Monday, July 16, 2012

Violence against child workers

This photo is from two years ago but is posted to show the kind of violence child workers are subjected to & the collusion of governments in enforcing child labor. This very young Bangladeshi boy is a factory worker on strike in 2010 from a garment factory producing for global brands from discounts chains to upscale stores, like Walmart, J.C. Penney, as well as European chains. It is estimated 3 million workers, mostly women, work in the Bangladeshi garment industry. Textile workers, who are paid chicken feed rather than a living wage, were demanding back pay & wage increases. Employers pay less than minimum wage, are in substantial arrears, & frequently cut wages. Though children under 14-years-old are banned by law from working in Bangladesh, thousands do in hundreds of factories. Police used bamboo staves, tear gas, & water cannons against strikers who built barricades & pelted cops with stones. This is not the only photo of a child striker being beaten. It has been pointed out that this generation of workers are not country kids naive about the ways of the world but people who grew up in the slums & know they need to be united & organized. Our fullest solidarity with them in standing up against the vultures & predators. Part of that solidarity is exposing & educating about the use of child labor by western companies. (Photographer not identified)

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