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Alta Gracia workers celebrate a living wage

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After years toiling at factories in the free trade zones of the Dominican Republic, Santa Castillo knows how difficult it can be to survive on the minimum wage. “A lot of times there was only enough for my kids, and I’d go to bed hungry,” she says. Now the factory where Ms Castillo works has committed to pay three and a half times the minimum wage. Read more »

Mum: Making the most of it

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Since the start of the fasting month my mother has been selling clothing to her friends at her factory. She purchases the clothes from outlets and makes a profit of between 5,000-10,000 Rupiah per item (60 cents to $1.15). From past experience my mother has sold at least 50 pieces. If only she had a bit more start-up capital, I’m sure she could get more clothing to sell. Read more »

Step into her trainers!

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Did you know that in 2008 the CEO of Nike, Mark G. Parker earned more than 7 million US dollars? It is estimated it would take an Indonesian worker producing for Nike more than 6,000 years to earn this amount. Read more »

Kids care about Fair Wear

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Last month, students, teachers and parents at a Brunswick primary school joined with activists from FairWear to demand an end to exploitation in the Australian garment industry. Read more »

Loneliness in Jakarta

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Jakarta was so quiet— almost everyone had gone back to their villages to spend time with their families. In the evening I could hear the echoes of prayers across the city. I felt very touched- but also mixed with a deep sense of sadness because I was unable to be with my family. Without work it is just too expensive to travel back home to South Sumatra. Read more »

The luxury of rice

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When I was young I was often given only cassava rice to eat because we couldn’t afford ordinary rice and other condiments. I understood that rice was really expensive, so even if a tiny bit of rice was mixed in with my cassava dish, I was overjoyed! Read more »

Cambodian workers want a living wage

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Wouldn’t you want enough take home pay to allow you to look after your family and afford the basic necessitiesis of life? This was the simple demand made by more than 68,000 Cambodian workers who went on a weeklong strike to demand a living wage. Read more »

Just Scraping By: Everyday life around my home

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As a worker on a low wage, sometimes I get scared when I imagine my future. I worry that when I am elderly my own situation won’t be that different from my neighbours. Even in their old age they have to work very hard just to scrape by. Read more »

Independence Day Celebrations

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It has become a custom for Indonesians to commemorate Independence Day by holding competitions. This year the factory also held competitions for the workers inside its grounds. The competitions included panjat pinang (pole climbing) and a singing competition. Read more »

Less rain means less food

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The delay of wet season in rural Cambodia is agonising farmers, who can’t plant rice seedlings until there’s enough rain. The longer they’re forced to wait, the less food their families will have for the year ahead. Read more »