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California Congressman Asks: 'Which Fashion Brands Accept Blood on Their Labels?'


Business  (tags: Western brands, retailers, clothes, BloodOnTheirLabels, Bangladesh garment factory, deaths, workplace safety, labor law, Dem, CA Congressman, George Miller, assessment, globalization, workers at risk, , fashion industry bible, website )

LucyKalei
- 440 days ago - thenation.com
As death toll at Bangladesh garment factory that made clothes for US stores passed 650, powerful CA Democrat who's for most of 40 yrs made workplace safety his congressional brief did what few in Congress or the media have the guts to do. Point culprits



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Comments

Teresa W. (657)
Tuesday May 7, 2013, 2:55 am
Rejected? Horrible!
 

Past Member (0)
Tuesday May 7, 2013, 4:23 am
Thanks
 

LucyKaleido ScopeEyes (79)
Tuesday May 7, 2013, 4:46 am
Since my picture illustrating the post seems to be getting more attention than the article posted, this AP article addresses that issue: "Big brands Rejected Bangladesh Factory Safety Plan"

[This AP story was carried by several news sources such as HuffingtonPost, the Democratic Underground, & CNBC -- ( http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/04/26/retailers-reject-bangladesh-factory-safety-plan_n_3162093.html ; http://www.democraticunderground.com/1014466807 ; http://www.cnbc.com/id/100679902 ) -- as of April 26, 2013 .... BUT CNBC CHANGED THE AP TITLE (!!!) into, "Big Brands Face Scrutiny Over Factory Safety After Bangladesh Collapse" ]


The following excerpt starts at the middle of the AP piece & goes to the end:

"Labor groups argue the best way to clean up Bangladesh's garment factories already is outlined in a nine-page safety proposal drawn up by Bangladeshi and international unions.

The plan would ditch government inspections, which are infrequent and easily subverted by corruption, and establish an independent inspectorate to oversee all factories in Bangladesh, with powers to shut down unsafe facilities as part of a legally binding contract signed by suppliers, customers and unions. The inspections would be funded by contributions from the companies of up to $500,000 per year.

The proposal was presented at a 2011 meeting in Dhaka attended by more than a dozen of the world's largest clothing brands and retailers - including Wal-Mart, Gap and Swedish clothing giant H&M - but was rejected by the companies because it would be legally binding and costly.

At the time, Wal-Mart's representative told the meeting it was "not financially feasible ... to make such investments," according to minutes of the meeting obtained by The Associated Press.

After last year's Tazreen blaze, Bangladeshi union president Amin said he and international labor activists renewed a push for the independent inspectorate plan, but none of the factories or big brands would agree.

Siddiqur Rahman, former vice president of the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association, denied the factories are responsible for killing the plan, saying the problem was that buyers did not want to pay for it.

"We welcome anything that is good for the garment industry and its workers here," Rahman said. He also disputed several union groups' figures of dozens of factory fires since November, saying there had been only one.

Global Solidarity, the AFL-CIO group, said its staff in Bangladesh compiled the list of 41 "fire incidents" from local media and counted any incident that caused injury or evacuation as an indication of compromised safety.

This week, none of the large clothing brands or retailers would comment about the proposal.

Wal-Mart spokesman Kevin Gardner did not directly answer questions about the unions' safety plans in replies to questions emailed by The Associated Press. H&M responded to questions with emailed links to corporate social responsibility websites.

In December, however, a spokesperson for the Gap - which owns the Gap, Old Navy and Banana Republic chains - said the company turned down the proposal because it did not want to be vulnerable to lawsuits and did not want to pay factories more money to help with safety upgrades.

H&M also did not sign on to the proposal because it believes factories and local government in Bangladesh should be taking on the responsibility, Pierre Börjesson, manager of sustainability and social issues, told AP in December.

H&M, which places the most apparel orders in Bangladesh and works with more than 200 factories there, is one of about 20 retailers and brands that have banded together to develop training films for garment manufacturers.

