Last month, more than a thousand garment workers died when the Rana Plaza building collapsed in Dhaka. This month Kmart and Target became the first Aussie retailers to sign the Bangladesh Accord, joining more than 40 companies internationally who have agreed to improvements in the current working conditions in their supplier factories. As part of the Bangladesh Accord, all Kmart and Target supplier factories in Bangladesh will now be independently inspected for building and fire safety.
Under the Accord workers in Bangladesh will have access to health and safety training. Workers will also be able to refuse dangerous work without facing repercussions.
Last week Oxfam Australia launched an online petition to increase the pressure on Big W and Cotton On to join the Bangladesh Fire and Safety Accord. Click Here to Sign the Petition.
Oxfam are also calling on all Australian companies to publish the names and addresses of their supplier factories in Bangladesh to allow for independent verification of worker conditions.
In addition to improving occupational health and safety in these factories, Oxfam is urging all companies to ensure all workers making their products in Bangladesh receive a living wage and are free to join a union and collective bargaining in the workplace.