Dakha, Bangladesh. The only place in the world where the clothes are worth more then the lives of those who make them.
On London’s busy Oxford Street yesterday a group of around 20 protesters staged a demonstration outside Mango and Benetton, the retailer giants who have refused to take responsibility for the collapse of Rana Plaza, one of the many factories where their garments were made.
The protest was organised by student group People & Planet along with War on Want, the South Asia Solidarity Group, Freedom Without Fear Platform, UK Feminista and Labour Behind the Label. Demonstrators carried candles and flowers to remember the 1,227 workers who perished in the collapsed building.
“More than a month after this tragic incident, Benetton and Mango still refuse to take responsibility for workers killed or injured while making their clothes. This is unacceptable”, said Ruth Fox, campaign coordinator at People & Planet in an interview with The Hindu Business Line. “We demand immediate compensation for the workers and families affected by the building’s collapse.”
The Fire Safety Accord has been signed by major European Retailers including H&M, Marks and Spencer and Carrefour, however the American giants have been slower to take it up, with Walmart blankly refusing, saying it is putting its own safety measures in place at its factories in Bangladesh.
The Accord agreement demands a five-year commitment from participating retailers to conduct independent safety inspections of factories and pay up to $500,000 per year towards safety improvements.
A small price to pay, don’t you think Walmart? (Whose profits in 2012 were over $67.35 billion.)
Photo by Taslima Akhter