are women, and their children. Both the National Garment Workers Federation (NGWF) and the Bangladesh Center for Worker Solidarity (BCWS) are ready to distribute any aid received. Already hundreds of workers are crowding into their tiny offices desperately seeking help, even if it is just a bowl of rice and a bottle of clean water. Many workers and their families are now living crowded in the offices of the NGWF and BCWS since they have no place else to turn.
Lisa Rahman, who worked for Shah Makhdum (where Disney clothes are made, and where efforts to improve conditions have been met with resistance and denials by Disney execs), came to the U.S. in 2002 to spread the word about her plight and that of her fellow workers. I met her at the BCWS office in January. Now she has been flooded out of her home and sleeping in the BCWS office, along with many of the workers and activists we met.
Make a donation now via PayPal
Or mail your contribution to:
Bangladesh Emergency Fund
National Labor Committee
540 West 48th St., 3rd Fl.
New York, NY 10036
Make check payable to "National Labor Committee"
For: "Bangladesh Emergency Fund"
Anything you can do to help will be well-used and well-appreciated.