This guest post is from the International Labor Rights Forum, urging action.
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. Take action and send a message to GAP.