Rana Plaza, two years later
On the 24th April 2013, more than 1.100 people (mostly women) died and other 2.500 were injured due to the collapse of the Rana Plaza building in Bangladesh. These women worked in inhuman conditions and in exchange of an immoral salary, making clothes for some of the biggest fashion brand of the world, such as: Benetton, Primark, Mango, The Children’s Place, Gap and others.
In the wake of the massacre, a wave of solidarity went all over the world, and millions of people from different parts of the globe mobilized to claim justice for the victims, to hold the brands accountable and to reclaim the necessary measures to avoid this disaster to repeat.
As a consequence of the international pressure, the safety in the garment working centers in Bangladesh seems to be improved. It has been signed a binding “Accord on Fire & Building Safety” that set minimum standards in the working places through a programme of independent inspections, public awareness and elected committees on health and safety in every factory.
The compensation process to the victims is being supervised by a coalition of different stakeholders such as: representatives of Bangladesh government, the industry and the Unions. So far, on the second anniversary of the massacre, the victims have only received between 40% and 70% of what is due. Garment firms earning multi million profits every year, have contributed insignificantly to the Rana Plaza Victims Fund, and therefore, they are not complying with their responsibilities.
What do we demand? We demand all the responsible firms to immediately fulfill their commitments with the victims and pay the total amount of the compensation.
We demand that the criminalization of activists struggling in defense of the victims and their families comes to an end. Trade Unionists from different groups have denounced the pressure and harassment they suffered from different sectors, both inside and abroad Bangladesh. In New Jersey (USA), Akter (a Rana Plaza survivor), as well as other 27 activists, was arrested at The Children’s Place headquarters, when they were campaigning and they tried to deliver a letter to the Chief Executive of the company.
We also demand a stronger commitment from governments to make the recently signed Accord to be respected, and the textile production made in a responsible way, respecting Human Rights and nature.
What can we do?
To be aware of our responsibility as consumers and to act in a conscious and consistent way, getting information on the origin of our clothes, boycotting the brands that do not promote a responsible production policy towards both human rights of the people producing it, and the environment.
To take action to put pressure on companies involved in the Rana Plaza massacre, so that they fulfill their compensation commitments with the victims, specially: Benetton, The Children’s Place, Walmart, Mango.
To join the World March of Women 24hs of Feminist Action. To show the world, through our actions, that Rana Plaza is everywhere, and that women suffer in every corner of the world the consequences of the endless greed of the capitalist system. On the 24th April, from 12hs to 13hs, you are invited to organize your activities speaking out against the Rana Plaza of your context!!! Do not forget to share with us your photos, videos, posters and other materials. Please sent them to: firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com so that we can upload them to: www.wmw-2015.info
We will be on the march, until we end with every Rana Plaza oppressing women from all over the world.