International Labor Rights Forum
On Saturday, June 29th, students, consumers, workers, and community members will come together in cities across the world to demand that Gap and Walmart put an end to deathtrap factories in their supply chains.
Real action from Gap and Walmart on fire and building safety is long overdue. In April, over 1,100 garment workers perished in the the Rana Plaza collapse, marking the deadliest industrial disaster in a manufacturing facility in recorded history. Since 2005, more than 1,800 garment workers have died in preventable factory fires and building collapses in Bangladesh alone.
In response to these catastrophes, activists across the world joined with unions to demand that apparel companies sign the Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh. This unprecedented, legally-binding agreement will require independent inspections by trained fire safety experts, mandatory repairs and renovations financed by the brands, and a central role for workers and their unions. 50 brands and retailers, including H&M, PVH, and Abercrombie & Fitch, have signed on to the program.
But instead of ensuring the safety of its workers, Gap and Walmart have been playing public relations games to undermine the accord. Gap has claimed that a binding agreement poses too much financial risk to the company within a “litigious” US legal system – a claim that US legal scholars have since debunked. And now, after weeks of pressure by people across the globe to sign the Bangladesh Safety Accord, Gap put out a press release about its big new plan: partnering with Walmart on a fake “safety plan” that is not accountable to anyone.
There’s too much at stake for Gap and Walmart to continue their business-as-usual approach to fire and building safety. That’s why labor rights advocates have declared an International Day of Action to End Deathtraps on Saturday, June 29th. We will take action at Gap and Walmart stores – picketing, flyering, and conducting civil disobedience – to expose the ugly truth: Gap and Walmart care more about profits than the lives of their workers.