International Day of Action to Stop Gap Sweatshop Death Traps
Join the Day of Action!
5436 Walnut St
12 Noon–Friday, June 28
Student activists and unions have declared an International Day of Action to End Deathtraps on Saturday, June 28th. We will take action at Gap and Walmart stores – picketing, flyering, and conducting civil disobedience – to force the companies to take responsibility for the safety of their workers by signing onto a binding safety agreement with unions.
June 29 2013 day of action turnout flyer
The Problem: Deathtrap Factories
Retailers like the Gap and Walmart place intense pressure on their factories to produce clothes at rock bottom prices in factories that function as literal deathtraps for workers.
In April, over 1,100 garment workers perished in the Rana Plaza collapse, marking the deadliest industrial disaster in a manufacturing facility in recorded history. Since 2005, more than 1,800 garment workers have died in preventable factory fires and building collapses in Bangladesh alone.
Gap and Walmart have responded to these factory disasters by offering up fake social responsibility promises in the form of auditing programs that are non-binding and exclude workers.
The Solution: The Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh
In response to these catastrophes, activists across the world joined with unions to demand that apparel companies sign the Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh. This unprecedented, legally-binding agreement will require independent inspections by trained fire safety experts, mandatory repairs and renovations financed by the brands, and, most importantly, a central role for workers and their unions. 43 brands and retailers, including H&M, PVH, and Abercrombie & Fitch, have signed on to the agreement.
This agreement will empower workers to transform Bangladeshi factories from deathtraps to safe workplaces, saving the lives of thousands of workers who currently risk their lives every time they go to work.
The costs of these factory renovations for Walmart would be just two tenths of 1 percent of the company’s profit last year, and just 1% of the dividends paid out last year to the Walton family heirs. For Gap, the costs represent, at most, just 0.8% of Gap’s profits last year, and just 1.5% of the net wealth of Gap Co-founder Doris Fisher.
Instead of ensuring the safety of its workers, Gap and Walmart have been playing public relations games. After weeks of pressure by people across the globe to sign the Bangladesh Safety Accord Gap and Walmart just announced they’re partnering on a fake “safety plan” in an effort to undermine the binding agreement with unions.
Workers lives are on the line – there’s too much at stake for Gap and Walmart to continue their business-as-usual approach to fire and building safety.