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Cambodia factory collapse: How did inspectors miss it?

PHNOM PENH — Hem Navy lies on a stretcher in the emergency room of a local hospital, hours after she was pulled out from under the collapsed ceiling of an Asics factory in the southwestern province of Kompong Speu. Half her face is severely bruised with signs of internal bleeding around her eyes, and her left foot is bundled in a bloody bandage. “When the ceiling fell, I ran to try and escape it,” she said.

How Nike solved its sweatshop problem

It wasn't that long ago that Nike was being shamed in public for its labor practices to the point where it badly tarnished the company's image and hurt sales. The recent factory collapse in Bangladesh was a reminder that even though Nike managed to turn around its image, large parts of the industry still haven't changed much at all.

Bangladesh factory collapse tragedy visualized in one chart

A visual breakdown of the rising death toll and what it's like to work as a Bangladesh factory worker at Rana Plaza.


Africa plans for a new industrial revolution

As Africa plans to launch into an era of mass industrialization, labor activist groups fear rights violations.
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Ivory Coast's President Alassane Ouattara (L) greets participants on March 25, 2013 during the meeting of the finance and economy ministers and the African Union Development Planning in Abidjan. The theme of the sixth AU-ECA joint annual meetings was "industrialization for an emerging Africa." (Issouf Sanogo/AFP/Getty Images)

ABIDJAN, Ivory Coast — Europe’s Industrial Revolution spurred unprecedented technological and economic progress. It also inflicted a tremendous human cost. Millions of workers toiled in dangerous conditions. The same would hold true some two centuries later in East Asia, where explosive industrial growth was coupled with sweatshops and child labor.

Now African leaders are plotting their own era of mass industrialization. In the Ivorian capital Abidjan this week, delegates from across the continent and beyond gathered for a six-day conference themed, “Industrialization for an Emerging Africa.” A high-powered panel of speakers declared Africa primed to take off as the new “workbench of the world.”

“Industrialization cannot be considered a luxury but a necessity for the continent’s development,” said Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, the new head of the African Union Commission.


Questions remain about Bangladesh factory fire

More than a week after the worst factory fire in Bangladesh’s history killed at least 112, there are still unsettling questions in the charred rubble. Labor activists are painstakingly tallying the names of the missing to prove that the official death toll significantly downplays the scale of the tragedy.

Bangladesh factory fire: 3 managers arrested

Three supervisors have been arrested for allegedly preventing workers' escape from the Tazreen Fashions factory in Bangladesh during a fire that killed more than 100 people.

Bangladesh: Another factory fire breaks out as thousands protest previous deadly blaze

The fire that broke out late on Saturday at the Tazreen Fashions factory near Dhaka took as many as 124 lives, according to reports, making it the deadliest fire ever to hit Bangladesh's garment industry.

Chicago teachers strike: Let's break it down

What do they want and when do they want it? Why Chicago's public school teachers reached their breaking point.
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Teacher Jillian Connolly helps her daughter Mary study math problems while picketing on September 10, 2012 in Chicago, Illinois. (Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Teachers, parents and students woke up to a frustrating situation this morning as the Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) began the first day of the first district walk-out in 25 years. 

After talks with Mayor Rahm Emanuel failed last week and over 70 percent of union members voted to support a strike, 26,000 teachers, school nurses, janitors, counselors and other support staff picketed their schools, which are closed for classes today to the nearly 400,000 students in the district.


Foxconn moves into Indonesia, worrying labor groups

JAKARTA — Foxconn has faced a firestorm of international media attention over its labor practices in China, where it has 13 factories. Labor groups are wary as it moves into Indonesia.
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