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Gap and Walmart: No More Death Traps

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Yesterday a factory building collapse in Bangladesh killed 244 people and the death toll is rising. Worker conditions in Bangladesh keep getting worse, while clothing retailers do nothing.

This. Must. Stop. Now.

SumofUs is asking people to go to clothing retailer, GAP, to deliver a letter to managers asking GAP, a major clothing buyer from Bangladesh factories, to sign on the the Bangladesh Fire and Building Safety Agreement.

Here's what you need to know to deliver a letter to GAP today.

Groups are also organizing actions at other retailers such as Walmart. Check the events on this page as they get posted today. 

Here's a video from the worker tour that is going on right now. Two survivors of terrible fires in Bangladesh are traveling around the country right now. Sumi Abedin, a Bangladeshi garment worker who survived the November 24, 2012, fire that killed 112 of her coworkers at Tazreen Fashions, and Kalpona Akter is the executive director of the Bangladesh Center for Worker Solidarity (BCWS) and a former garment worker. They will be going to the Gap headquarters to confront the executives who could decide to spend $0.10 per garment to end these terrible tragedies.

For years, Walmart, Gap and other major brands have produced clothes in factories that they know are fire traps. As a result, over 600 garment workers, mostly young women, have died in what could have been preventable factory fires. Fight this horrendous abuse by joining the growing numbers of consumers working to hold Walmart, Gap and other major retailers accountable for their failure to uphold labor rights throughout their supply chains. 

Partner with Corporate Action Network, International Labor Rights Forum, Making Change at Walmart, SumOfUs, United Students Against Sweatshops, and Warehouse Workers United to call on U.S. brands and retailers to sign onto the game-changing, labor-supported fire safety agreement. Call on Walmart and all other Tazreen buyers to pay the compensation they owe to factory fire victims.

Stand with workers and demand respect, dignity and safe workplaces for all, from the factory floor to warehouses to the retail store. Turn out for a Tour event and have your voice heard.

UPDATE on our Featured Speakers:

SUMI ABEDIN is a Bangladeshi garment worker who survived the November 24, 2012, fire that killed 112 workers at Tazreen Fashions, a factory that supplied Walmart, Disney, Sears, Dickies, and produced US Marines logo apparel for Delta Apparel / Soffe.  Sumi was working on the 4th floor of the factory at the time of the fire and survived after jumping from the burning building.

KALPONA AKTER is the executive director of the Bangladesh Center for Worker Solidarity (BCWS), one of Bangladesh’s most prominent labor rights advocacy organizations, and is herself a former child garment worker. BCWS is regarded by the international labor rights movement and by multinational apparel companies as among the most effective grassroots labor organizations in the country. Levi Strauss & Co. calls BCWS “a globally respected labor rights organization, which has played a vital role in documenting and working to remedy labor violations in the apparel industry in Bangladesh.”  Kalpona is an internationally-recognized labor rights advocate and has traveled widely to speak about the deplorable conditions that Bangladesh garment workers face every day. She was interviewed extensively by local and international media following the deadly fire at Tazreen Fashions in November 2012.

New York Times, December 28, 2012, “As Walmart Makes Safety Vows, It’s Seen as Obstacle to Change”:“The Walmart system of audits and inspections is not improving the factory safety conditions here in Bangladesh,” said Kalpona Akter, executive director of the Bangladesh Center for Worker Solidarity. “They maintain this system to enable them to keep their hands clean and deny responsibility.”

Washington Post, March 1, 2013, “A Flurry of Fires in Bangladesh Raise Concerns over Garment-Worker Safety”:“We expected big changes, and very quickly, but the reality is that nothing meaningful has happened,” says Kalpona Akter, a Bangladeshi labor leader and former child factory worker. “So far the government and foreign companies are all talk, no results; the unnecessary deaths continue.”

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