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The Textile Clothing and Footwear Union of Australia (TCFUA) is calling on Australian brands and consumers to not forget the 1,138 workers who lost their life on the 24th April 2013.
The Rana Plaza building collapse bought the World’s attention to the rapidly growing Bangladesh garment industry which is characterised by the world’s worst record for garment workers safety and poverty wages.
National Secretary of the TCFUA Michele O’Neil said today “There are 2 remaining Australian companies who have refused to sign the Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh. They are the Just Group and Best and Less. Both of these companies distract consumers from the real story of why they haven’t joined over 150 global brands in signing on to the ILO supported Accord. The Just Group have signed a pale US based imitation called the Alliance and Best and Less have their own company controlled Ethical Policy.”
The Just Group is owned by billionaire Solomon Lew and its brands include Just Jeans, Jay Jays, Portman’s, Jacqui E, Dotti and Peter Alexander. Best and Less operate over 200 stores in Australia.
Ms O’Neil went on to say “The death of the Rana Plaza workers in Bangladesh is sometimes referred to as a tragedy, I don’t refer to it as a tragedy because that implies it was the force of nature or inevitable. There was nothing inevitable about the deaths of more than 1000 workers, this was Industrial homicide on a large scale and it was completely preventable.
Companies must realise that feel good statements are meaningless without legally binding workers’ rights and the involvement of unions at a local and global level.
On this important day of remembrance we mourn for the dead and fight for the living. We call on the Just Group and Best and Less to today join other leading Australian and Global brands and sign the Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh.”
For further information and comment please contact the TCFUA National Secretary,
Michele O’Neil on 0419 338 853
Rana Plaza Commemorative event:
Thursday, April 24
12:30pm - 1:00pm
Victorian Trades Hall Council, Corner Lygon & Victoria Streets, Carlton - Melbourne Australia