Big fashion brands source from hundreds of factories in Bangladesh. Two brands, including Calvin Klein, have signed a very strong building and fire safety pact. Others, led by Wal-Mart, have been trying to wriggle out of signing by creating a weak alternative that was pure PR. But the latest disaster has triggered crisis meetings and massive pressure to sign the strong version that can save lives.
Negotiations end in days. H&M and GAP are most likely to flip first to support a strong agreement, and the best way to press them is to go after their CEOs. If one million of us appeal directly to them in a petition, Facebook pages, tweets, and ads, their friends and families will all hear about it. They'll know that their own and their companies' reputations are on the line. People are being forced to make *our* clothing in outrageously dangerous buildings -- sign on to make them safe, and forward this email widely:
The recent tragic collapse fits a pattern. In the last few years, fires and other disasters have claimed a thousand lives and left many others too injured to work. Bangladesh's government turns a blind eye to dismal conditions, allowing suppliers to cut costs to make clothes at a pace and price that global fashion giants expect. The big brands say they check up, but workers say the companies' own audits can't be trusted.
The worker-backed safety agreement calls for independent inspections, public reports about supplier factory conditions, and mandatory repairs. It's even enforceable in courts of the companies' home countries! Full details of which companies were buying from the factory that collapsed weeks ago aren't yet known, and there's no evidence H&M or Gap did so. But workers have died in other H&M and GAP supplier factories in Bangladesh and getting them onboard now would put tremendous pressure on other companies to follow.
The companies are making up their minds right now. Let's call on the CEOs of H&M and GAP to lead the industry by signing the safety plan. Sign your name then share this email widely -- once we reach 1 million we'll take out ads that they can't miss:
Time and time again, Avaaz members have come together to fight corporate greed and support human rights. Last year, we helped 100 Indian workers safely return home when a Bahraini corporation refused to let them leave. Let's now take a stand to stop the deadly race to the bottom in factory safety.
With hope and determination,
Jamie, Jeremy, Alex, Ari, Diego, Marie, Maria-Paz, Ricken and the Avaaz team
PS - Many Avaaz campaigns are started by members of our community! Start yours now and win on any issue - local, national or global: http://www.avaaz.org/en/petition/start_a_petition/?bgMYedb&v=23917
Collapse renews calls for safety agreement (Wall Street Journal)
15 May deadline set for Bangladesh safety plan (Industriall)
Western companies feel pressure as toll rises in Bangladesh (NBC News)
Avoiding the fire next time (The Economist)
Bangladeshi garment factory death toll rises as owner arrested on border (The Guardian)
Bangladesh factory safety under scrutiny after collapse (CBC)
Hazardous workplaces: Making the Bangladesh Garment Industry Safe (Report, Clean Clothes campaign)