Walmart, Gap & H&M: Protect factory workers against deadly fires like the ones that killed 122 people this weekend in
Sign Lovely's Petition
My name is Lovely* and I live in
. This weekend, my worst nightmare came Bangladesh
Ever since I survived a fire in a garment factory I worked in when I was 11, I've
wondered when the next deadly fire would happen.
A few days ago, a fire killed at least 122 people who were working in a factory that
was making clothing for Walmart outside the capital,
Dhaka. There were no emergency
exits and no evacuation plan.
People burned to death. It was my worst nightmare come true.
I started a petition on Change.org
because I think American companies like Walmart can save others from suffering like
me and the 700 people who have died in factory fires in
in the past 7 Bangladesh
Please sign my petition calling on Walmart and the largest retailers that buy Bangladeshi apparel to commit to a real fire safety program that is legally binding, transparent and empowers workers to fight for our own safety.
Already, two American companies -- Tommy Hilfiger and Calvin Klein -- have joined
a comprehensive fire safety program for workers in
. The program is transparent, Bangladesh
includes worker input and is legally binding.
It will keep workers like me safe and give workers' families legal rights if fires
The fires that do occur happen because most companies that buy the clothing we make
don't talk to us workers about what we need for our own safety. Instead, they abandon
us when factories like the one I worked in don't pass inspections.
But we don't stop being in danger -- the companies just stop feeling responsible
for our safety.
Companies like Walmart, Gap and H&M can join Tommy Hilfiger and Calvin Klein to save
But only if we call on them to do so right now.
Please join me in calling on the top buyers from
to do the right thing by signing my petition now. Bangladesh
*I am not revealing my last name for my own security.
Start a petition
112 workers died brutal deaths in a massive fire in a
textile factory. Bangladesh
The emergency exits were locked so they couldn't escape. Inspectors for Walmart had
designated the factory to be "high risk", but did not enforce greater safety procedures.
Tell Walmart it must join an independent fire safety inspection program to prevent
tragedies like this.
Sign the petition.
Last week, a
fire tore through a garment factory
. With the Bangladesh
emergency exits locked
, hundreds of workers -- mostly women -- were trapped inside the nine-story factory.
112 people were killed.
And in the ashes of the fire, a local community leader discovered the burned labels
of Walmart-brand clothes.
Walmart is claiming it has no responsibility for the deaths, even though it was
purchasing garments made in the very factory that burned down
. Worse, Walmart knew the risk to workers. Inspectors working for Walmart gave the
factory “high risk” and “medium risk” safety ratings just last year, and this year’s
follow-up report was never performed.
Tell Walmart it must join an independent fire safety inspection program supported by Bangladeshi and international labor unions, to prevent tragedies like this.
In the wake of this disaster, Bangladeshi garment workers are taking to the streets.
They are demanding that brands take responsibility for fire safety conditions in
factories. Walmart has a key role to play in meeting the workers’ demand for a safe
workplace, and we can join together to demand that Walmart act.
Walmart is the largest retailer in the world, and the largest buyer in
. If Walmart joined the fire safety inspection program already adopted by PVH (owner
of Tommy Hilfiger and Calvin Klein) and German retailer Tchibo to ensure that
its suppliers enforced basic safety regulations -- and then worked with suppliers
to ensure that they were followed -- it could raise the standard for working conditions
, and, in the process, prevent the potential injury or death of Bangladesh
thousands of workers.
Or Walmart could brush this off as nothing more than a minor PR disaster. The company
-- which said it ended its relationship with this supplier over the tragedy -- could
move on to the next rock-bottom supplier, and the next, leaving more tragedy in its
But Walmart is nothing without its customers and potential customers. That's why
it is up to us, using our power as citizen-consumers, to pressure Walmart to change
and force improvements in
Click here to add your name to our petition to Walmart to sign onto the fire safety inspection program that other international brands have already signed.
Just over 100 years ago, a nearly identical story played out in
, at New York City
the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory. A fire broke out, and in the chaos, the workers
found all the exits to be locked. 146 people, mostly immigrant women, died that day.
In the wake of that tragedy, citizens rallied together and forced factory owners
to adopt important safety guidelines to protect workers. Let’s band together now
to make sure real change comes out of last week’s disaster, by pressing Walmart to
protect workers throughout its supply chain.
- Claiborne, Kaytee, Paul and the rest of us
P.S. We know we’ve been beating the drum about Walmart a lot lately, but the truth
is it is the largest company in the world, and it can afford to treat its workers
fairly across the entire supply chain. But Walmart won’t listen unless we make it
join us in calling for Walmart to ensure its suppliers protect workers’ safety in all the factories in its supply chain
Walmart's connection to firetrap
, 26 November, 2012
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