Shop at H&M guilt-free

Rescue workers attempt to find survivors in the rubble of the collapsed Rana Plaza building in Savar.
Rescue workers attempt to find survivors in the rubble of the collapsed Rana Plaza building in Savar.

This morning it was announced that H&M will sign the binding Fire and Building Safety Agreement protecting garment workers in Bangladesh.

This decision to sign the agreement follows the tragic events that occurred in Bangladesh last week when the massive housing building Rana Plaza collapsed, taking the lives of approximately 1,126 employees.

“H&M’s decision to sign the accord is crucial. They are the single largest producer of apparel in Bangladesh, ahead even of Wal-Mart. This accord now has tremendous momentum,” said Scott Nova, executive director of Worker Rights Consortium, in Women’s Wear Daily.

He added the agreement is one that PVH (Tommy Hilfiger and Calvin Klein) and German retailer Tchibo have already signed on to.

Organizations such as United Students Against Sweatshops have called on major brands including H&M, Wal-Mart, Children’s Place and Gap to sign the agreement.

“The agreement is a binding agreement between unions and brands to ensure safe work places,” said Garrett Shishido Strain, international campaigns coordinator of USAS. “It will require public, independent inspections of factories for fire and building safely, it will require brands to put money on the table to make their factories safe, and we believe very strongly that the best workplace safely program is a collective voice for workers through a union.”

Rep. George Miller, the senior Democratic member of the House Education and Workforce Committee, who has been working in Congress to fight sweatshops and improve working conditions in factories, also stressed that the onus lies with major fashion brands, not just the Bangladeshi government.

“Right now, [these retailers] must join other brands, unions and civil society groups in [signing on to the Fire and Building Safety Agreement] and begin the very affordable process of making their supplier factories safer. If they fail to sign an enforceable agreement, they are declaring that they accept blood on their labels.”

Although the news of H&M signing on is a major victory, there’s no time to stop and celebrate for USAS, which is continuing its efforts.

“We’re doing actions at Gap stores in over a dozen cities,” said Strain. “We’re targeting the Gap primarily because in 2010, 29 workers were burned alive at a Gap supplier factory in Bangladesh. After the fire the Gap had a chance to do the right thing and make a commitment to the safety of its workers by signing the binding Bangladesh Fire and Safety agreement with the Bangladeshi Union, but instead they announced their own self-regulatory fire safety program. That, in our opinion, does more to protect the company than the lives of its workers. Hundreds of workers have died in subsequent fire and building collapses and the Gap, of all the companies, has the blood of these worker’s deaths on their hands.”

Get involved: At gapdeathtraps.com people can find information about what’s happened in Bangladesh and how they can take action demanding retailers sign on to the Bangladesh Fire and Safety Agreement.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

Sprint and T-Mobile offer further price discounts

Sprint unveiled a plan on Thursday that gives subscribers access to unlimited data for $60 a month, the industry's cheapest unlimited data offering.

National

Hundreds pay it forward at Florida Starbucks in…

The spontaneous chain of kindness continued for about 11 hours, totaling 457 transactions by the time it ended.

National

Weather system east of Caribbean could turn into…

An area of low pressure located east of the Caribbean Sea has a 50 percent chance of becoming a tropical depression or storm in the next 48 hours, U.S. forecasters…

National

U.S. hospital to discharge doctor treated with experimental…

An American doctor who contracted Ebola treating victims of the deadly virus in Liberia has recovered and will be discharged on Thursday by the Atlanta hospital that treated him with…

Movies

Review: 'When the Game Stands Tall' is both…

The high school football saga "When the Game Stands Tall" fumbles around for a focus while Jim Caviezel offers the most low-key coach in history.

Movies

Girlfriend in a coma: Chloe Grace Moretz

Chloe Grace Moretz is the best cheerleader "If I Stay" could ask for. As the star of the film adaptation of the successful YA novel…

The Word

The Word: Summer lovin' for Zac Efron and…

Ah, the summer romance. So intense, so fleeting. With Labor Day fast approaching, it should come as little surprise that the incredibly surprising romance between…

The Word

The Word: The Zac Efron-Michelle Rodriguez summer fling…

  Ah, the summer romance. So intense, so fleeting. With Labor Day fast approaching, it should come as little surprise that the incredibly surprising romance…

NFL

Fantasy football draft guide: How to draft your…

Many are wondering if we’re entering a new age in fantasy football drafting — one where running backs take a backseat.

NFL

Jets vs. Giants: 3 Giants storylines to watch

The Giants have plenty to work on as they reach the dress rehearsal preseason game Friday night against the rival Jets.

NFL

Jets vs. Giants: 3 Jets storylines to watch

Metro looks at three Jets storylines to watch as they play the Giants Friday.

NFL

Giants expected to work Corey Washington into first-team…

The day of reckoning for the Giants' fringe players will fall upon them Friday night against the Jets.

Sex

Big weddings may lead to long-term happiness

Dreaming of a big wedding? A new study indicates that the longer your guest list, the happier you’ll be in the long run. l A…

Sex

Online dating for every generation

Frank Jackson and his mother Maggie are like lots of modern families: They have dinner together regularly, keep each other updated on their lives —…

Wellbeing

Going green could be the key to getting…

If we could just pursue the things that would actually make us happy, we could help the environment too, according to a New York researcher.…

Tech

Siren: A new dating app that puts women…

Online dating can be brutal, especially for single women. Noting that many women hate wading through inappropriate messages and photos, two tech entrepreneurs decided to…