Three weeks ago, over 1,100 textile workers were killed when the Rana Plaza building collapsed near Dhaka, Bangladesh. By the stroke of midnight yesterday, over thirty of the world’s biggest retail and textile companies (including Tesco, Primark, Sainsbury’s, Next, Marks and Spencer, New Look and John Lewis) signed up to the IndustriALL/UNI-Global Accord on Building and Fire Safety in Bangladesh.
These horrific and historic weeks have shown the power of global solidarity. Emails asking fashion retailers to sign the Accord were sent by almost 1 million people via Avaaz and over 85,000 people via Change.org. When this effort was combined with campaigns by global union federations IndustriALL and UNI-Global and national trade union confederations like the TUC (with our 2p wage campaign that went viral and reached over a third of a million Facebook users), the need for companies to act was overwhelming.
Now it is time for global solidarity to support trade unions in Bangladesh to enable them to play a real part in the safety programmes that the Accord will launch. Today TUC Aid is launching an appeal for donations to help the families of ready-made garment workers in Dhaka. You can give on line, persuade friends, families and workmates to do the same, or send a cheque made out to TUC Aid Dhaka Disaster to TUC Aid, Congress House, Great Russell Street, London WC1B 3LS.
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