Posts by Liana Foxvog, International Labor Rights Forum

Liana Foxvog worked at the International Labor Rights Forum (ILRF) from 2010 until 2020, serving most recently as Director of Campaigns. In 2004, Liana joined SweatFree Communities as National Organizer, and coordinated ILRF's campaigns in the apparel industry since the program merged with ILRF in 2010. 

Families and Labor Leaders Observe 6th Anniversary of Ali Enterprises Fire

Six years ago, on September 11, 2012, the Ali Enterprises factory in Baldia Town, went up in flames. The factory employed hundreds of workers, but only had one exit. At least 260 workers died while trapped inside. This was the deadliest fire ever in a garment factory. After the fire, a major campaign ensued that ultimately secured compensation for the affected families.

This morning the National Trade Union Federation of Pakistan, the Pakistan Institute of Labour Education & Research, and the Home-Based Women Workers Federation held a press conference in front of the Karachi Press Club, noting that garment and textile factories in Pakistan are no safer than they were six years ago and calling for workplace safety.

In the afternoon, they were joined by many more union leaders and members of the Ali Enterprises Factory Fire Affectees Association for a memorial gathering and rally in front of the factory building in Baldia town.

Najma and Abdul Jabar mourned the loss of their son Abdul Hafiz. "Our son died and we couldn't find his body. If we had his body, we could have had a grave for him."

"First there should be preventive measures. There should be the possibility of evacuation in the case of fire. There was none of that at Ali Enterprises. So we have to provide for that," said Husna, who lost her husband Mohhammad Wasim in the fire. 

Toxic, Deadly Tanneries

In the wee hours of the morning on January 31, in the worst tannery disaster in the industry's history in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu, a deluge of toxic sludge from a storage tank killed nine sleeping workers and a watchman. The Tamil Nadu Farmers' Association said the tank explosion was due to poor construction and they are demanding 10 lakh rupees (US$16,200) compensation for the victims. 

VF Inspections Fail to Prevent Latest Bangladesh Factory Fire

Before the Tazreen fire of November 2012 and the Rana Plaza building collapse of April 2013 made international headlines, safety incidents were a regular occurrence in Bangladesh. And they continue to be. According to the Solidarity Center, in the past year and a half – and not including Tazreen and Rana Plaza – at least 26 workers have been killed and 823 injured in 57 separate incidents in Bangladesh garment factories.

25 Cambodian Detainees Released, Charges Remain

This morning the remaining 22 of the 25 people - garment workers, trade unionists, monks, activists, bystanders - who were arrested in Cambodia on November 12 and January 2 and 3 amidst strikes for higher wages were finally released from prison. Labor and human rights organizations who had been calling for their freedom celebrated their release today as they also firmly called for the dropping of the sentences. The freed detainees have received suspended sentences of one to four-and-a-half years of imprisonment. Several were also fined 8 million riel ($2,000).

US Brands Fail Victims of Bangladesh Disasters

The horrific catastrophes at Tazreen Fashions and Rana Plaza exposed the callous indifference of the US brands and retailers that sourced from these factories and the systemic failure of the garment industry to ensure worker safety in Bangladesh. It's been more than four months since the Rana building collapse of April 24th, 2013 and nine months since the Tazreen fire of November 24th, 2012, but injured workers and the surviving families of the deceased have yet to receive even a cent of compensation from the US brands and retailers whose clothing they and their loved ones risked their lives to make.

Three Months Since Rana Plaza, 200 Orphans Call for Compensation and Safe Jobs

Today, three months after the Rana building collapse of April 24 and eight months after the Tazreen fire of November 24, two hundred orphans participated in a demonstration organized by the National Garment Workers Federation (NGWF). The demonstration called on all apparel brands and retailers that sourced from Tazreen and Rana to pay full and fair compensation to the injured workers and families who lost loved-ones, as well as urged all clothing companies that have not yet signed on to the Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh to do so immediately.