World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 


Clothing Brands Attacked for Callous Indifference

INTERNATIONAL TRADE UNION CONFEDERATION (ITUC)
ITUC OnLine
039/260413

Bangladesh: Clothing Brands Attacked for Callous Indifference

Brussels, 26 April 2013 (ITUC OnLine): The ITUC has reacted angrily to the continued refusal of global clothing brands to join a union-supported workplace safety plan in Bangladesh. The proposal was developed by unions and workers' rights NGOs and presented to companies including Wal-Mart, GAP and H&M in 2011. A renewed push after the Tazreen factory fire killed 122 workers last November still produced no agreement from companies, which complained that it would cost too much and would be legally binding.

Sharan Burrow, ITUC General Secretary, said "These huge global companies continue to show callous indifference to the lives of the thousands of workers who toil for their Bangladesh contractors and subcontractors. There have been dozens more factory fires in the months since the Tazreen tragedy, and now hundreds killed in this week's Rana Plaza building collapse. How many people will have to sacrifice their lives for the corporate bottom line before the big players in the industry finally show that they care?"

Clothing multinationals have long preferred to rely on discredited company-financed factory "audits", which are often little more than public relations exercises. A "Responsibility Outsourced" report released by the US trade union centre AFL-CIO on 23 April revealed the abject failure of key social audit programmes to protect workers lives and ensure basic standards such as health and safety protection and the right to join unions. In one of the worst examples, the Ali Enterprises factory in Pakistan was certified by one of the major corporate social responsibility groups, Social Accountability International, just weeks before a fire there killed some 300 workers in 2012.

"The Bangladesh government must face up to its responsibilities to protect people from exploitation, ensure safe workplaces and support workers who want to join unions. But the commercial pressures from multinationals who continually seek to drive down costs, cut corners and speed up production times are also responsible. Workers did not want to enter the Rana Plaza building this week, but without a union, the company bosses were able to force them to enter a death-trap," said Burrow.

Amirul Haque Amin, President of the National Garment Workers Federation in Bangladesh, said "This negligence must stop. The deaths of these workers could have been avoided if multinational corporations, governments and factory owners took workers' protection seriously."

The latest figures on the Rana Plaza disaster available to the ITUC on 26 April show:

304 confirmed deaths
2044 people rescued, more than 1000 of them injured
1000 people unaccounted for or still trapped inside the concrete wreckage.

See also:

"Responsibility Outsourced": http://www.ituc-csi.org/IMG/pdf/csreport_final_en.pdf

Articles by IndustriAll: http://www.industriall-union.org/hundreds-of-bangladeshi-garment-workers-die

http://www.industriall-union.org/european-brands-agree-to-compensate-tazreen-victims
ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Peace Deal ‘first Step’ In Resolving South Sudan Crisis

Children at a protection of civilians site in Juba, South Sudan, run by the UN Mission, perform at a special cultural event in March 2015. UN Photo/JC McIlwaine More>>

Yemen: Killing Or Maiming An Average Of Eight Children A Day

Killing or maiming an average of eight children a day, ‘brutal’ Yemen conflict must end – UNICEF More>>

Changing Habits/behaviours Key To Overcome Vaccine Hesitancy

Vaccine hesitancy can be caused by factors such as negative beliefs based on myths, misinformation. Fear of needles can be a factor for refusal. Photo: PAHO/WHO More>>

Burundi: Ban Condemns Assassination Of Senior Army Officer

Refugees from Burundi in South Kivu, Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). Photo: OCHA/Naomi Frerotte United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has condemned the assassination Burundi’s former Army Chief of Staff, Colonel Jean Bikomagu, who ... More>>

Deadly Industrial Explosions In Northern China

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has been deeply saddened to learn of the loss of life and the injuries to scores of people as a result of deadly explosions in Tianjin, China. More>>

UN Urges Action To Tackle Deepening Refugee Crisis In Greece

A group of Syrian refugees arrive on the island of Lesbos after travelling in an inflatable raft from Turkey, near Skala Sykaminias, Greece. Photo: UNHCR/A. McConnell More>>

Probe Into Those Responsible For Chemical Weapons In Syria

The US Vessel Cape Ray, on which all 581 metric tonnes of a precursor chemical for sarin gas were removed from Syria and safely destroyed as the ship sailed in international waters in 2014. Photo: US Dept. of Transportation More>>

Myanmar Election: UNICEF Urges Prioritisation Of Children

With 99 days to go before Myanmar elections, UNICEF urges candidates make children the clear winner More>>

Liberia Thousands Of Unregistered Children Born During Ebola Crisis

Thousands of unregistered children born in Liberia during Ebola crisis at risk of exploitation – UNICEF More>>

UN Refugee Agency Envoy Angelina Jolie Visits Myanmar

UNHCR Special Envoy Angelina Jolie Pitt (left) in Myitkyina township, Kachin State, Myanmar, meeting with some of the 100,000 displaced people who currently live there. Photo: UNHCR/T.Stoddart More>>

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
World
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news