Speaking Tour Photo Essay
Date of publication: June 7, 2010
Author: ILRF & SFC
From April 15 to May 5, 2010, the International Labor Rights Forum and SweatFree Communities conducted a speaking tour to raise awareness about the realities that Bangladeshi garment workers and Pakistani soccer ball stitchers face on the job, and to encourage local action for sweatshop workers’ rights. The tour took us to 15 cities in eight states. We gave 29 presentations for stu-dents, union members, environmentalists, and other com-munity members. In addition, we held 11 meetings and briefings with a variety of government officials, includ-ing purchasing department staff and elected officials, to discuss the new Sweatfree Purchasing Consortium and how government purchasers can support workers’ rights.
Kalpona Akter and Zehra Bano brought stories of dismal working conditions from Bangladeshi garment workers and Pakistani home-based soccer ball stitchers. But they also brought stories of worker power and inspiration and showed their own fierce commitment to struggle for change.