Demand justice for factory workers

26 May 2013

On the 24 April 2013, the eight storey Rana Plaza building in Dhaka collapsed. More than 1100 people, mainly female garment workers, were killed. Thousands more were injured. In the aftermath, a global alliance of trade unions and workers’ rights campaigners launched a campaign for multinational clothing brands to sign an agreement to ensure that factories are safe

Amirul Haque Amin, President the National Garment Workers’ Federation (NGWF), had warned that this disaster was waiting to happen. Western brands and high street chains make huge profits off the back of the workers in supplier factories like these, and the union blamed them for failing to ensure that proper safety measures were in place.

Compensation alone is not enough. Companies must take responsibility for ensuring workplace safety and preventing disasters.

The Bangladesh Fire and Building Safety Agreement is a landmark project because it brings together brands,supplier factories, trade unions and NGOs to end the appallingly unsafe factory conditions and ensure decent working conditions. Built into the Accord are transparent factory audits, mandatory repairs, and effective worker training - driven by trade unions. Crucially, it is legally binding.

Unfortunately some companies are still refusing to sign the Bangladesh Safety Accord (Gap, Asda, Walmart…) and many of those that signed up have not honoured their commitments (Benetton, Bonmarché, Mango, Matalan…), showing utter contempt for the workers who provide them with their profits.

You can support War on Want’s petition to demand that these companies sign up to the Bangladesh Safety Accord here.

 

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