Four years after the Rana Plaza building collapse, UFCW Canada is calling on members, activists, and allies to help verify safe working conditions for garment workers in Bangladesh.
On April 24, 2013, the Rana Plaza building came crashing down on Bangladeshi garment workers labouring in the factory, killing 1,129 employees and injuring hundreds more.
Facing global public outcry in the wake of the tragedy, the garment industry – including numerous Canadian retailers – has promised to do better by making factories safer and respecting workers’ rights.
While there have been some improvements in the industry as a result of the Rana Plaza disaster, a number of garment factories continue to be unsafe for workers, and the government of Bangladesh recently launched a crackdown on labour activists seeking a living wage. As well, workers still face barriers to forming unions to bargain for them and be their voice on health and safety.
Canadian retailers Mark’s and Sport Chek use 67 supplier factories in Bangladesh but the corporation won’t tell us which factories they use, so we cannot verify whether they have made any of the health and safety improvements that they have promised. It is time to take action and ask Mark’s and Sport Chek “how safe are your factories in Bangladesh?”