On April 22, 2013 1,129 people lost their lives when the Rana Plaza building collapsed in Bangladesh. The most devastating thing about this disaster was that it was completely preventable.
Since then many companies, who have their garments made in Bangladesh, have signed the Bangladesh Fire and Building Safety Accord, a legally binding historic agreement now covering more than 2 million garment workers to ensure proper safety and regulation.
Some companies have refused to sign the Accord and continue to profit from workers misery and hide behind sham commitments. Bucking the trend for Australian retailers, the Just Group, whose brands include Just Jeans, Jay Jays, Jacqui E, Dotti, Peter Alexander and Portmans have not signed onto the Accord. Instead they have joined with Walmart, a world leader in violating its workers’ rights, in signing a cynical, non-legally binding cop out called the “Alliance for Bangladesh worker Safety”
Jyrki Raina, General Secretary of global union IndustriALL said:
"The Walmart-led Alliance is widely accepted to be a cop-out, a cynical attempt to deflect pressure to take real responsibility and sign the legally-binding Accord. The Just Group has made a serious error in joining the Alliance, allowing its reputation to be tarred with the same brush as Walmart a leader in violating its workers. The door will never be closed to clothing brands and retailers wanting to join the Accord for Fire and
Building Safety in Bangladesh. The Just Group's contribution and participation will be welcomed in the Accord."
"The two fundamental flaws of the Alliance are the total absence of workers in the initiative, and the total lack of legally binding enforcement of its commitments. Without these two vital aspects, which are both central to the Accord for Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh signed with IndustriALL and UNI global unions, the Alliance is nothing more than a toothless, voluntary corporate initiative. Voluntary, corporate-led social audit programmes were part of the systemic problems that made Tazreen and Rana Plaza possible. The Accord covers 2 million garment workers in Bangladesh and 75 percent of all garment exports from the company. Our full effort and focus will remain on implementing the Accord which can bring an historic breakthrough in making the garment sector in Bangladesh safe and sustainable. We want the "Made in Bangladesh" label a label of pride."
On Saturday 14th December 2013 unions, community groups and members of the public held a protest in front of the Just Jeans store in Bourke Street, Melbourne urging the Just Group to do the right thing and sign onto the Accord
Help support garment works in Bangladesh, show the Just Group that we won’t stop until they sign the real Accord.
Be part of the campaign to get Just Group to sign the Bangladesh Fire and Building Safety Accord.
Sign the petition http://www.act.australianunions.org.au/just_jeans
or for further information visit https://www.facebook.com/EthicalWork