Tell high street brands to commit to Accord on factory safety in Bangladesh
We are privileged to be joined at the TUC Conference this week by Amirul Haque-Amin, the President of the National Garment Workers Federation (NGWF) in Bangladesh. Amirul made a moving speech to Congress as it began yesterday as you can see below. He spoke of the shocking impact that the collapse of Rana Plaza factory building in April has had on workers: almost 1200 workers dead, 1,500 injured workers waiting for compensation and 500 children aged under 8 are now orphans.
Amirul and the NGWF have been important in driving forward the Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh. The Accord is an agreement developed by two global union federations, IndustriALL, representing garment workers, and UNI-global, representing retail workers. It commits companies to fund an independent safety inspection body that will involve workers in the process, through their unions, and to make long term deals with suppliers, offering more secure employment and training for workers.
Brands sourcing from Bangladesh were given a deadline of mid-May to sign the Accord. In a record number of days, over 30 brands had signed. Now over 80 brands are signed up. This couldn’t have happened without a huge wave of pressure from trade unions, campaigners and concerned consumers. Thousands and thousands of you took action on the TUC’s Going to Work site, sharing the TUC’s infographic showing it would cost just 2p to double the wages of their workers and sending letters to encourage brands to sign the Accord.
Now as Amirul joins us at our Conference, we are calling for everyone to show their solidarity for Bangladeshi garment workers and take action again. We have launched an e-action here where you can send a letter to some of the most prominent brands on the UK high street sourcing from Bangladesh and still haven’t signed the Accord.
Please take this action and encourage everyone you know to do so too –show Amirul and garment workers in Bangladesh that people in the UK support their calls for safety and a voice at work.