Today marks seven years since the Rana Plaza disaster, a garment factory in Dhaka, Bangladesh which collapsed while people were inside working – causing over 1,134 people to lose their lives and injuringabout 2,500 more. The incident is the most deadly industrial accident ever recorded.
In 2020, on the anniversary of Rana Plaza, the garment industry in Bangladesh and across the globe again faces disaster – this time as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. A drop in demand for clothing resulting in cancelled orders is hitting those at the bottom of the supply chain hardest – garment workers are going unpaid, losing their jobs and facing destitution, or are being forced to work without adequate protection against the virus.
Clean Clothes Campaign want us to #RememberRanaPlaza by continuing the fight for garment workers’ rights during this pandemic.
Here are three quick and easy actions that you can take to help garment workers RIGHT NOW from the safety of your own home.
1 // Sign the Labour Behind the Label #PayUp petition
Sign Labour Behind The Label’s petition asking Marks & Spencer, Primark, Next, Asda, Arcadia, ASOS & Boohoo to #PayUp and to honour the following seven demands:
- Honour contracts
- Pay wages and protect jobs
- Bailout the workers
- Prioritise worker safety
- Respect the right to refuse work
- Put people before profits
- Rebuild a more equitable industry
You can also donate to Labour Behind the Label here.
2 // EMAIL UK BRANDS VIA TRAIDCRAFT
Traidcraft will send emails on your behalf to Marks and Spencer, John Lewis, Edinburgh Woollen Mill, Primark, Next, Matalan, Arcadia, Pentland, Clarks, and Sports Direct.
They are asking brands to:
- Confirm – on public record – that all your brands will honour contracts with suppliers made before the UK went into lockdown on 23 March 2020?
This must include payment on the original contractual terms for finished products and payment for spend on unfinished products.
- Confirm how you are making sure that the people who make your clothes and shoes are:
- paid for the work they have done
- paid while there is no work
- provided with suitable protective equipment where work is ongoing?
3 // Donate to Traid’s Food For Garment WOrkers Appeal
TRAID has launched an urgent appeal to get food to destitute migrant garment workers in Tamil Nadu, India – one of the world’s major exporters of cotton wear.
Traid say: “Around 35% of garment workers in Tamil Nadu are inter-state migrants. They travel with their families from other Indian states such as Odisha and Jharkhand, thousands of kilome-tres away, for work in garment factories and spinning mills, living in temporary settlements near to where they work. Since the coronavirus broke out, these already extremely poor workers have been fired and left destitute without any income or food. They are now trapped in settlements until at least the 3rd of May, unable to return home to their own homes as the Government has banned inter-state travel to stop the spread of the virus.
With your contribution TRAID’s partner READ (Rights, Education and Development Centre) will be able to continue providing rice, wheat flour, oil, dhal to 11 villages in the Erode district where inter-state migrant garment workers have been left destitute due to the coronavirus crisis.”
£10 will buy enough food to support a family for two weeks providing:
- 10kg of rice
- 1kg of Daal
- 5kg of wheat flour
- 1 litre of oil
Stitched Up x