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Tuesday, November 27, 2012

  • Bangladeshi Labor Activist Finds Burned Clothes with Wal-Mart Labels at Site of Deadly Factory Fire

    Kapona2

    The Bangladeshi government has declared a period of national mourning for more than 120 garment workers who died in a fire at a factory that supplied U.S. retail giant Wal-Mart, among others. Joining us from Bangladesh is labor activist Kalpona Akter, who has visited the factory and took pictures of the charred clothing labels she found there — including the Wal-Mart brand, Faded Glory. She started work in garment factories when she was 12 years old. Now she campaigns for better wages, recognition of the right to organize, and higher safety standards. We are also joined by Scott Nova, executive director of the Worker Rights Consortium, which investigates working conditions in factories around the world. In comparison to the 1911 Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire in New York City, Nova says, "It really is an extraordinary achievement, in an ironic sense, that the U.S. apparel industry has managed to replicate early 20th century conditions, that were so brutal and cruel to workers, now again here in 2012 in factories in places like Bangladesh. It’s a shameful record for the U.S. apparel industry. ... And hopefully, this horror will finally galvanize a global push for genuine reform of the labor practices of the big apparel brands and retailers." Akter speaks directly to shoppers, saying, "Consumers can play a big role, because they are the most powerful player in the supply chain." [includes rush transcript]

  • Eve Ensler on "The State of Female America," Her Play "Emotional Creature" & Women Violence in Congo

    Eve

    We spend the rest of the hour with someone who has fought tirelessly for women’s rights here in the United States and around the world: Eve Ensler. Her new play is called "Emotional Creature" and is now playing in New York City. Ensler is the award-winning playwright and creator of "The Vagina Monologues" and V-Day, a global movement to stop violence against women and girls. Her new campaign is called One Billion Rising. Ensler will be speaking tonight on "The State of Female America," moderated by Laura Flanders, in New York City. "One of the things we’re trying to deal with and make happen with One Billion Rising is to look at the intersection between the violence that happens to women in the homes, on their streets and at their jobs," Ensler says. [includes rush transcript]