Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 


Progress made to prevent another Rana Plaza tragedy

One year on: progress made to prevent another Rana Plaza tragedy

An official from one of the two global union bodies that negotiated the Bangladesh Accord on Fire and Building Safety, currently visiting New Zealand, says that the Accord continues to make big steps forward to ensure that no such tragedy happens again.

Today is the first anniversary of the collapse of the Rana Plaza garment factory building in Bangladesh with a loss of over 1,100 lives.

The Bangladesh Accord on Fire and Building Safety was negotiated by the UNI and IndustriALL international union bodies. More than 160 global brands have committed to the Accord, a program of unprecedented scale, independence, rigor and transparency. The agreement now covers 1600 factories employing 2 million workers.

Alke Boessiger, Head of the Commerce Section of UNI is currently in New Zealand visiting UNI affiliate, FIRST Union.

"Yesterday, I met with Woolworths / Countdown representatives and congratulated them on being a signatory to the Accord and updated them on our work," Alke Boessiger said.

"Woolworths, together with eight other Australasian companies including Kmart, Pacific Brands, Forever New and Cotton On and major global brands such as H&M, Adidas and Mothercare are some of the 160 signatories.”

"The inspection program is in full operation. There is a strong team of more than more than 100 technical experts and engineers in Bangladesh who are conducting 45 inspections per week, with the aim to inspect 1500 factories by October. More than 280 factories have been inspected for fire and electrical issues and 240 for structural safety. Every inspection has revealed critical issues which must be repaired as a condition of doing business with signatory brands in the future. These issues include, for example, the absence of fire doors to separate the work area from the fire exit. Brands are responsible to ensure that sufficient financial resources are available for the renovations and improvements,” she said.

"In some cases, the engineers have found that a building is at risk of imminent collapse, requiring temporary suspension of operations and evacuation of the workers while the parties involved develop a solution. Under the Accord, the covered factories must pay these workers for up to six months while repairs are underway. Currently all workers from the factories which have had to be temporarily closed are receiving payments.

“The first anniversary of the Rana Plaza tragedy is a moment to pause and remind ourselves of that terrible day when more than 1,100 garment workers lost their lives making the low-priced clothes that consumers have come to expect. Rana Plaza shone a spotlight into the dark recesses of the Bangladesh garment industry where mainly young women work for a pittance, sometimes in life-threatening conditions. UNI and IndustriALL urge all stakeholders along the supply-chain to commit to change and save lives.

“The Accord is an unprecedented, legally-binding agreement between brands and global unions which aims to make the Bangladeshi garment sector safe and sustainable across a five year term. It came about as a result of more than 1,800 preventable deaths from fires and factory collapses in the last seven years. Rana Plaza was the tragic tipping point.

However, FIRST Union General Secretary Robert Reid said that on the negative side, a year after Rana Plaza, multinational clothing brands are failing to meet the US$40 million target to pay fair compensation to the victims.

“Brand contributions to the Rana Plaza Donors Trust Fund remain wholly inadequate. Only around US$15 million has been paid into the fund, established to give financial and medical support to the victims and their families consistent with guidelines set by the International Labour Organization (ILO),” Robert Reid said.

“We urge all the brands that have been working in Bangladesh to contribute to the fund with a considerable sum. They share a collective responsibility for this profoundly unsustainable production model and its hazards,” he said.

Ends.

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Parliament Today: State Opening Of Parliament

The House sits at 10.30am today before MPs are summoned to hear the Speech from the Throne in the Legislative Council Chamber.

The speech delivered by the Governor-General on the Government’s behalf outlines its priorities for this Parliament.

After this MPs will return to the House for the presentation of petitions and papers and the introduction of any bills.

The Government has five notices of motion on the Order Paper which can be debated. These relate to relating to the appointment of the Deputy Speaker, Assistant Speakers, the reinstatement of business in a carryover motion and one on “Entities to be deemed public organisations”. More>>

 

Tertiary Education: Students Doing It Tough As Fees Rise Again

The Government is making it increasingly difficult for Kiwis to gain tertiary education as fees continue to rise and access to student support becomes even more restricted, Labour’s Tertiary Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. More>>

ALSO:

Housing, Iraq: PM Press Conference – 20 October 2014

Prime Minister John Key met with press today to discuss:
• Housing prices and redevelopment in Auckland
• Discussions with Tony Abbott on the governmental response to ISIS, and New Zealand’s election to the UN Security Council More>>

ALSO:

Labour: Review Team Named, Leadership Campaign Starts

Labour’s New Zealand Council has appointed Bryan Gould as Convenor of its post-General Election Review. He will be joined on the Review Team by Hon Margaret Wilson, Stacey Morrison and Brian Corban.

ALSO:


Roy Morgan Poll: National Slips, Labour Hits Lows

The first New Zealand Roy Morgan Poll since the NZ Election shows National 43.5% (down 3.54% since the September 20 Election). This isn’t unusual, National support has dropped after each of John Key’s Election victories... However, support for the main opposition Labour Party has crashed to 22.5% (down 2.63% and the lowest support for Labour since the 1914 NZ Election as United Labour). More>>

ALSO:

In On First Round: New Zealand Wins Security Council Seat

Prime Minister John Key has welcomed New Zealand securing a place on the United Nations Security Council for the 2015-16 term. More>>

ALSO:

TPP Leak: Intellectual Property Text Confirms Risk - Jane Kelsey

The US is continuing its assault on generic medicines through numerous proposed changes to patent laws. ‘These are bound to impact on Pharmac if they are accepted’, according to Professor Kelsey... Copyright is another area of ongoing sensitivity... More>>

ALSO:

RMA: Smith Plans Reform To Ease Urban Development

Newly appointed Environment Minister Nick Smith has announced Resource Management Act reform to foster urban development, where high land prices and expensive resource consents are blocking efforts to provide affordable housing. More>>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On New Zealand getting involved (again) in other people's wars

Apparently, the Key government is still pondering how New Zealand will contribute to the fight against Islamic State. Long may it ponder, given the lack of consensus among our allies as to how to fight IS, where to fight it (Syria, Iraq, or both?) and with whose ground troops, pray tell? More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On child poverty, and David Shearer’s latest outburst

The politicisation of (a) the public service and (b) the operations of the Official Information Act have been highlighted by the policy advice package on child poverty that RNZ’s resolute political editor Brent Edwards has finally prised out of the Ministry of Social Development. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On the government’s review of security laws

So the Key government is about to launch a four week review of the ability of our existing legislation to deal with “suspected and returning foreign terrorist fighters, and other violent extremists.”

According to its terms of reference, the review will consider whether the SIS, GCSB and Police are sufficiently able right now to (a) investigate and monitor suspected and returning foreign terrorist fighters… More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news