Today, three months after the Rana building collapse of April 24 and eight months after the Tazreen fire of November 24, two hundred orphans participated in a demonstration organized by the National Garment Workers Federation (NGWF). The demonstration called on all apparel brands and retailers that sourced from Tazreen and Rana to pay full and fair compensation to the injured workers and families who lost loved-ones, as well as urged all clothing companies that have not yet signed on to the Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh to do so immediately.
At the action in Dhaka, Amirul Haque Amin, president of NGWF presided over the meeting and NGWF leaders Safia Pervin, Faruk Khan, Sultana Akter, Nurun Nahar, and Kabir hossain spoke, along with three members of victims' families. Special guest Fazle Hossain Badsha M. P expressed his solidarity and SalaUddin Swapon, secretary general of the Bangladesh Garment Workers Unity Council and Sabbah Ali Khan Koling, general secretary of the Bangladesh Youth Unity, shared their support for the demands. The demonstration highlighted the responsibility of buyers, factory owners, and the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Employers Association (BGMEA) in paying compensation. NGWF also demanded all responsible parties ensure workplace safety for garment workers. The event commended the over eighty companies that have signed onto the Accord on Fire and Building Safety and urged them to begin work immediately. NGWF also criticized Walmart, Gap, and other companies for pursuing other initiatives rather than signing on to the Accord, renewing their call on these companies to join the Accord.
The Clean Clothes Campaign echoed the same demands as the National Garment Workers Federation in a statement today, in which they called on all brands and retailers sourcing from Tazreen and Rana Plaza to participate in meetings on August 11 and 12 in Dhaka, to establish compensation figures and to distribute payments to the victims and families.
Liana Foxvog is the director of organizing and communications at the International Labor Rights Forum.