24 September 2014, Press releases
Trade justice campaigners today branded any suggestion of a conclusion of EU-Canada trade negotiations a 'sham' and a 'PR stunt', as internal documents reveal outstanding disagreements between the European Commission and EU member states over controversial new powers for foreign investors.Add Comment
23 September 2014, Latest news
War on Want members and supporters have been contacting their MPs to protest about the dangers of TTIP, the EU-US trade deal that threatens to undermine jobs, public services and our democracy itself. Now MPs have been contacted by Vince Cable, the Secretary of State responsible for the negotiations, with a letter trying to downplay our concerns. The letter (which can be downloaded from this page) is a wilful misrepresentation of the truth, and we have been asked to provide a blow-by-blow refutation of his claims.Add Comment
22 September 2014, Latest news
Tesco was publicly challenged today over its abuse of suppliers around the world, as the company reeled from the crisis brought on by its overstatement of £250 million in profits. Watch this clip from Channel 4 News as John Hilary, Executive Director of War on Want, challenges Tesco over its unethical treatment of suppliers and warns of the consequences of any new supermarket price war.
19 September 2014, Latest news
We've been getting a lot of calls here at War on Want HQ from you, about TTIP.
You're telling us how enraged you are about this corporate power grab, the effect it will have on jobs, rights and the NHS.
You're telling us you want more resources to help you mobilise resistance around the UK.
So we've put together this presentation. We hope it's useful! We've been inspired by how many of you have been moved by the injustice TTIP will bring.
Together, we can stop TTIP!
18 September 2014, Latest news
War on Want is profoundly saddened by the death of Sarath Fernando, the founder of one of War on Want’s long term partners in Sri Lanka, the Movement for National Land and Agricultural Reform (MONLAR). We would like to send our deepest condolences to his family, friends and comrades.
Sarath was an ardent defender of social justice and the concept of food sovereignty as well as a great thinker and writer.Add Comment
12 September 2014, Latest news
On Friday 12 September 2014, as London Fashion Week Started we took action to London Fashion Week tells a story of fashion that keeps the dark side of the industry in the shadows.Add Comment
12 September 2014, Press releases
NEWS PEG: Friday, 12 September 2014 London Fashion Week opens
Protesters today are taking action to mark the opening of London Fashion week with the message “Don’t mention the garment workers”.
Activists are highlighting an event which, they say, promotes the creativity of the UK’s fashion industry, but is silent over the millions of workers who produce clothes for high street chains, often working long hours on poverty pay in unsafe conditions.
The demonstration, organised by the anti-poverty charity War on Want, is taking place in view of London Fashion Week’s opening nearby at Somerset House.
Just before the catwalk shows begin, campaigners are sending the message to London Fashion Week “Don’t Mention The Garment Workers”.
War on Want senior campaigner Owen Espley said: “London Fashion Week is a glittering showcase for the fashion industry. But fashion’s dark side is kept in the shadows.
“The British Fashion Council would rather we all forget about those who often work long hours, on poverty pay, in unsafe conditions to produce the clothes we love.
“We can love fashion, but hate sweatshops and want a fashion week that lives up to its responsibility to all the workers who make the fashion we buy. The time has come for London Fashion Week to mention the garment workers.”
NOTES TO EDITORS
All major UK brands who are members of the Ethical Trading Initiative have signed a pledge to pay workers a living wage. None currently does so.
London Fashion Week is promoting itself as big business, stating that orders estimated at £100 million will be placed during the event. This is enough to pay a month’s wages for 2.4 million Bangladeshi garment workers who earn a mere £42 each month.
- The minimum wage for clothing factory staff in Bangladesh – where brands such as Primark and Next source clothes – is only £42 a month.
The protest comes only days after Primark’s parent company, Associated British Foods, announced over £600 million operating profit for the fashion chain in the year to 13 September.
It also follows hard on the heels of Next reporting £324 million profit in the six months to the end of July.
In addition, the demonstration will raise concerns over garment workers in developing countries toiling up to 14 hours a day, large numbers of them suffering physical and verbal abuse, besides living in slum housing.
War on Want media officer Paul Collins
(+44) (0)20 7324 5054 or (+44) (0)7983 550728Add Comment
12 September 2014, Latest news
Tansy Hoskins the author of Stitched Up: The Anti-Capitalist Book of Fashion has written this guest blog about why she and War on Want have decided to send the message to the London Fashion Week "Don't Mention the Garment Workers"
Twice a year London is enveloped in the glittering spectacle of London Fashion Week – a giant sales show generating over £100 million in orders for some of the biggest corporations in the world.
It is at London Fashion Week, along with parallel events in New York, Milan and Paris that the story of fashion is created. Fashion is sold as aspirational, glamorous and inclusive, a way of creating an identity, of making your mark upon the world. The models strut, the clothes swish, the cameras flash and the front row gasps.
But something is missing. The hemlines are perfect, the makeup is flawless, the music is pumping – so what can it be?
The missing are the millions of people hidden behind this façade. The 1,138 Bangladeshi garment workers killed at Rana Plaza, the 6 Cambodians shot dead for asking for a pay rise, the Pakistani workers burnt alive in their factory, the Haitians trapped in poverty wages.
Fashion Week deliberately obscures these stories, it demands you look away, that the only thing you gasp at and connect with is the runway. It demands that you forget the billions of pounds in corporate profit, that you forget about what fashion does to the planet, that you ignore your misgivings about over consumption and that you forget about the people that stitched the clothes on your back.
With the distinction between high street and high fashion shrinking and with ‘designer‘ profits increasingly dependent on perfume, cosmetics, t-shirts, jeans, and accessories, the entire industry needs to take responsibility and become accountable for it’s actions.
This is our city and we want the truth told. It’s time to stop pretending they don’t exist. It’s time to talk about the garment workers.
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11 September 2014, Press releases
The European Commission has today rejected a proposal from an alliance of European campaigners to hold a European Citizens' Initiative against the EU-US and EU-Canada trade deals (known as TTIP and CETA). This decision prevents citizens from forcing the Commission to review its policy on the deals and to hold a hearing in the European parliament.
Negotiations on TTIP and CETA deal have provoked strong opposition across Europe, the US and Canada. Campaigners fear these treaties will give unprecedented power to multinational corporations, risking privatisation of public services and dilution of environmental standards and workers’ rights. To express this opposition, over 200 trade unions, social justice campaigns, human rights groups and consumer watchdogs applied for a European Citizens’ Initiative to force a re-think on the deals.Add Comment
11 September 2014, Latest news
See photos from our inspirational 'At the Frontlines' event at the British Academy. With live music and performance poetry, the evening highlighted the struggles of War on Want's partners in Nigeria, Palestine and Colombia.Add Comment
28 August 2014, Latest news
Activists in Colombia and London took to the streets this Wednesday 27 August to highlight the ongoing violence and mass displacement occurring in the Colombian port city of Buenaventura.Add Comment
12 August 2014, Press releases
The world’s largest security company, G4S, today faces growing pressure to end complicity in Israel’s torture and ill-treatment of Palestinians, on the eve of the firm announcing its half-year figures.Add Comment
06 August 2014, Press releases
David Cameron faces new pressure to stop weapons deals with Israel, as a charity supports activists who have shut down for a second day a UK factory exporting military drone engines to IsraelAdd Comment
05 August 2014, Latest news
Three great short films from our friends at the Rainbow Collective on why this is the moment that everyone must join the global movement for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions against Israel. Filmed at last week's demonstration outside the Israeli embassy in London, in solidarity with the Palestinian people besieged and under attack in Gaza.
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