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

New statue of Penn State's Paterno set for…

By David DeKokHARRISBURG, Pennsylvania (Reuters) - Fundraising for a new statue depicting Joe Paterno "as the man he was and not Joe the football coach"…

National

On newly released tape, 'Squeaky' Fromme says was…

Manson Family member Squeaky Fromme told a mental health examiner in newly released interview the "X" she carved in her forehead was meant to separate her from "the system."

Local

New York-based Century 21 store coming to The…

The former Strawbridge & Clothier building will once again host a department store. City officials on Thursday announced New York-based Century 21 Department Stores will…

National

Electric Zoo tickets on sale Tuesday as festival…

Electric Zoo tickets go on sale Tuesday. The festival announced plans to amp up security after two attendees died last year from apparent drug overdoses.

Movies

Tribeca: 'Goodbye to All That' star Paul Schneider…

Paul Schneider talks about his new film "Goodbye to All That," not acting too much and how he'd rather indulge in simple pleasures than play the scene.

The Word

Taylor Swift battles paparazzi daily at Tribeca penthouse

We're entranced by these photos of poor Taylor Swift leaving her Tribeca apartment.

Movies

Tribeca: Nikki Reed on going funny for a…

"Intramural" star Nikki Reed talks about being the straight person in a broad comedy, spending time in Austin and how "Thirteen" was a "miracle."

Movies

Interview: 'The Quiet Ones' star Sam Claflin on…

"Hunger Games" co-star Sam Claflin talks about his new horror film "The Quiet Ones," plus how technology connects him with fans.

MLB

The return of Cole Hamels brings optimism

Cole Hamels’ quality start Wednesday was a nice change of pace from his recent season debuts.

MLB

Tony Gwynn Jr. a nice surprise for Phillies

Tony Gwynn Jr. has been a plus in every way for the Phillies.

NFL

2014 NFL Mock Draft: Updated, new April 24…

2014 NFL Mock Draft: Updated, new April 24 version

MLB

5 infamous pitcher ejections for cheating

Never fear Yankees fans, Michael Pineda is far from the first MLB pitcher to be thrown out of a game for cheating.

Food

Hai Street Kitchen opening in Rittenhouse May 22

Japanese cuisine will get a Chipotle-style twist at Hai Street Kitchen & Co., a new casual, quick-food restaurant opening near Rittenhouse Square on May 22.…

Parenting

New study: Inside the wage gap between boys…

According to a new study, there's a wage gap between boys and girls, with boys earning more allowance for less chores.

Tech

From Apple TV to Fire TV, big changes…

Apple is set to launch a new generation of it's Apple TV, which grossed over $1 billion in 2013. But competition from Amazon and Google looms.

Style

Katy Perry releases a new Claire’s collection

Katy Perry expands her empire by releasing an accessories collection at Claire's.