Tell High Street brands to make their Bangladeshi factories safe

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Tell High Street brands to make their Bangladeshi factories safe

UNISON is urging members to join the thousands of others who have written to support Bangladeshi factory workers, by urging high street brands to improve safety and working conditions in their factories.   They can do this by signing up to a union-backed Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh.

A garment factory in Bangladesh collapsed in April, killing more than 1,200 workers while another nine Bangladeshi workers were killed in a factory this month.   The accord commits companies to funding an independent safety inspection body that will involve workers in the process, through their unions, and to make long term deals with suppliers, offering more secure employment and training for workers.

River Island and Matalan have signed up to the accord since the petition started, joining more than 80 other brands, including H+M, Zara, Next, Primark, New Look and Debenhams – but six brands still need convincing.   “All workers should have the right to go to work safe in the knowledge that they will return home unharmed,” says UNISON head of health and safety Tracey Harding.   “We are urging our members to sign this petition and remind high street retailers that they have a moral duty to look after the safety of workers, regardless of what part of the world they live and work in.   “If we all sign up we can make a real difference to the health and safety of others.”

You can help by sending an email to one, or more, of the brands which have still to sign the accord by using the TUC Going to Work website.   Speak out at (external link, opens in new window)

Ms Harding added: “The deaths in Bangladesh are also a reminder of why we must campaign to preserve and improve health and safety within this country and what can happen when we start seeing health and safety as just red tape.”

•You can find out how to organise and campaign on health and safety in your own workplace by ordering a copy of  Safety in Numbers toolkit (stock no 3251) and pack (stock number 3252) from our online catalogue.

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