McDermott’s Statement on the Murder of Bangladeshi Labor Leader

Seattle, WA-Congressman Jim McDermott (D-WA) issued the below statement regarding the murder of Aminul Islam, a prominent Bangladeshi labor rights activist. Mr. Islam, a former garment worker, was a labor organizer for the Bangladeshi Center for Worker’s Solidarity-a group that advocates for higher pay and better working conditions for Bangladesh garment workers

“Here in the United States, we expect businesses to provide livable wages and safe working conditions for all their workers. Unfortunately, the same expectation isn’t true in other countries. Earlier this month we learned what can happen when someone dares to speak out. Aminul Islam, a labor leader from Bangladesh, was tortured and killed in an apparent effort to silence him and stifle labor organizing efforts in the Bangladeshi garment industry.

“I am deeply troubled by this development and call on the Bangladeshi authorities to conduct a full investigation into Mr. Islam’s murder. Workers do not have even the most basic labor rights if they can be killed with impunity for trying to improve their working conditions.

“A hundred years ago, the Triangle factory fire in New York City outraged our nation, but where is the outrage when U.S. companies that manufacture abroad don’t provide workers with even the most basic standard of living? I think most of us here would be willing to pay a few cents more if it meant workers in other countries could adequately provide for themselves.”