Wal-Mart rally supports factory workers

A rally in support of Wal-Mart factory worker safety will be held Saturday, June 1 from 3-5pm in front of the Trail Wal-Mart

Over 1,300 people, mostly female garment workers, have been killed in the collapse of a building in Bangladesh which housed factories making clothes for Primark, Matalan, Mango, Bonmarche and other major brands.

Over 2,000 more individuals have been injured in one of the worst industrial disasters of recent times. Wal-Mart denies having any authorized production at the Rana Plaza factory, but one of the Rana Plaza factories, Ether Tex, listed Wal-Mart as a customer on its website.

The Rana Plaza collapse follows a fire at the Tazreen Fashion factory on the outskirts of Dhaka that killed 112 people in November, further compounding concerns about worker safety and low wages in Bangladesh. (www.guardian.co.uk)

After the November fire brands like Wal-Mart refused to sign a new union-proposed safety plan, which would have introduced more rigorous safety inspections, saying it was “not financially feasible.” www.theatlantic.com  Wal-Mart also refused to compensate victims and their families, even though it was apparently the Tazreen factory’s largest buyer. www.demoncracynow.org

After the recent disaster in the Rana Plaza factory, the Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh was signed by the world’s leading clothing brands, but Wal-Mart refuses to sign the agreement, stating that the agreement, “introduces  requirements, including governance and dispute resolution mechanisms, on supply chain matters that are [should be] left to retailers, suppliers and government, and are unnecessary to achieve fire and safety goals.” (www.walmart.com)

Not only will Wal-Mart not sign the Fire and Building Safety agreement, they also have attempted to undermine this vital initiative. But it is not too late for Wal-Mart to join this agreement! Let’s put pressure on Wal-Mart to do the right thing!

Wal-Mart, and other large corporations, makes huge profits off the backs of workers in factories like these. Bangladesh factories are used by major corporations because the people there are paid only $.14 – $.25 an hour!  These workers don’t make a livable wage working seven days a week, and certainly can’t afford one day a week off to spend with their families!  It is time to hold major Corporations like Wal-Mart responsibility for their actions.  Let’s work to ensure justice for workers!

Please take action now and call on Wal-Mart to sign the Bangladesh Fire and Building Safety Agreement to prevent the future deaths of garment workers. It is such a simple action which would save so many lives. Let Wal-Mart know we are willing to pay the $.20 a garment to ensure these disasters do not continue.  Your support is vital.  Please stand for justice on June 1st – thank you!

We plan to picket in Nelson June 1, 11 a.m. until 1 p.m.  We plan to picket in Trail June 1 from 3 p.m. until 5 p.m.

Hope KellyCastlegar