Wal-Mart last year began requiring regular audits of factories, fire drills and mandated fire safety training for all levels of factory management. It also announced in January it would immediately cut ties with any factory that failed an inspection, instead of giving warnings first as before.

And the Gap has hired its own chief fire inspector to oversee factories that produce its clothing in Bangladesh.

But many insist such measures are not enough to overhaul an industry that employs 3 million workers.

"No matter how much training you have, you can't walk through flames or escape a collapsed building," said Ineke Zeldenrust of the Amsterdam-based Clean Clothes Campaign, which lobbies for garment workers' rights.

Private audits also have their failings, she said. Because audits are confidential, even if one company pulls its business from a supplier over safety issues, it won't tell its competitors, who will continue to place orders - allowing the unsafe factory to stay open.

The Tazreen factory that burned last year had passed inspections, and two of the factories in the Rana Plaza building had passed the standards of a major European group that does factory inspections in developing countries. The Business Social Compliance Initiative, which represents hundreds of companies, said the factories of Phantom Apparels and New Wave Style had been audited against its code of conduct which it said focuses on labor issues, not building standards.

"The audits and inspections are too much focused on checklists," said Saif Khan, who worked for Phillips Van Heusen, the owner of brands Tommy Hilfiger and Calvin Klein, in Bangladesh until 2011 as a factory compliance supervisor.

"They touch on broader areas but do not consider the realities on the ground," he said. "

---
Johnson reported from Mumbai, India. AP reporter Farid Hossain contributed from Bangladesh. AP Retail Writer Anne D'Innocenzio in New York and AP Business Writer Kelvin Chan in Hong Kong also contributed to this report.
 

LucyKaleido ScopeEyes (79)
Tuesday May 7, 2013, 4:49 am
This is the beginning of the AP article, "Big brands Rejected Bangladesh Factory Safety Plan", up to where the above excerpt starts:

DHAKA, Bangladesh (AP) - As Bangladesh reels from the deaths of hundreds of garment workers in a building collapse, the refusal of global retailers to pay for strict nationwide factory inspections is bringing renewed scrutiny to an industry that has profited from a country notorious for its hazardous workplaces and subsistence-level wages.
After a factory fire killed 112 garment workers in November, clothing brands and retailers continued to reject a union-sponsored proposal to improve safety throughout Bangladesh's $20 billion garment industry. Instead, companies expanded a patchwork system of private audits and training that labor groups say improves very little in a country where official inspections are lax and factory owners have close relations with the government.
In the meantime, the number of deaths and injuries has mounted. In the five months since last year's deadly blaze at Tazreen Fashions Ltd., there were 40 other fires in Bangladeshi factories, killing nine workers and injuring more than 660, according to a labor organization tied to the AFL-CIO umbrella group of American unions. Manufacturers dispute that there have been that many recent incidents.

Wednesday's collapse of the Rana Plaza building that killed more than 300 people is the worst disaster to hit Bangladesh's fast-growing and politically powerful garment industry. For those attempting to overhaul conditions for workers who are paid as little as $38 a month, it is a grim reminder that corporate social responsibility programs are failing to deliver on lofty promises.

More than 48 hours after the eight-story building collapsed, some garment workers were still trapped alive Friday, pinned beneath tons of mangled metal and concrete. Rescue crews struggled to save them, knowing they probably had just a few hours left to live, as desperate relatives clashed with police.

"Improvement is not happening," said Amirul Haque Amin, president of the National Garment Workers Federation in Bangladesh, who said a total of 600 workers have died in factory accidents in the last decade. "The multinational companies claim a lot of things. They claim they have very good policies, they have their own code of conduct, they have their auditing and monitoring system," Amin said. "But yet these things keep happening."

What role retailers should play in making working conditions safer at the factories that manufacture their apparel has become a central issue for the $1 trillion global clothing industry.

