Human Traffic Watch

Posts Tagged ‘Gap’

New Report Documents Fire Safety Cover-ups by US Retailers

In Forced Labor, Human Trafficking on December 22, 2012 at 8:51 am

Rights Advocates Demand Walmart, Gap, other U.S. Apparel Companies Act Now to End Fires at Suppliers in S. Asia

Hundreds Have Died as Companies Hide Audits Identifying Death Trap Factories 300,000 Have Signed Petitions Calling on Retailers to Join Binding Fire and Building Safety Agreement

Major U.S. apparel companies continue to put at risk the lives of the workers in South Asian factories who sew their clothing by covering up problems identified in confidential audits and ignoring best fire safety practices, according to a new report published today by the Washington, DC-based International Labor Rights Forum (ILRF).

In the wake of recent factory fires in Bangladesh and Pakistan that have killed hundreds of apparel workers, ILRF calls on apparel companies to put a stop to the epidemic of garment factory fires in South Asia by sharing their knowledge about workplace hazards openly, paying sufficient prices to factories for necessary building repairs, and respecting the voices of workers.

The 60-page report, titled Deadly Secrets, exposes how apparel companies are putting workers’ lives at risk by not publically sharing knowledge of fire hazards in their supplier factories.

Last month, 112 workers died in a garment factory fire in Bangladesh and two months prior 262 workers died in a garment factory fire in Pakistan. Both factories produced clothes for major western retailers. While these garment factory fires are the deadliest in both countries to date, they are part of a horrific trend. ILRF’s report shows that since 1990 over 1000 workers have died in preventable factory fires and other unsafe workplace incidents in Bangladesh alone. Over 700 of those deaths have occurred since 2005. Sixty percent of Bangladesh’s garment factories lack adequate fire-fighting tools and many factories do not have emergency exits.

Source: International Labor Rights Forum

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Gap & death trap factories

In Awareness on October 21, 2012 at 8:42 am

Garment workers point toward the burning That’s It Sportswear factory, a Gap supplier. 29 workers died in the factory fire on December 14, 2010, many falling to their deaths from the upper floors of the building because locked stairway doors barred their escape. (c) Andrew Biraj / Reuters.

Take Action: Call on Gap to Protect Workers’ Lives

Since 2006 more than 600 garment workers have died in sweatshop factory fires while sewing clothing for giant fashion companies, like Gap, H&M, JCPenney, and Abercrombie.

Future tragic deaths could be prevented if companies like Gap would follow the lead of brands like Tommy Hilfiger and Calvin Klein, by agreeing to a fire safety program that includes worker input, transparency, and binding commitments to protect workers.

Six months ago Gap publicly promised it would sign on to a worker safety program similar to the Tommy Hilfiger and Calvin Klein agreement. Instead this month GAP reverted to the same old public relations stunts by announcing their own, corporate-controlled, fire safety program – one that includes no legal commitments to workers, no oversight by worker organizations, and no transparency. This is yet another version of Gap saying: ‘trust us; we care about our workers’ – like the programs they had in place when 29 workers were killed at their Bangladeshi supplier in December 2010.

Join Bangladeshi and international unions and labor groups that are calling on Gap to commit to a meaningful fire safety program that will protect the lives of the company’s sweatshop workers.

Send a letter to Gap today!

Thank you,

Liana Foxvog
International Labor Rights Forum

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