The Guardian: Dangerous Delays at Walmart, Gap Factories

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Dear Sylvia,

Tazreen Fashions factory, after Nov. 24, 2012, fire.

Three and a half years after the Rana Plaza factory collapse killed 1,134 people, many garment factories in Bangladesh still lack mandated safety renovations. The Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety, a scheme set up by global retailers including Gap, Target and Walmart, is giving passing grades to factories that have failed to implement critical safety repairs. Our new report on these failings is Dangerous Delays on Worker Safety, covered exclusively by The Guardian.

We need your help: will you share this article on Facebook and Twitter to spread the word?

In 2013, when Gap, Target, Walmart, and 23 other North American companies refused to join with unions in a legally-binding agreement to improve workplace safety in Bangladesh, they announced their own corporate-controlled alternative. Our report, which we researched and wrote together with the Worker Rights Consortium, Clean Clothes Campaign, and Maquila Solidarity Network, is the first independent investigation into the Alliance’s track record. It exposes a startling disconnect between the Alliance rating system and the actual conditions in the factories. Of 107 factories we examined that are labelled by the Alliance as „On Track,“ we found that:

  • 57% have compromised fire exits
  • 58% do not have a properly functioning fire alarm system
  • 41% have uncorrected structural problems

These statistics are terrifying, and they have real world consequences. Our analysis revealed that there are 120,000 garment workers employed in the 62 factories that produce items for Walmart that do not have fully viable fire exits.

ILRF will continue to do all we can to uphold the rights and safety of Bangladeshi garment workers, no matter how much corporations drag their feet to make life-saving renovations. Please support our work with a donation – every contribution makes a difference.

In solidarity,

Liana Foxvog

PS. Please consider an end-of-year gift in support of ILRF’s continued in-depth investigative research and media exposés in 2017, through a recurring monthly donation. Thank you!

This email was sent by the International Labor Rights Forum.
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