The clothing brands say they are working to improve safety, but the size of the garment industry - some 4,000 factories in Bangladesh alone _means such efforts skim the surface. That opaqueness is further muddied by subcontracting. Retailers can be unwittingly involved with problematic factories when their main suppliers farm out work to others to ensure orders are filled on time.

"We remain committed to promoting stronger safety measures in factories and that work continues," Wal-Mart said in a statement after the Rana Plaza collapse. The world's largest retailer says there was no authorized Wal-Mart production in the building. One of the Rana Plaza factories, Ether Tex, listed Wal-Mart as a customer on its website. ..."
 

LucyKaleido ScopeEyes (79)
Tuesday May 7, 2013, 4:58 am
This is the 'The Nation' May 6th article I actually posted: "A Congressman Asks: 'Which Fashion Brands Accept Blood on Their Labels?' ":


"It is rare that a member of Congress calls out a major industry, especially one with a powerful presence in his home state.

It is rarer still that a senior member of Congress, with a ranking position on a powerful committee, does so.

But Congressman George Miller has gone after a fashion industry that relies on low-wage workers in unsafe factories to produce clothing with “blood on their labels.”

The California Democrat is speaking to the heart of the matter.

As the death toll at the Bangladesh garment factory that produced clothing for US stores passed 650, the powerful California Democrat who has for the better part of forty years made workplace safety his congressional brief did what few in Congress or the media have the guts to do.

He explained in blunt, unapologetic language, who was really responsible.

“The reason factory managers keep their workers in unsafe buildings on the verge of going up in flames or collapsing is fear,” declared Miller. “Fear that the Western brands and retailers will take their orders elsewhere because of a missed day of production, late delivery or a minuscule increase in production costs. The brands know this. That’s why I believe they bear the ultimate responsibility for these horrendously unsafe working conditions.”

The senior Democratic member of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce minced no words. And he made his statement in a forum where the fashion industry could not miss his message: a Monday morning column in Women’s Wear Daily, the industry “bible.”

To their credit, the editors of WWD placed Miller’s remarkable statement front and center, making it the top story on the publication’s website.

Though he comes from a state where many apparel firms are located, Miller offered a stark assessment not just of the horrors that have already been reported in a factory that served global brands but of the horrors to come if action is not taken.

“The death toll in Bangladesh’s garment industry is staggering, with 1,000 dead over the past several years. In the latest tragedy, an eight-story building that housed five garment factories collapsed, killing more than 500 so far, injuring more than 1,000 and leaving an unknown number of people trapped in the rubble of the Rana Plaza. And just five months earlier, a devastating fire at the Tazreen Fashions factory killed at least 112 garment workers,” wrote the congressman, whose influence with the Democratic leadership in Congress, with responsible Republicans and with the White House means that he is taken seriously by corporate executive who are all too adept at neglecting pressure to change their practices. “These two tragedies are not isolated. Since Tazreen, at least 40 incidents causing death and injuries as the result of fires and explosions at garment factories have occurred. Undoubtedly more will follow unless the major fashion brands change their business models.”

To change those business models, Miller is calling on the corporations that produce major brands and that sell them to sign on to an initiative backed by the Bangladesh Center for Worker Solidarity, the International Labor Rights Forum and other groups that have for years struggled to focus attention on conditions in the garment factories of southern Asia.

“American consumers and leaders in the fashion industry have a moral imperative to ensure that these tragedies do not happen again. The only way forward for the global brands to improve conditions and worker safety is an effective, enforceable and binding commitment. That is why I have asked a number of retailers and brands to join together and sign the Bangladesh Fire and Building Safety Agreement, developed by nongovernmental organizations to prevent these types of disasters from occurring,” says Miller.

