In Bangladesh, the minimum wage for a garment worker is a mere US$43 per month. Studies show that this wage fails to cover the cost of the minimum nutritional needs of a single worker, let alone a family.
When workers staged protests demanding a livable wage, Bangladeshi factory owners responded with fabricated criminal charges against three labor leaders from the Bangladesh Center for Worker Solidarity, Kalpona Akter, Babul Akhter, and Aminul Islam. These three organizers spent 30 days in jail, during which they were threatened and tortured. They are now free on bail; however, the falsified charges against them remain. If convicted, they face possible life imprisonment or death penalty.
As the largest buyer of Bangladeshi-made clothing, Walmart has the power to ensure that Bangladeshi garment workers who face poverty wages and abusive conditions can stand up for their rights without risking harassment, imprisonment and torture. Ask Walmart to tell its suppliers that have instigated false charges against Kalpona Akter, Babul Akhter, Aminul Islam, and other labor leaders that those charges must be dropped; that the officers responsible for torturing these individuals must be held accountable; and that labor rights defenders like the Bangladesh Center for Worker Solidarity must be allowed to operate freely.
For more background, (read full text and sigh petition online).