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Five years after Rana Plaza, Bangladeshi garment workers are fighting for justice and dignity at work
Author: Marienna Pope-Weidemann, Red Pepper (UK), Published on: 27 April 2018
24 April 2018
In January, unions representing Bangladeshi garment workers reached a $2.3m settlement with an anonymised multinational fashion brand over delays to fixing safety hazards in its factories. Five years after the Accord was introduced, it has shown its worth and the union has proven it’s possible to translate the Accord into action that saves lives. Still, it took a two year fight for them to win that settlement. This also reflects an important truth: agreements will never be enough, without the workers’ right to organise and fight with them to defend their lives and livelihoods... With fashion brands making billions in profit every year, the idea that respect for basic labour and human rights should be optional is a disgrace. The Accord was an important step away from that and January’s settlement shows that it can be used to make companies pay for endangering their workers’ lives. But when it comes to putting people before profit, whether in health and safety or in a fair day’s pay, they will always strive to protect their bottom line.