The agreement is a vehicle for addressing “the most urgent elements necessary to tackle these dangers.” As such, it includes requirements for:

-->> detailed public reporting of fire and building audits conducted by independent safety experts

-->> timely repairs to unsafe workspaces and buildings

-->> termination by brands of contracts with factories that defy obligations to keep workers safe

-->> a right of workers to refuse unsafe work without retribution

-->> union access to factories

The great debates about global trade, conditions for workers and a just economy rarely get the attention they deserve. And, too often, as Miller notes, corporations lay low hoping for the attention of governments and the media to turn to other issues.

But the congressman, by speaking directly to the fashion industry, and by making all the noise he can about the issue, is seeking to keep the economic, political and moral debate focused on concerns that are too fundamental to neglect any longer.

“The major global brands now face a choice: They can attempt to weather the storm, leaving workers in continued danger, or they can take a different road—one that includes healthy profits without the human death toll by signing onto an enforceable safety agreement,” writes Miller. “It is time that American consumers understand which brands will accept blood on their labels and which will not.” "
 

LucyKaleido ScopeEyes (79)
Tuesday May 7, 2013, 5:02 am
The Nation editorialists ask, 'When will free-traders-gone-wild own up to their complicity in global workplace disasters?" & suggest we "Read William Greider’s take.Read William Greider’s take" - here it is: April 30, 2013, The Bangladeshi Blood on America's Hands
 

Mike S. (85)
Tuesday May 7, 2013, 12:07 pm
Noted and shared. Thank you Lucy.
 

Natasha Salgado (511)
Tuesday May 7, 2013, 4:06 pm
I say boycott these labels made in bangladesh until safety measures are taken for the exploited workers. Thx Lucy
 

Aurea Walker (185)
Tuesday May 7, 2013, 4:17 pm
The only thing that "passed" was money from the owner of the building in plaza rana, the manufacturers of the rental spaces and the safety inspectors! Blood is on the GAP, H&M et al.... But it is on our own hands as well. Check to see where things are made, do not buy if they are made in Bangladesh. The only things fucorporations understand is their profit and loss statements. Until they understand that WE WILL NOT BE accomplices to their crimes i.e. buy their crap will they listen! Saddest of all $500,000 a year for safety inspectors and safety regulations deemed to expensive? That is a true travesty! Most of the CEOs spend that or more when they go on holiday/vacation. Google them, you will not only be shocked but disgusted.
 

Theodore Shayne (56)
Tuesday May 7, 2013, 4:40 pm
Noted & tweeted
 

Jennifer C. (172)
Tuesday May 7, 2013, 5:21 pm
Thanks.
 

Past Member (0)
Tuesday May 7, 2013, 7:16 pm
Great article. Thanks for sharing.
 

Tim C. (1748)
Tuesday May 7, 2013, 7:18 pm
ty
 

Tim C. (1748)
Tuesday May 7, 2013, 7:33 pm
ty
 

LucyKaleido ScopeEyes (79)
Wednesday May 8, 2013, 12:47 am
Aurea, I agree 100% with everything you say.

The only language they understand is money & only when they understand that WE WILL NOT BE ACCOMPLICES to their crimes -- that We will BOYCOTT them -- will the conditions of these poor people change for the better.

But we have to be willing to PAY MORE for things manufactured elsewhere!

In France, it is nearly impossible to find things that haven't been made in China, even WITHOUT buying at 'Gap' which I never do! Even the so-called 'luxury' or upmarket French designer brands have their garments manufactured in China! What pisses me off the most is that they are nonetheless charging 'luxury' designer brand prices for garments that were manufactured in China, or some other place where people work in sweatshop conditions for pennies!

The latest 'trick' they're playing on consumers is to have ONE GARMENT from the latest collection manufactured in France, and to focus all their advertising on that ONE article. They don't tell you, of course, that everything else in the collection was made in China, Bangladesh or, far less likely, Roumania! Consumers see the ads & think, 'at last, made in France!' & this underhanded trick brings in customers!

Lately, I've noticed labels that say 'Designed in France' or 'Designed in Sweden' -- it's clear that no one is manufacturing in the country where the garments were designed.

