A few days ago we published an article on the 112 workers burnt to death in the garment factory in Bangladesh. More information has come out on this. It shows two things. One is that capitalism is a murderous system, or as we say it is much worse than we imagine. And the other is that the US and world corporations base themselves on this murderous system.
When the fire started the sirens went off. The women workers ran to get out. But two managers blocked the way and told them it was only a test. Then the smoke began to rise and the women were trapped. The two managers had disappeared.
The murderous outfit in which these women were burnt to death is called Tazreen Fashions. Women work, or rather worked, at extremely high speed with all the consequent damage to their joints and bodies and minds. They were expected to stitch a hood to a jacket in 90 seconds, and do this every 90 seconds.
Who was collaborating with this murderous outfit? Some of the world's top outfitters. On the third floor where 69 bodies were found burnt to death jackets were being sewed for C and A, a European chain. On the fifth floor where workers were making Faded Glory shorts for Walmart ten bodies were found. On the sixth floor True Desire nighties were being made for Sears. Inside one office a licensee of the United States Marine Corps who made commercial apparel with the Marines logo was found.
One worker, a Mr. Rahman, rushed from his workplace and into the fire and helped save many workers. To do so he had to fight his way past a manager. The factory spent money on these thug managers. But it did not have fire sprinklers nor an outdoor fire escape.
These are some of the horrors of capitalism and the relatively cheap clothes they sell in the advanced capitalist countries and the huge profits that are made. Capitalism is a mad profit addicted system, frothing at the mouth with this addiction.
There is a huge change taking place in the workforce of the world. Half the factory workers in the world today are women. Most of these women workers are in the poor countries such as Bangladesh. The leaders of the labor movement in advanced capitalist countries such as the US are a disgrace. Not only will they not defend their own members, but they will not go out and organize the new workforces that are developing like these women workers in Bangladesh. So they are left to be burnt to death.
These trade union and labor leaders have to be removed. Their capitalist ideas have to be removed. Fighting international opposition movements must be built in the workplaces and union rank and files, in the communities, schools and colleges. These must link together to build a democratic socialist world. Capitalism collaborates internationally on an economic, political and military basis. The working class must do the same. We have to mourn our sisters in Bangladesh. But we also have to organize internationally in their memory to end capitalism the murderous system which murdered them.
- AFSCME Local 444 negotiations assesment 1997
- Preparing for Revolution: A discussion document
- The Internal lives of Revolutionary Organizations
- Socialist Alternative members: Questions and Answers
- Sanders: Our Alternative
- The Nature of the New European Left
- University of California workers and Unions
- An Invitation to Our Readers
- Facts For Working People Weekly Phone Conferences and Discussions
- Help open The AFL-CIO AIFLD Archives