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Hook: 10th anniversary of the Rana Plaza factory disaster // International Workers Memorial Day 2023
‘Remember the dead, fight for the living’ – protesters commemorating Rana Plaza disaster target Oxford Street fashion stores
Protesters gathered outside clothing stores in central London on Sunday 23 April 2023 to remember the victims of the Rana Plaza factory collapse in Bangladesh on 24 April 2023 and denounce slow progress on garment workers rights a decade on.
Rana Plaza Solidarity Collective are calling on brands to put an end to ‘death-trap workplaces’ by signing the International Accord on Health and Safety in the Garment and Textile Industry.
On Sunday 23 April, protesters gathered outside a number of Oxford Street fashion stores in a ‘Cost of Fashion’ walking tour to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the Rana Plaza factory collapse in Bangladesh and honour the lives of the 1138 garment workers who were killed.
Protesters shamed brands that had been sourcing from the ‘death-trap’ factory before it collapsed. Organisers Rana Plaza Solidarity Collective are calling on all clothing companies to sign up to the International Accord, to ensure a disaster like Rana Plaza never happens again. A number of brands including ASDA, IKEA, and Levi’s have not yet signed this binding agreement to improve workers’ safety in their supply chains.
Tyrone Scott from War on Want, one of the organisations in the Rana Plaza Solidarity Collective said: “The deadly Rana Plaza disaster was not an unavoidable accident – it was an entirely preventable disaster. Rana Plaza workers who made clothes for several UK high street fashion brands had previously raised safety concerns but were ignored. A decade on and garment workers are still facing unsafe working conditions and poverty wages. Clothing brands must urgently sign the International Accord on Fire and Building Safety and commit to guaranteeing safe workplaces, for genuine justice for the victims of Rana Plaza – and for all garment workers.”
Maya Thomas-Davis from Labour Behind the Label, another organisation in the Rana Plaza Solidarity Collective said: “A decade on from Rana Plaza, garment workers around the world are still organising against death-trap workplaces, union-busting and poverty pay while clothing brands pocket huge profits. Brands must clean up their act, stop driving a global race-to-the-bottom in working conditions, and sign the International Accord to guarantee factory safety through independent oversight and trade union power.”
Notes to editors
For media enquiries please contact:
Tyrone Scott – firstname.lastname@example.org // +447927613381
Maya Thomas-Davis – email@example.com // +447491669231
High quality photos of the protest are available on request.
For further information: https://ranaplaza-solidarity.org/
The Rana Plaza Solidarity Collective is supported by the following organisations and individuals: Rainbow Collective, Traid, Nijjor Manush, Re-Make, Labour Behind the Label, War on Want, Oh So Ethical, No Sweat, Tansy Hoskins, Venetia La Manna.
Press kit containing transcripts and recordings of interviews with trade union leaders in Bangladesh, background information, and other materials.
Rana Plaza timeline: https://ranaplazaneveragain.org/timeline/
Feature photo credit: Angela Christofilou