May Day 2017: Union League Members Around the World Continue the Struggle!



Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU)

Protesters carry a sign over a bridge, blocking it for May Day and wearing red

 KMU held a 3-day event to commemorate May Day. Members of KADAMAY, an affiliate of KMU, march from the province and went to the capital of the Philippines on April 29, 2017 to underscore the need for public housing. On April 30, KMU led a protest action during the ASEAN meeting held in Manila, Philippines. On May 1, KMU led a 100,000 strong rally across the Philippines, with 40,000 gathered in the capital Manila. The main issues raised during the events were the need for a National Minimum Wage of ~15USD/day, an end to contract work and better public service, including public housing.

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Nicaragua: Brutal Police Repression of Workers at SAE-A Technotex

On June 27, union leaders protesting contaminated drinking water and the refusal to negotiate with the union at SAE-A Technotex in Nicaragua were fired by management and forcibly taken out of the factory by riot police.

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India: 350,000 Workers Protest New Social Security Policy and Win!

Workers crowd the streets shutting down traffic. 350,000 garment workers, mainly women from Bangalore, Mandya, Ramanagar, and Mysore districts, walked out of their factories to protest the new EPF/Social Security policy of Indian Central Government April 18th and 19th and forced the government to accept their demands!
The protests began in a Shahi Group factory where League member Garment and Textile Workers Union (GATWU) in Bangalore has significant membership. Despite the difficulties for workers to form factory unions in Bangalore, leading to only around 3% union density for the around 600,000 garment workers, a huge majority of workers joined the protests that began the morning of April 18th to protest the government's policy changes. By the evening of April 19th, the government was forced to give in to the workers' demands and rescind its EPF policy in an history victory for Bangalore women garment workers the Central Indian Government!
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Victory in Turkish Mulberry Supplier!

Victory for Turkish Union League Member at Mulberry Supplier!


Deriteks members in Tuzla hold a protest outside of their factory with Deriteks signs and a sign calling out Mulberry In a tremendous victory for Turkish Union League member Deriteks Sendikası, workers at SF Leather factory in Izmir, Turkey held their first hard-fought victory meeting at 10 am this morning with union representatives inside of the factory to discuss the workers' rights to unionize, after management had previously staged a heavy-handed anti-union campaign, telling the workers they would never allow a union into the factory.

After a 9-month organizing campaign by Deriteks Sendikası at the Mulberry supplier factory, workers won a hard-fought victory by directly challenging the buyer brand to take responsibility for the conditions in its supplier! SF Leather factory workers began organizing at the beginning of 2015, but were hit hard when the employer found out about their unionization efforts.

"I, along with 13 colleagues, was dismissed by my employer after I refused to give in to threats to stop organizing a union with my coworkers," said Mehmet Cin, a 5-year veteran of the company, "They tried to say it was because of performance issues, but at the same time they had just given us a performance-related bonus and a few days later told us we could come back to the company if we resigned our union membership. We refused."

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International Day of Action to Support Turkish Mulberry Workers!

In Izmir, Turkey, workers at Mulberry supplier SF Leather have been fighting for union recognition for 6 months. The workers, along with Union League member Deriteks Sendikası, called for an international day of action to call on Mulberry to follow their own "Global Sourcing Principles" and ensure that their workers have the right to organize!


SF Leather workers in Izmir, Turkey call on Mulberry to respect their rights!

SF Leather workers in Izmir sit on a sidewalk, some with fists in the air


Cambodian Labour Confederation stands in solidarity with SF Leather workers:

Cambodian Labour Confederation members hold signs in Khmer, Turkish, and English in support of Mulberry workers in Turkey


Washington, DC: Teamsters deliver a letter to Mulberry retail store in Tyson's Corner in solidarity with workers

Teamster unionists stand in front of their emblem holding signs about Mulberry


India: Garment and Textile Workers' Union (GATWU) in solidarity with SF Leather workers

Women of GATWU stand with signs supporting workers in Turkey


Bristol, UK: Labour Behind the Label calls out Mulberry at their headquarters 

Protesters stand next to a huge purse labeled "Mulberry" and give flyers to passersby