In any event, it's rare for me to buy anything at a 'normal' store. I like pretty things, but my budget is small, so I go to thift shops, second-hand shops, discount stores, particularly those called 'dégriffés' where the designer labels are removed & the price goes down to clearance-sale levels. Who cares if it's last year's collection or older?

I remember years ago making an incredible discovery with an English friend & colleague of mine -- one of his Nike sneakers was made in the Philippines, the other in Indonesia: we understood immediately that Nike had found a neat trick to discourage theft - with only left feet produced at one plant & only right feet at another, in different countries, workers wouldn't be able to steal a pair! We were utterly disgusted with Nike & vowed never to buy again. I never did.
 

LucyKaleido ScopeEyes (79)
Wednesday May 8, 2013, 5:12 am
AVAAZ - posted since May 3rd - "Guilt-free clothing" / "Crushed to Make Our Clothes" - To the CEOs of H&M, GAP, and other fashion brands:

As citizens and consumers, we urge you to immediately sign an enforceable Bangladesh fire and building safety agreement, or risk fatal damage to your brand image. The agreement must commit you to pay for routine, independent inspections and safety upgrades for your supplier factories. Your companies and other multinationals profit from cheap labour, and can do much more to reduce the dangers of the places where your products are made.

688,536 have signed. Let's get to 1,000,000
 

Angelika R. (146)
Wednesday May 8, 2013, 6:06 am
thx Lucy, of course signed, other petitions on this issue as well. Good on Mr Miller for standing up and speaking out! There have been reports stating that with increased safety measures it would only be 10 cents more per garment/cloth ,- that shows how bitter that fight for competition really is. I am so glad not to be part of that criminal behaviour as I have made much of my clothing myself.
 

Christeen Anderson (476)
Wednesday May 8, 2013, 12:54 pm
It's always about the money......................
 

LucyKaleido ScopeEyes (79)
Wednesday May 8, 2013, 3:05 pm

Institute for Global Labour & Human Rights- 'Factory Collapse in Bangladesh' Page with More Photos, Updates, Testimony & Donation - All Links

Death Toll at Rana Plaza in Bangladesh Reaches 717
May 7, 2013
717 bodies have been recovered from the devastating collapse of the Rana Plaza building. Four hundred workers remain hospitalized. Six hundred workers have been released from the hospital. We estimate that some 200 of these workers are in need of emergency assistance.

“The Stench of Death Is Everywhere”: Please Donate Now to Help Victims of Bangladesh Factory Collapse
May 7, 2013
Give. Today. For those who paid an unforgivable price for their jobs, making the clothes that we buy. Hundreds of severely injured workers have been sent home to make room for those even more severely injured. These workers are in need of care, but are being sent home with nothing ─ no medical care, no medicines, no rehabilitation, no money for food or rent. These workers and their families are in desperate need of help. Sujan and other union leaders describe the urgent plight of workers who were seriously injured in the collapse but are being sent home to make room for those even more severely injured.

These workers are in need of care, but are being sent home with nothing ─ no medical care, no medicines, no rehabilitation, no money for food or rent. These workers and their families are in desperate need of help.

The Institute and our staff do not have a lot of money. But we are committed to raising $50,000 for workers who will likely never see a cent from their criminal employers. The Institute is giving $1,000 and our staff is giving $2,050 for this urgent campaign.

Please click here to join us in giving. Every dollar will go to helping the injured workers in Bangladesh.


Bangladesh: Rana Plaza Death Toll Now 665, Testimony of Survivor Morium Begum
May 6, 2013
The death toll at the Rana Plaza building has reached 665 as of Monday morning U.S. Eastern Time while less than 50 percent of the rubble has been removed. Survivor, Morium Begum told us, "We demand justice as so many lives have been lost and so many others seriously injured and maimed. I wish it never happens again!"

