Tell Walmart to join the agreement to protect workers worldwide

Stuart Appelbaum, Rita Freedman, Arieh Lebowitz, Jewish Labor Committee

The world watched in horror as over 1,100 garment workers were killed in April when a substandard factory in Bangladesh collapsed while they were at their jobs. Similar tragedies are killing and injuring men and women in many places around the globe where labor costs are low and working conditions are unconscionable.

It took this building’s collapse, following a disastrous fire inBangladesh earlier this year, as it took the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory in New York over a century ago, to focus the attention of the world on addressing the need for better safety standards for those who make the clothes the world wears.

One important first step is an international agreement of major international retailers designed to stop such disasters from happening again. Already such well-known firms as H&M Hennes & Mauritz, Carrefour, Marks & Spencer, Inditex, PVH (which owns the Tommy Hilfiger brand), Loblaw (owner of Joe Fresh brand) have signed on to this accord, that provides for a binding, independent inspection program, mandatory improvements in workplace safety, and binding arbitration enforceable in the courts of the country where a company is based. Yet, Walmart is opting to do its own unenforceable audit of factory conditions, a type of self-auditing that has proved to be ineffective. 

We’re calling on the management of Walmart to join the international agreement of major retailers to commit to collectively stop such disasters from happening again. And we want you to join us.

Because so many of the world’s garments are made by contractors and subcontractors, and retailers often do not track where and how products sold under their name are being made, it is imperative that there is a unified, enforceable agreement of all of the major retailers—including Walmart—to improve fire and building safety in such countries as Bangladesh, Cambodia, Vietnam, Pakistan and other countries where so much of our clothes are made.

Join us in calling on the management of Walmart to put basic principles of responsibility and decency to work by joining this international agreement—now.

Sign our online petition here.

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