3rd Retail Store Action in Solidarity with the Workers of Bangladesh
Where: Atlantic Center, Flatbush Ave & Atlantic Ave, Brooklyn
Meet at Herald Square, 34th St. & 6th Ave. this Monday, May 27, 2:30pm (Memorial Day).
We stand in solidarity with the workers of Bangladesh and are outraged over the tragic collapse of the Rana Plaza building, which has killed more than 1,100 garment workers. This follows the fire at the Tazreen Fashions factory last year where more than 100 Bangladeshi workers lost their lives.
In our 3rd solidarity action, we’ll visit several retail stores in Brooklyn and demand that they sign on to the legally binding Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh (pdf).
The accord, a new agreement between several global union federations and 40 prominent apparel and retail companies, requires companies to participate in and fund a program of independent safety inspections, remediation, and worker safety trainings with the involvement of trade unions. They must maintain commercial terms that enable factories to maintain safe workplaces and finance repairs. The program will be overseen by a Steering Committee consisting of an equal number of representatives of trade unions and companies and one representative of the International Labor Organization. It will be enforceable through binding arbitration.
It has been estimated that a mere $0.10 more per garment would pay for the factory improvements of this program. Is 10 cents per garment too much for worker safety? Walmart, K-Mart, Gap, Target, JC Penny, and other U.S. retailers say “yes”. We say “no more bloodshed!” It’s time to hold U.S. retailers accountable for their inaction.
While a few U.S. companies have signed onto the Accord, most, including the Gap, Walmart, Target, J.C. Penney, Sears, and Kmart, have not. The time for individual and ineffective “corporate social responsibility” programs is long over. This legally binding, multi-stakeholder Accord is the kind of framework that is much more likely to result in safer factories and better jobs for garment workers.
We demand that all apparel and retail companies that have production in Bangladesh join this program.