Bangladesh: Death Toll Reaches 610; Widow Files Murder Charges
May 5, 2013
Bangladesh death toll reaches 610 in Rana Plaza factory collapse. A widow filed murder charges. We believe this may be the first time in Bangladesh's history that factory managers have been charged with homicide for a workplace death

Testimony of Shapla, Left Arm Amputation and a Serious Head Injury
May 5, 2013
20-year-old Shapla lost her left arm and sustained a serious head injury from the Rana Plaza collapse in Bangladesh. "I worked so hard to save a little money for the future of my son, for his education. Now my hope is dashed."

Bangladesh Update: Rana Plaza Death Toll Reaches 511
May 3, 2013
Death toll of Bangladesh factory has reached 511. The families of Rana Plaza workers report to a local labor union about workers accounted for, dead or still missing. The U.S. Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) should be suspended until the country's garment workers have the right to freedom of association and the right to organize independent unions. Family of a missing worker, Beauty, recalls her last words: “I want to live for my kids…Save...save...save me!”

Testimony of Rebeka, severely injured in Rana Building collapse
May 2, 2013
Rebeka worked for Ether Tex factory in Rana Plaza. She was trapped under the rubble with a concrete beam crushing her legs for 31.5 hours. At the age of 22, she lost her left leg and right foot.

U.S. labels found in the rubble of the collapsed building
May 2, 2013
Two U.S. clothing labels found on May 2, 2013 in the rubble of the collapsed Rana Plaza building in Bangladesh--"School Uniform Central" and clothing for Zad Enterprises in Park City, Kansas.


The workers knew the building was dangerous. On Tuesday, April 23, the day before the collapse, huge cracks had appeared in the building and a local inspector ordered it evacuated. But on Wednesday, April 24, they were told they would not be paid for the month unless they returned to work. An hour later the building collapsed.

"Suddenly we saw our floor was collapsing, going doing, and falling apart very fast. In a minute, I was knocked down in a dark place... I was suffocating. There was no air and we were trapped in darkness," said Jannat, a survivor who worked for the New Wave Style factory.

Rana Plaza housed five garment factories, New Wave Style, Ether Tex, Canton Tech Apparel, Phantom Apparels and New Wave Bottoms. They produced clothing for, among others:
Benetton,
The Children's Place,
Cato Corp,
"Joe Fresh" owned by the Canadian company, Loblaws and
also sold in J.C. Penney stores,
the UK company Primark's "Denim Co" and "Cedarwood State" labels,
"Papaya Denim" of UK's Matalan company,
"Free Style Baby" sold at Spanish retail chain "El Corte Ingles," and
the Spanish work clothing label, Velilla.

The garment workers of the Rana Plaza factories were paid starvation wages-14 cent to 26 cents an hour. They worked 13 to 14 ½ hour shifts, 6 and 7 days a week.
 

LucyKaleido ScopeEyes (79)
Wednesday May 8, 2013, 3:19 pm
TAKE ACTION-

Support Fair Labor Legislation

Workers are again trapped and burned to death behind locked exit gates. One hundred years ago, the outrage over the Triangle fire led to the rallying cry, "Who will protect the working girl?" Where is that cry today?

This is our time to act, and the worker rights legislation is our vehicle.

(For more information about the bills that were introduced in 2006 and 2007, please go to the Decent Working Conditions and Fair Competition Act.)


Please sign onto the statement below:

"I support a call for legislation that would support the rights of workers in global economy."

So far, 2535 signatures
 

Birgit W. (140)
Wednesday May 8, 2013, 5:20 pm
Noted.
 

John S. (297)
Thursday May 9, 2013, 4:39 am
And he wonders why the factories are overseas now.
 

Patricia R. (12)
Thursday May 9, 2013, 11:18 am
thanx
 

Alicia N. (87)
Thursday May 9, 2013, 9:19 pm
money eaters are evil!

