Bangladesh: Manufacturing Horror‏!

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bangledesh avaaz2The death toll from last week’s building collapse in Bangladesh has now topped 400 — it’s Bangladesh’s worst ever industrial disaster. The eight-storey building, workplace to thousands of garment factory workers, showed clear signs of cracking a full day before it collapsed. More than 140 people are still missing underneath the rubble.

Right now, thousands of protesters are marching in Dhaka to demand their right to not die on the job. It’s time global fashion brands heed their call — it’s their relentless squeeze for the bottom line that pushes suppliers to cram workers into sweatshops that don’t even meet basic safety standards. From this manufacturing horror, we have the chance to force fashion giants to take responsibility for workplace safety.

sign petitionWe can start with H&M and GAP — two industry giants with huge production lines in Bangladesh. Workers have asked them to sign a groundbreaking, tough factory safety agreement, and together we can strengthen their hand while the media focus remains on Bangladesh. When we reach 1 million, we’ll place hard-hitting adverts that force their CEOs to respond.

Sign then share widely: HERE

Last week’s tragic collapse was a long time coming. Big fashion giants and their suppliers have long been ignoring safety standards, with fires and building disasters claiming nearly a thousand lives in recent years. Companies like H&M, who alone buys clothes from 200 factories, claim they are “auditing” their factories’ labor practices in a strict fashion. But workers say these audits are meaningless, and that factory bosses ignore fire and building hazards to squeeze prices and stay competitive, fueling a race to the bottom with poverty wages and dismal safety standards.

The new worker safety agreement — sponsored by labor groups — calls for independent inspections, public reports about supplier factory conditions, and mandatory repairs. It’s even enforceable in courts of the companies’ home countries! Full details of which companies were using the collapsed factory aren’t yet known, and we don’t know whether H&M or Gap had connections to it. But getting them onboard would put tremendous pressure on other companies to follow.

Call on the CEOs of H&M and GAP to sign the building safety agreement, then share widely — once we reach 1 million we’ll take out personal ads in their neighborhoods: HERE

Time and time again, Avaaz members have come together to fight back corporate greed and violations of human rights. Last year, we helped 100 Indian workers safely return to their homes when a Bahraini corporation refused to let them leave. Let’s rise to this challenge and stand with Bangladesh’s garment workers now.

With hope and determination,

Jamie, Jeremy, Alex, Ari, Diego, Marie, Maria-Paz, Ricken and the Avaaz team

sign petitionPS – Many Avaaz campaigns are started by members of our community!

Start yours now and win on any issue – local, national or global: HERE

MORE INFORMATION:

  • Collapse renews calls for safety agreement (Wall Street Journal)
  • Western companies feel pressure as toll rises in Bangladesh (NBC News)
  • Bangladeshi garment factory death toll rises as owner arrested on border (The Guardian)
  • Bangladesh factory safety under scrutiny after collapse (CBC)
  • Hazardous workplaces: Making the Bangladesh Garment Industry Safe (Report, Clean Clothes campaign)

 

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