Saturday, September 07, 2013

Roll of Retail Shame: River Island, Matalan, Bench, Bank Fashion, Peacocks, Jane Norman, Republic and Mexx.

I've just sent an email via the TUC Going to Work website to the shameful 8 UK retailers who have refused to sign the international "Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh".

I am sure that most people will remember the Rana Plaza building collaspe in April when over 1200 workers were crushed to death.

"The Accord commits companies to fund an independent safety inspection body that will involve workers in the process, through their unions, and to make long term deals with suppliers, offering more secure employment and training for workers. As such it represents a big deal for Bangladeshi workers".

The website has some clever software by which you can email the Shameful 8 and ask them to sign the Accord. There is a standard message you can send but you can also personalise it which may prove more effective. This is what I sent :-

"Dear Sir/Madam

I am a Councillor in the London Borough of Newham and I have also worked in Tower Hamlets for the past 20 years. Both boroughs have large Bangladesh communities.

I am horrified that your company has not signed the UNI accord and you are exploiting workers in Bangladesh and putting them at risk by making your clothes in potential death traps.

I understand that you are a private company but I will be contacting the Pension funds of Newham and Tower Hamlets Council to see if they have any investments in your company. The reputational damage and risk to your brand by not signing the Accord is huge.

I hope you reconsider your immoral and economically damaging decision"

Please click here to send your own message and encourage the sharing of this information. Also next time you go shopping just think about these brands and remember the rows of dead and disfigured bodies you saw on TV after the collapse. If your friends or family wear clothes from those stores who refuse to sign up to the Accord just remind them of the true cost of cheap fashion.... River Island, Matalan, Bench, Bank Fashion, Peacocks, Jane Norman, Republic and Mexx.

The President of the Bangladeshi National Garment workers Federation Amirul Haque Amin is speaking tomorrow at the start of the TUC Congress.

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