Nassim, a 25 year old male garment worker earned 6400BDT or 66€ per month. He started working as a helper at 19 years.

He got involved with WSM’s partner, the National Garment Workers Federation (NGWF) after a visit of their organizer to his factory. They formed a committee with twelve of his colleagues, and raised several issues to the management:

– Irregular payment of salaries, which were sometimes months later
– Required to work up to 20 hours unpaid overtime
– No maternity leave

They founded a union in March 2014 and all 500 workers of the factory became members. In July 2014, Nassim was fired by phone. It turned out management had fired eight of the twelve members of the committee. They turned to NGWF for help, who first wrote a grievance letter and is now pursuing the case in Labour Court. Meanwhile, Nassim remains jobless.

 Moshumi, 22 years old, started working was she was ten years old, as a helper. Currently an operator (meaning she uses the sewing machines), she makes 6.600BDT (68€) per month, which is just below the minimum wage 6,805BDT). She works for a sweater factory that employs 5.000 workers in a six story building. In 2006 a manager misbehaved with her and she had to leave. She met with a union organizer of NGWF in 2006 and shared her experience. They wrote a grievance letter to the factory which, after some negotiating, reinstated her even provided her with the Ramadan bonus. However, she feels that because she turned to NGWF and has since followed training on labour rights, which she then shares with her colleagues, she has been branded a trouble maker by the management and is overburdened with workload, receiving no money for the overtime she has to do.

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