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The 24th of April 2016 marks the third anniversary of the collapse of the Rana Plaza building in Bangladesh. The death of the 1,134 garment workers is the largest recorded loss of life in the global garment industry.
To commemorate the anniversary The Textile Clothing & Footwear Union of Australia (TCFUA) together with the National Tertiary Education Union, Australia Asia Workers Links and ABSN is marking the anniversary with a commemoration and street theatre event in Bourke Street Mall, Melbourne.
TCFUA National Secretary Michele O’Neil said, “These were entirely preventable deaths. They shook the world by exposing the shocking reality of exploited workers risking their lives to make some of the world’s best known brands.
Three years has seen some change – but nowhere near enough. The campaign of unions and others has seen some compensation paid and companies sign on to the Bangladesh Accord for Fire & Building Safety.”
To date 217 companies have signed up to The Accord, over 1600 factories have had safety inspections, over 1450 corrective actions plans have been put in place to improve OHS conditions and over 3000 follow up inspections have been conducted.
More action is needed. Australian brands Best & Less and The Just Group, which includes Just Jeans, Portmans, Jay Jays, Dotti and Peter Alexander are still refusing to sign onto the Accord. The TCFUA continues to campaign for these brands to take responsibility for the workers in their supply chains and sign The Accord.
Michele O’Neil said, “The harsh reality is that in 2016 we continue to find garment workers in Australia and around the world not receiving a living wage, working in unsafe sweatshops and denied the right to join a union.
On this day we stop to remember and pay tribute to those who died and were injured simply doing their job and we pledge to continue to fight for the just and fair treatment of global garment workers.”
Rana Plaza Commemorative Event:
Sunday 24th April
Bourke Street Mall, Melbourne
For further information and comment please contact TCFUA National Secretary,
Michele O’Neil on 0419 338 853