One year ago, on April 24, our sisters and brothers who worked at the Rana Plaza garment factory in Bangladesh were told to report to work in a building that had severe structural cracks and over 1,100 workers lost their lives when the building collapsed.
While decades of struggle by workers and their unions have resulted in significant improvements in working conditions, too many workers here in the U.S. and around the world continue to be killed on the job, or suffer from injuries, sickness or diseases in their places of work. In Bangladesh alone, thousands of workers continue to work in dangerous conditions and for meager wages, and survivors of the Rana Plaza tragedy are still suffering from their injuries and loss of income.
One year after this tragedy, big retailers like Walmart have still refused to sign the Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh. Instead, the company has promoted its own alternative absent of enforcement mechanisms or meaningful worker input.
Workers everywhere deserve a safe place to work, and corporations like Walmart that exploit workers for profit and put them in danger must be held accountable. As the UFCW observes the anniversary of this terrible tragedy, we also reaffirm our dedication to supporting workers here in the U.S. and around the world who are struggling to protect their basic rights – including the right to unite for safe workplace conditions and decent wages.