Friday, June 21, 2013

Support the Bangladeshi factory workers

The Rana Plaza factory collapse, in which more than a thousand people have lost their lives, is the most recent example of a series of similar tragedies throughout the past decade. Poor working conditions and hazardous factory environments are commonplace in the Bangladeshi garment sector. The AUD $37 a month minimum wages in Bangladesh are amongst the lowest in the region.

Since the factory collapse, more than 50 companies have signed onto the Bangladesh Fire and Safety Accord including H&M, Inditex (Zara), Primark, C&A and Tesco. I call upon all clothing companies to publish the location of their supplier factories as it will mean that any NGO, union or researcher can verify that the workplace is safe and workers are receiving a living wage.
So far major Australian clothing retailers 
Kmart, Target, Cotton On and Big W have failed to sign up to the Accord.

I call on Kmart, Target, Cotton On and Big W to: 

  • Immediately sign on to the Bangladesh Fire and Safety Accord;
  • Publish the names and addresses of all supplier factories (Nike, adidas, Puma, Timerland and Levis are already doing this);
  • Ensure that all workers making your products receive a living wage;
  • Ensure all workers making your products are free to join a union and collectively bargain in the workplace.

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