Fault Retailers for Refusal to Join Binding Agreement Signed by Tommy Hilfiger, Calvin Klein, Sean John, Abercrombie & Fitch Plus 60 European Firms. Voluntary Approach Has Failed for Three Decades Costing Thousands of Lives.
Walmart and Gap, two corporations whose failure to protect worker safety has led to numerous worker deaths in Bangladesh, today announced a corporate-run factory auditing scheme, another in the long series of ineffective corporate auditing programs that these companies have touted for years. Walmart and Gap – joined by many, but not all, US brands and retailers – have refused to sign the binding Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh, an enforceable worker safety program with more than seventy company signatories from more than fifteen countries.
ILRF lauds the US Government’s decision today to suspend Bangladesh from the Generalized System of Preferences trade program. The decision was made in response to a petition filed by the AFL-CIO more than five years ago calling for action by the Bangladesh government to end labor abuses in the garment and shrimp industries. The decision by the Obama Administration to suspend benefits comes on the heels of the Rana Plaza building collapse, which killed over 1,100 garment workers.
As garment factory fires and building collapses continue to claim more lives in Bangladesh, the US government must change course and send a strong message that business as usual in Bangladesh must end. Removing GSP benefits for Bangladesh, a country that has repeatedly failed to address worker rights issues across several industries, will send that message.
The US House of Representatives today took an important step to make sure military exchange stores that buy apparel made in Bangladesh do their part to ensure safe and decent working conditions for garment workers.
Longtime Walmart shrimp supplier, certified by the Global Aquaculture Alliance, engaged in serious violations of Thai law and international human rights standards, according to a new briefing paper released today by Warehouse Workers United (WWU) and the International Labor Rights Forum (ILRF).
The International Labor Rights Forum (ILRF) will honor the Burmese Migrant Workers Rights Network (MWRN) and the State Enterprises Workers’ Relations Federation (SERC) with the 2013 International Labor Rights Award for their groundbreaking work in defending migrant workers in Thailand. The ILRF’s International Labor Rights Award is given annually to recognize the significant contributions of labor rights advocates toward achieving just and humane treatment for workers worldwide.
This morning fifty protesters, including South Asian activists, labor groups, students, and concerned consumers, held a demonstration in front of Gap, Inc.’s shareholder meeting to urge the company to sign onto the Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh.
United Students Against Sweatshops and the International Labor Rights Forum, working together with consumers, students, and local labor rights and human rights groups, will hold a demonstration in front of the Gap shareholder meeting tomorrow, to call on the company to sign onto the Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh.
A formal complaint against the importation of cotton from Uzbekistan grown and harvested with forced labor was filed today by the International Labor Rights Forum (ILRF), a leading American human and labor rights watchdog organization. Under the Tariff Act of 1930, the U.S. Customs Service is required to deny entry to goods that arrive at U.S. ports that contain materials made with forced labor.
The International Labor Rights Forum welcomes announcements made this week by seventeen companies -- Aldi, Benetton, C&A, Carrefour, El Corte Inglés, G-Star, H&M, Helly Hansen, Inditex (Zara), KIK, Loblaw, M&S, Mango, N. Brown group, Primark, Stockmann, Tesco – to sign onto a legally-binding safety program for their apparel supplier factories in Bangladesh, with IndustriALL Global Union, UNI Global Union, and Bangladeshi unions.
Today United Students Against Sweatshops and the International Labor Rights Forum, two leading anti-sweatshop campaign organizations in the US, launched a new website, www.gapdeathtraps.com, as part of an escalating effort to pressure the Gap to sign onto the binding Bangladesh Fire and Building Safety agreement.
At least 170 workers died and hundreds were injured when apparel factories collapsed in the Rana Plaza building in Dhaka, Bangladesh today. Families continue to search for survivors. This disaster comes just 5 months after the fire at Tazreen Fashions garment factory near Dhaka, which killed 112 workers on November 24, 2012. Walmart-labeled product was found in Tazreen and now one of the factories in the Rana complex, Ether-Tex, had listed Walmart-Canada as a buyer on their website. Walmart has yet to contribute to the worker compensation fund for Tazreen victims.
Uzbek human rights activists, political leaders, and prominent dissidents released an open letter today calling on Nike (NYSE: NKE) to stop doing business with Daewoo International, the largest processor of forced labor cotton in Uzbekistan.
The Swiss-based Institute for Marketecology (IMO), which certifies companies using the Fair for Life label, neglected to intervene to uphold its commitment to fair trade standards, according to a new report released today by the Washington, DC-based International Labor Rights Forum (ILRF).
Following the fire that killed at least seven people today who were locked inside Smart Export Garments Ltd in Dhaka, the International Labor Rights Forum (ILRF), the Worker Rights Consortium (WRC) and the Clean Clothes Campaign (CCC) called on major retailers and brands that buy apparel from Bangladesh to join the labor-supported Bangladesh Fire and Building Safety Agreement in order to prevent future tragedies.
Following a German TV report on Deutsche Post DHL’s treatment of its international workforce, the ITF (International Transport Workers’ Federation) and UNI global union have called on the company to clean up its act. The multinational logistics giant’s behavior was questioned on Tuesday night by German national broadcaster ARD TV Das Erste’s respected Report programme, which highlighted the long running struggle for union rights in the company.
Major U.S. apparel companies continue to put at risk the lives of the workers in South Asian factories who sew their clothing by covering up problems identified in confidential audits and ignoring best fire safety practices, according to a new report published today by the Washington, DC-based International Labor Rights Forum (ILRF).
Walmart Supplier Factory is Latest in a Series of Deadly Fires; Groups Promote Comprehensive Solution to Save Lives
Labor and human rights groups in the US and Europe are calling on U.S. Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis and European governments to press apparel brands and retailers to join the Bangladesh Fire and Building Safety Agreement, after a fire in Bangladesh claimed the lives of 112 workers at Tazreen Fashions.
Death Toll at Walmart Supplier is Highest in Bangladesh Garment Industry to Date
More than one hundred workers died as a result of the garment factory fire that started on Saturday evening at Tazreen Fashions, owned by Tuba Group. Together with our partners in Bangladesh and around the world, ILRF is calling for an independent and transparent investigation into the causes of the fire; full and fair compensation to be paid to injured workers and to the families of the deceased; and effective action from all parties involved to prevent future tragedies.
Today Free2Work released the most comprehensive picture to date of any sector’s corporate social responsibility efforts on child and forced labor. The new report, “The Story Behind the Barcode: Apparel Industry Trends from Farm to Factory,” ranks 300 apparel brands on their efforts to address child and forced labor from cotton farms to textile plants and garment factories. These products make their way to store shelves in the US and are also bought with taxpayer dollars.