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.
Consumers Pressure Whole Foods to Drop Hershey’s Dagoba Line as well
Whole Foods Market (NYSE: WFM) locations around the country will be removing one of Hershey’s high end products– Scharffen Berger chocolate– from shelves across the country by the end of the year due to Hershey’s failure to assure that the cocoa is sourced without the use of forced child labor.
Coalition urges Hershey and all chocolate companies to go 100% Fair Trade
The Raise the Bar, Hershey! Campaign (www.raisethebarhershey.org) welcomed today’s announcement from the Hershey Co. (HSY) that it will be certifying 100 percent of its cocoa by 2020 and urged the chocolate giant to go 100 percent Fair Trade with incremental benchmarks. Hershey appeared to join its main rival Mars in announcing its target for certification with a 2020 deadline.
Tommy Hilfiger and Calvin Klein, now joined by European retailer Tchibo, have already agreed to fix death trap factories in Bangladesh
Over 600 garment workers have been killed in garment factories in Bangladesh during the past six years while sewing clothing destined for North America and Europe. The September 11, 2012, garment factory blaze in Karachi, Pakistan – which killed 289 workers, making it the world’s deadliest industrial accident on record – is the latest reminder of the urgency by which brands must adopt proper safety measures to protect workers’ lives.
Retailers express concern about carrying Hershey's Dagoba and Scharffenberger chocolates
Forty-one consumer-owned grocer cooperatives and natural food retailers operating 62 stores released an open letter today calling on The Hershey Company to take action to end child slave labor on cocoa farms in the Ivory Coast (Cote D'Ivoire). The retailers are asking Hershey to fully commit to ethically sourced cocoa produced under fair labor standards.
Advocacy groups unite to appeal to Hershey’s leadership to honor Milton Hershey’s legacy and protect children, students, and guestworkers
Leaders of several prominent human rights, consumer, and healthcare groups spoke out today in an appeal to Hershey’s leadership demanding reforms to the candy maker’s corporate social responsibility (CSR) practices, including the company’s ongoing use of abusive child labor in cocoa production. This appeal coincides with World Day Against Child Labor, a global effort to raise awareness of the issue of child labor, organized by the UN’s International Labor Organization (ILO).
Union Organizer Aminul Islam’s Body Bore Signs of Torture
(New York, April 12, 2012) – The Bangladesh authorities should immediately and impartially investigate the killing of the labor rights activist Aminul Islam, Human Rights Watch said today in a letter to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina Wazed. Islam, 39, was a trade union organizer with the Bangladesh Center for Workers Solidarity (BCWS).
Local police found body bearing signs of brutal torture, former apparel worker had received numerous death threats & been detained & tortured by Bangladeshi security services in 2010
A Bangladeshi labor rights activist and former apparel worker was tortured and murdered last week in Dhaka. His body was dumped outside of the capital city and was found by local police last Thursday. According to the police report, Aminul Islam's body bore signs of brutal torture. Aminul's family, who had been searching for him since he disappeared last Wednesday, identified him on Saturday from photos appearing in local newspapers.
Phillips Van- Heusen (PVH), which operates Tommy Hilfiger, Calvin Klein, and other apparel brands, has made an unprecedented set of commitments to protect apparel workers in Bangladesh from the grievous safety hazards that have taken hundreds of lives in recent years. The agreement between PVH and labor rights organizations and unions in Bangladesh and internationally is a vital step forward for workers in Bangladesh.
PVH is the initial company to commit to this first-of-its-kind program
NEW YORK, Mar 21, 2012 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- PVH Corp. [NYSE: PVH] announced today that it has entered into a Joint Memorandum of Understanding with a group of non-governmental organizations consisting of Clean Clothes Campaign, Worker Rights Consortium, The International Labor Rights Forum, and Maquila Solidarity Network, as well as a group of eight international and Bangladeshi trade unions, regarding fire and building safety in Bangladesh’s apparel factories.
Rights Watchdog Wants Chocolate-Maker to Stop Exploiting Children
Hershey’s use of forced child labor will be the subject of a commercial titled “Hershey’s Chocolate: Kissed by Child Labor.” The first-ever Super Bowl “brand-jamming” ad will appear on a jumbotron screen immediately outside Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, where the game will be played on Sunday, February 5th, alongside spots by McDonalds, AllState, and others. The commercial is expected to reach over 250,000 consumers attending Super Bowl day activities.
Washington, DC -- On the second day of the 2011 Annual Review of Country Practices conducted by the US Trade Representative for the US Generalized System of Preferences (GSP), the Secretary-General of the Alliance of Progressive Labor (APL), refuted claims of the Philippine government representatives that it has done a lot to resolve the trade union killings.