We all love clothes, let's Remember Who Made Them. This is the first of a two-part episode where we delve into how garment workers are organising, what is organising and why is collective action important. So often, workers are only cast as victims - we want to make sure to tell the story of how they are leading the way to justice. We start with Swatee, who interviews Monika from the Solidarity Centre to understand what organising actually is, a few stories of what successful organising looks like and what a consumer’s role is. Then we hear a bit of the activist journey of Chamila, leader of the Dabindu Collective, a garment workers collective in Sri Lanka. From there, Devi speaks with Annanya, from the Asia Floor Wage Alliance, who explains the connections between the individual worker, to the union, to the regional alliance, to the global movement to transform the future of fashion. Stay tuned for Part 2 of how actions make movements, when we speak to more organisers and their allies from other countries.
Monika Hartsel from Solidarity Centre based in the United States
Chamila Thushari from Dabindu Collective in Sri Lanka
Anannya Bhattacharjee from Asia Floor Wage Alliance and Garment and Allied Workers Union in North India
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More on Solidarity Centre: https://www.solidaritycenter.org/
More information about Dabindu Collective which Chamila is an organizer for: https://bit.ly/2Yi2GxM
During Chamila’s story, she talks about the EPZ - the Export Processing Zones. These are special areas in a country that provide special benefits, such as less restrictions, no taxes and no customs, for enterprises with them. They are designed as an incentive for foreign companies and to encourage overall economic trade. Chamila also refers to the CID, which is the Central Intelligence Directorate - the main intelligence and security agency in Sri Lanka.
More on Asia Floor Wage Alliance: https://asia.floorwage.org/
More on Anannya: https://www.opendemocracy.net/en/beyond-trafficking-and-slavery/portrait-of-indian-labour-activist/
More from Annanya on North-South solidarity: https://www.opendemocracy.net/en/beyond-trafficking-and-slavery/regional-organising-and-struggle-to-set-asia-floor-wage/
This documentary on Living Wages and what it means to fight for them: https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=18&v=zsR87lFmE6Y&feature=emb_logo
With thanks to those that read the translations in English: Sakuthala Mapa (for Chamila) and to Global Fund for Women and Mama Cash who facilitated introductions to Solidarity lCentre and Annanya Bhattacharjee.
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