Five years ago, on April 24, 2013, the Rana Plaza building collapse in Bangladesh shocked much of the world, when 1,134 garment workers died in the deadliest disaster in the history of the global garment industry. At that point in time, Abercrombie & Fitch (A&F) was no stranger to the dangers garment workers faced, because 29 workers sewing for A&F in Bangladesh died in the 2010 That’s It Sportswear factory fire.
A&F joined with other apparel companies in the Bangladesh Accord on Fire and Building Safety, a legally-binding program co-signed with unions, to help prevent future worker deaths after Rana Plaza. The program has so far made factories safer for 2 million garment workers, by adding fire doors, creating safe exit stairwells, and training workers to identify safety issues before they cause catastrophe. The Accord is staying in Bangladesh to make sure the building renovations and safety reforms are permanent – but Abercrombie appears ready to walk away already. They’ve so far refused to stay in the Accord for another 3 years. Given the tragedies in their past, A&F must commit to protecting the lives of the people who make their clothes.
During the week of April 18-24, 2018, leading up to the fifth anniversary of the Rana Plaza collapse, students, union members, consumers, and activists around the world will join in a Global Week of Action calling on laggard apparel brands to sign the 2018 Accord. In the United States, we will demonstrate at A&F stores around the country on Saturday, April 21. A&F must sign the renewed Accord and commit to protecting the lives of the people who make their profit possible. Join us in the streets to send a message to Abercrombie: the risk of another factory fire is too high.
To learn more and sign a petition to A&F, visit http://laborrights.org/abercrombie.
To receive campaign materials (leaflets and a letter for the store manager) and to confirm that you’ll take action at a store near you, contact sarah [at] ilrf.org.
This day of action is being organized by United Students Against Sweatshops, Workers United/SEIU, and International Labor Rights Forum.