Press Releases

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Labor Rights Groups Call on Walmart & Children’s Place to Participate In $40 Million Compensation Plan for Rana Plaza Victims


North American labor rights groups welcomed a landmark agreement, announced today, to deliver an estimated $40 million in compensation to the families of those killed in the Rana Plaza factory collapse in Bangladesh and called on Walmart, Children’s Place and other US clothing brands that produced at Rana to join the agreement within one month.

ILRF Calls on President Obama To Protect Workers' Rights at Government Suppliers

Urges federal government to require companies it does business with to sign onto the Accord on Fire and Building Safety

 The International Labor Rights Forum calls on the US government to adopt regulations to end the unsafe and illegal conditions behind federal government apparel purchases, following revelations in today’s New York Times investigative story, which links abusive working conditions in overseas sweatshops to purchasing by several US federal agencies and entities.

One Year After Tazreen Fire, the Fight for Justice Continues

Twelve months after at least 112 people lost their lives trapped in the Tazreen Fashions factory in Dhaka, Bangladesh, families of the decased and survivors are still waiting for full and fair compensation

On November 24, 2012, Tazreen Fashions, a clothing factory on the outskirts of Dhaka, Bangladesh, supplying global clothing brands was engulfed in flames. 

One year after the fire, Clean Clothes Campaign and International Labor Rights Forum are still calling for immediate and urgent action by all brands associated with the Tazreen Fashions factory to:

American Eagle Joins Bangladesh Safety Accord


Following the recent tragedies in Bangladesh’s garment factories where more than a thousand workers were killed, labor groups urged the clothing retailer American Eagle Outfitters to sign on to the Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh. UNITE HERE, the labor union representing textile and hospitality workers throughout North America, collected approximately 12,000 petitions and distributed handbills at 40 American Eagle stores over the past month in an effort to urge American Eagle to join the Accord.

Labor Rights Watchdogs Call Walmart/Gap Plan a Sham

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.

GSP Suspension for Bangladesh: A Step Forward for Workers’ Rights and Public Health


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.

GSP Program in Bangladesh Does Not Promote Sustainable Development


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.

ILRF Honors Burmese Migrant Workers' Rights Network and Thai Union Federation


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.

ILRF Calls on U.S. Customs Service to Halt Imports of Forced Labor Cotton from Uzbekistan


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.

ILRF Applauds Companies for Signing Legally-Binding Safety Accord


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.

ILRF Urges US Brands and Retailers to Join Bangladesh Factory 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.

With 7 Workers Dead in Another Preventable Fire, Labor Groups Implore Apparel Brands to Sign Safety Agreement


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.