Asia Monitor Resource Centre & HK Globalisation Monitor deliver a letter to Mulberry in Hong Kong

People stand in front of a Mulberry store with signs calling on them to respect their workers' rights


Bangladeshi unionists representing a number of unions in the LA Garment Worker Center

Bangladeshi union representatives stand in solidarity with SF Leather workers in Turkey

 (Represented: League member BIGUF, BGIWF, BCWS, Solidarity Center)

Turkey: Deriteks members in Tuzla protest in solidarity with their union brothers & sisters in Izmir

Deriteks members protest Mulberry in solidarity with SF Leather workers in Izmir


New York City: United Students Against Sweatshops & allies deliver a letter of solidarity to a Mulberry retail store 

 Three protesters stand in front of a New York City Mulberry retail store with flyers for consumers


Santa Clara, CA, USA: United Students Against Sweatshops deliver a letter of solidarity to Mulberry retail location

Students stand in front of a Mulberry store in solidarity with workers


Philippines: Kilusang Mayo Uno stands in solidarity with SF Leather workers

KMU members in the Philippines hold signs of solidarity with Turkish Mulberry workers


Activists in Berlin, Germany deliver a letter to Mulberry in solidarity with Deriteks members

A woman stands in front of Mulberry in Berlin with a fist in the air holding the letter she will deliver


Not pictured:

  • Workers United unionists deliver a letter of solidarity with SF Leather workers to Mulberry retail store manager in Cabazon, California in the United States.
  • Clean Clothes Campaign members protest at a Mulberry retail location in Vienna, Austria in solidarity with Turkish Mulberry workers


A Deriteks member holds a sign reading \


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Sept. 16: Mulberry Day of Action!

Sept. 16: Stand in Solidarity with illegally dismissed Mulberry workers!


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KMU: Justice for Kentex Workers!

Justice for the workers of Kentex! Justice for Filipino workers!


Statement from Philippine League affiliate Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU) on the recent Kentex factory fire that murdered at least 72 factory workers (see below for ways to support families of the murdered workers):

People hold signs reading \We express our heartfelt condolences to the family and friends of the workers of Kentex Manufacturing Incorporated who died in a factory fire yesterday. We are one with you in mourning the untimely and unjust deaths of our fellow workers. 

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May Day Around the World!

League member unions around the world celebrated May Day/International Workers' Day with militant actions, showing the brands the power they have to connect, organize, and grow globally! 

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Bangladesh: Rana Plaza Victims' Orphans Stage Sit-In On 2nd Anniversary of Collapse

 Rana Plaza victim's orphans children are seen staging  symbolic sit in strike in front of national press club marking 2nd anniversary of the tragedy. Program organized by National Garment workers Federation (NGWF)

Staging a sit-in on the second anniversary of the Rana Plaza factory collapse that killed 1,138 garment workers, orphaned children of the murdered workers called for "No more orphan among garment workers' children like us for the negligence of factory owners, buyers, government & BGMEA!"

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El Salvador: Workers' Action Forces Lacoste to the Table!

Workers gather to protest Lacoste's union busting activities, holding banners with the Lacoste logo

Integra Textiles company, representing Lacoste brand in El Salvador, was forced to the negotiating table when fired workers took action directly targeting Lacoste for its illegal union busting activity after the illegal closure of their factory due to workers organizing a union with League member STIT-FUERSA! 

Integra-Lacoste had been dodging its responsibilities to the illegally fired workers for months, despite other buyer brands from the same factory rightly committing to take responsibility to ensure workers are compensated fairly and in good faith. Workers were forced to take action, making clear that they know Lacoste brand has the power to ensure their fair treatment.

After the workers held a protest in front of the Intercomplex Industrial Park clearly calling out Lacoste for dodging its responsibilities, Integra-Lacoste was forced to come to the negotiating table directly with the around 1,200 workers who lost their jobs around a year ago. 

Representatives of the PDDH (Agency to Defend Human Rights) who were present confirmed that the company had received a letter from the union and promised to participate in the dialogue that is developing under the direction of the Ministry of Labour to ensure the workers receive their just compensation.

Congratulations to our comrades in El Salvador - 



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