Photo: Rino Hidayah/OxfamAUS

My thoughts on democracy and protest

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As workers, getting our message or opinion across to multinational corporations can be difficult. This is what makes the role of protests so important…

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REUTERS/Andrew Caballero-Reynolds

Sri Lankan garment industry struggles to attract women workers

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As Sri Lankan apparel firms prepare to spend 55 million rupee ($492,061.24 AUD) on a public relations campaign to attract more female workers, union leaders argue that ensuring better working conditions is the best way to improve sector’s image.

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Photo: Sarah Rennie/OxfamAUS

Time for action! Oxfam delivers your messages to The Just Group

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In December last year Herald Sun investigations confirmed that home-based workers in Australia who sew labels such as Portmans and Jacqui-E work under poor conditions with wages as little as $2 an hour.

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2011 Labour Video Competition

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Have you seen a film that has inspired you to support labour rights? LabourStart’s second Labour Video of the Year competition is now open for nominations.

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Photo: Sarah Rennie/OxfamAUS

Domestic worker rights: Dignity overdue

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Domestic workers are among the most exploited workers in the world. According to human rights and labour organisations, action to support domestic workers rights is well and truly overdue.

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Image courtesy UN

What women want? The voice of women workers at the UN

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Union delegates at the 55th Session of the UN Commission on the Status of Women report that while increasing numbers of women are participating in tertiary level science and technology education, this has not translated into equal career opportunities or equal pay.

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Photo: Ben Adams/OxfamAUS

Strong women, extraordinary challenges

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As a migrant worker Nining was under pressure to survive in her new environment as well as to provide support to her parents and family back home. At the same time, Nining could not stand the way that workers were treated and exploited within the factory.

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Fashion victims

Jeans sandblasting and the real fashion victims

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A growing number of global denim brands have taken action to end the life threatening practise of sandblasting. But there is still a long way to go towards a global ban. Labels including Dolce & Gabbana, Benneton and Diesel are refusing to take action.

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Photo: Timothy Herbert/OxfamAUS

Working women with families

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Another friend of mine recently became a single parent. Her baby is less than a year old, but her husband deserted both of them. To get by as a single mother she works full time at the footwear factory.

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Cue up for more ethical clothing!

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Australian fashion pioneer Cue determined to walk the talk on labour rights.

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Photo: OxfamAUS

Cambodian workers sacked after asking for living wage

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More than 300 illegally dismissed Cambodian workers remain locked out of their workplaces despite official orders for their reinstatement.

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Photo: OxfamAUS

Fair’s fair Buxwear: ethical school uniforms finally on the cards!

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An Australian company commits to cleaning up their act on labour rights.

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Image: Garment worker leader Moshrefa Mishu along with other leaders at rally in October 2010 (Shahidul Alam/Drik/Majority World)

Bangladeshi union leader illegally detained, in ill-health

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At 1:15 am on December 14 last year, twelve plain-clothed officers arrived at the home of Mashrefa Mishu, Garment Workers Unity Forum President and long time human rights activist.

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istock photo

Mexican labour activists face violent threats

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A series of threats targeting Mexican labour advocates have prompted an urgent international response calling for the protection of their lives.

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Photo: OxfamAUS

Working around the clock

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I’m aware that because I work the night shift the condition of my body isn’t great—I’m unfit, easily tired and frequently sick…If there were something I could wish for, it would be that the factory provides something to help us improve our nutrition, so that I can stay healthy while working night shift.

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Photo: OxfamAUS

Dengue Fever

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Before I fell ill, I hadn’t been feeling well enough to work for two or three days. But I still went to work because I wouldn’t be able to get sick leave without a certificate from the factory clinic.

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Photo: OxfamAUS

14,000 years for Sri Lankan workers to earn Nike CEO pay

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Did you know it would take the average Sri Lankan sportswear worker 14,000 years to earn the Nike CEO’s annual pay?

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Photo: istock

Sandblasted jeans: A worn out look that can kill

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The lives of men and women who operate sandblasting equipment are at serious risk. The popular denim finishing technique is known to cause a severe form of silicosis, an incurable lung disease caused by inhalation of dust containing free crystalline silica.

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Roof top view of Istanbul (Daisy Gardener/OxfamAUS)

From blogging to sandblasting: activist talks in Turkey

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It is day three at the Clean Clothes Forum here in Turkey. 180 activists have come to a small island called Bandirma, off the coast of Istanbul. We’re here to share ideas and information for how we can effectively support workers around the world to get a fair deal.

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Photo: Danielle Cantlon/OxfamAus

Literacy…an invaluable gift unwrapped

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Whether working in a Phnom Penh garment factory or living in a remote rural village, literacy can be a ticket towards a better life.

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Photo: OxfamAus

Labour activists jailed in Vietnam

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Last month three Vietnamese labor activists were jailed for up to 9 years after initiating strikes for better pay. Despite a difficult climate for industrial action, many Vietnamese workers have been active in advocating for improved pay and conditions.

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Certton cotton field

Certton steps towards more ethical fashion

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Queensland based clothing brand Certton has recently joined 42 other companies to become accredited to Ethical Clothing Australia (ECA). ECA certifies that workers in Australia have access to legally mandated conditions and are paid according to the industry award.

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Photo: Timothy Herbert/OxfamAUS

Adidas: all take no give this Christmas?

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In November adidas announced that it expects to grow annual revenues by almost 50% to approximately $23 billion AUS by 2015. Despite this prosperous outlook, the company has shown little generosity to the women and men making adidas’ products on poverty wages.

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Photo: Akshay Mahajan/OxfamAUS

Global rights at work: key to ending poverty

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Supporting labour rights is— fundamentally—about supporting an end to global poverty. The Global Rights at Work project shows how education and skills building can help women and men in developing countries to secure better working conditions…and better lives.

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