Woolworths and Big W: Sign on to the Bangladesh Fire and Building Safety Agreement
Over a thousand people lost their lives in the recent Rana Plaza factory collapse in Bangladesh. Sadly, it's just the most recent example of a series of similar tragedies throughout the past decade. And it's shocking and disappointing to hear that Australian companies like Woolworths and Big W may be part of the problem that has caused this tragedy.
I’m just an ordinary mum of two primary aged kids who shops at Big W. I am not sure how or what I'm meant to say here, but I know that we can't allow these atrocities to continue -- and that means companies buying garments from Bangladesh factories need to help protect workers and demand better safety standards.
Since the factory collapse, major brands like H&M, Zara, Tesco and Calvin Klein have signed up to the Bangladesh Fire and Building Safety Agreement. But Australian companies like Woolworths, Big W, Kmart and Target are lagging behind.
Poor working conditions and hazardous factory environments are commonplace in the Bangladeshi garment sector. This needs to change.
Please, Woolworths & Big W, be part of the solution. Immediately sign up to the Fire and Safety Agreement, and commit to transparency about where you source clothes from.
We're wanting to see Woolworths commit to this - but these retilaers are deciding right now wheather to sign on. Help push them over the line by contacting them here https://www.facebook.com/targetaus?fref=ts & https://www.facebook.com/cottonon
I write to ask your company to take immediate action on workers’ rights following the tragic Rana Plaza collapse in Bangladesh.
The Rana Plaza factory collapse, in which more than a thousand people have lost their lives, is the most recent example of a series of similar tragedies throughout the past decade. Poor working conditions and hazardous factory environments are commonplace in the Bangladeshi garment sector. The AUD $37 a month minimum wages in Bangladesh are amongst the lowest in the region.
I understand that your company has guidelines for suppliers and factory audits are conducted.
I am concerned that this may not be enough. Especially since Primark, a UK clothing retailer that was making in Rana Plaza, also has a code of conduct for supplier factories and conducts audits.
If your company publishes the location of your supplier factories it will mean that any NGO, union or researcher can verify that the workplace is safe and workers are receiving a living wage.
I encourage your company to sign onto the Bangladesh Fire and Safety Agreement to ensure independent and publicly disclosed building inspections, worker trainings and other safety measures.
Since the factory collapse, five companies have signed onto this important Agreement – H&M, Inditex (Zara), Primark, C&A and Tesco. Together with PvH (Calvin Klein/Tommy Hilfiger) and Tchibo this makes seven major garment companies and retailers.
I call on your company to:
• Immediately sign on to the Bangladesh Fire and Safety Agreement;
• Publish the names and addresses of all supplier factories (Nike, Adidas, Puma, Timberland and Levis are already doing this);
• Ensure that all workers making your products receive a living wage;
• Ensure all workers making your products are free to join a union and collectively bargain in the workplace