Please people sign any petition possible posted by :
Lucy Kaleidoscop Eyes

 

LucyKaleido ScopeEyes (79)
Friday May 10, 2013, 6:18 am

Reuters in Dhaka / guardian.co.uk, Friday 10 May 2013 - "Bangladesh Factory Death Toll Exceeds 1,000 with More Bodies Still trapped" / "Rescuers Continue to Find Victims in Rana Plaza Complex after Worst Industrial Accident Since 1984 Bhopal Disaster"


The death toll from the catastrophic collapse of a Bangladesh factory building, the world's worst industrial accident since the Bhopal disaster in India in 1984, has climbed above 1,000. More bodies might still be trapped inside as rescuers struggle to end the salvage operation.

More than two weeks after the accident, bodies were still being pulled from the rubble of the Rana Plaza complex, and on Friday a spokesman at the army control room co-ordinating the operation said the number of people confirmed to have been killed had reached 1,038.

About 2,500 people were rescued from the building, in the industrial suburb of Savar, around 20 miles north-west of Dhaka, including many injured, but there is no official estimate of the numbers still missing.

The disaster, believed to have been triggered when generators were started up during a blackout, has put the spotlight on western retailers who use the south Asian nation as a source of cheap goods.

Nine people have been arrested in connection with the disaster, including the building's owner and bosses of the factories it housed.

Hundreds of RELATIVES were STILL GATHERED at the site, some holding up PHOTOGRAPHS of family members.

Rescue workers have found it increasingly DIFFICULT TO IDENTIFY decomposing bodies and are using ID cards found on them or even their mobile phones to do so.

"A total of 156 unidentified victims have been buried," said the Dhaka district administrator, Mohammad Yousuf Harun, adding that DNA SAMPLES taken from bodies had been PRESERVED so tests could be done if relatives come forward later.

The government has blamed the owners and builders of the eight-storey complex for using shoddy construction materials, including substandard rods, bricks and cement, and not obtaining the necessary clearances.

There have been a series of deadly accidents in Bangladesh's garment industry, which accounts for 80% of the country's exports, including a fire in November that killed 112 people.


Also from The Guardian: "Bangladesh factory collapse: pope condemns 'slave labour' conditions" - "Pope Francis tells private mass in Vatican of his shock at the low wages of garment workers as thousands demonstrate in Dhaka"

On Democracy Now!, Charlie Kernaghan, director of the Institute for Global Labour and Human Rights: As Bangladesh Toll Hits 400 (it has now exceeded 1,000), Calls Grow to Grant Workers the Same Protections as Labels They Make

Also from Democracy Now! -

1) Exposé Reveals Wal-Mart Blocked Improvements Despite Vows to Improve Safety After Deadly Factory Fire, January 2013 - Guest: Steven Greenhouse, labor & workplace reporter for the New York Times, whose latest article on the fire at Wal-Mart’s supplier in Bangladesh is called "As Walmart Makes Safety Vows, It’s Seen as Obstacle to Change."

2) Bangladeshi Labor Activist Finds Burned Clothes with Wal-Mart Labels at Site of Deadly Factory Fire
Guests:
Kalpona Akter, labor organizer with the Bangladesh Center for Worker Solidarity. She started work in garment factories when she was 12 years old. Now she campaigns for better wages, recognition of the right to organize and higher safety standards.

Scott Nova, executive director of the Worker Rights Consortium, which investigates working conditions in factories around the world.

..........................................................................................................................................................................

ActionAid - 'T-Shirt Tax': "I'm paying my T-Shirt Tax for ActionAid because I owe it to the factory workers" - ONLY 16% of target reached / 4.916,21 € raised of 29.600,90 € target -

"Hundreds of factory workers have died in Bangladesh, some of whom were responsible for making the clothes we buy on our high streets. We bought the clothes. We benefited from their cheap prices at the expense of the workers and their families.

Pay your T-Shirt Tax by donating money to Action Aid to support its work with the victims of this disaster. We owe it to the workers who risk their lives to sustain our lifestyles."

You can DONATE in any currency you wish.

I have donated as much as I could.
 
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