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Global unions demand action on deadly working conditions at US retail giant supplier
21 December 2012
Three global unions are demanding that US retail giant Walmart take immediate steps to end the deadly working conditions at a supplier in Bangaldesh where a fire broke out last month. At least 110 people were killed.
The ITF, UNI Global Union and IndustriALL Global Union are calling on Walmart to provide fair redress for the victims of the fire at the Tazreen factory on the outskirts of Dhaka. They also want the company to support a full and transparent investigation and take steps to prevent future incidents. They are seeking a timely public announcement of these measures. Tazreen Fashions in Bangladesh, supplies Walmart with branded clothing.
“Terrible and preventable accidents like the Tazreen fire are the responsibility of the big companies who create the supply chain. Unions involved along the chain – whether in manufacture, transport or retail, are joining together to call for safety and justice for workers like the Tazreen victims,” said ITF acting general secretary Stephen Cotton. “As global unions we speak with one voice – and we are determined to effect change and stamp out unnecessary tragedies like this,” he added.
Jyrki Raina, general secretary of IndustriALL Global Union, commented: “Walmart and other brand owners and retailers profiting from the textile industry in Bangladesh must reveal their list of suppliers in full transparency and verify the safety standards and workers’ rights at the factories they are sourcing from. Walmart must ensure their pricing and sourcing policy is based on their suppliers complying to safe working conditions so that a tragedy such as the one at Tazreen Fashions does not occur again.”
UNI Global Union general secretary Philip Jennings said, “UNI, the ITF and IndustriALL are making this call jointly because we and our affiliate unions and their members have all experienced the negative effects of Walmart’s irresponsible behaviour all along the supply chain. The UNI Walmart Global Union Alliance which brings together Walmart workers from around the world is backing this call for justice for the Tazreen victims and improved safety in factories manufacturing Walmart products. The victims and families of the Tazreen tragedy deserve no less.”
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