Ahead of the ten-year anniversary since the Rana Plaza disaster in Bangladesh killed at least 1,132 workers and injured more than 2,500, Apsana Begum MP has tabled a parliamentary motion condemning the ongoing poor labour conditions, low wages, and unsafe work environments, with a high incidence of work-related accidents and deaths, faced by workers in the garment sector worldwide.
Apsana Begum, MP for Poplar and Limehouse, said:
“It is no surprise that the collapse of the Rana Plaza building sparked global horror and put the spotlight on low wages and unsafe conditions in the garment sector that manufactures clothes for major brands.
“To this day, it remains one of the most brutal lessons about not only the importance of occupational health and safety, but how the rights of workers and trade union freedoms are key in protecting workers.
“Yet a decade on, poor labour conditions, low wages, and unsafe work environments, with a high incidence of work-related accidents and deaths persist in the garment sector worldwide and the suppression of trade unions and collective bargaining rights in the garment industry continues.
“Whilst commemorating the avoidable and harrowing loss of life in Rana Plaza on 24 April 2013, it is crucial to pay tribute to the bravery of trade unionists in Bangladesh and around the world organising in the garment industry in such difficult circumstance. We must stand in solidarity with their inspirational struggle.
“All workers deserve a workplace that provides them with a living wage, decent working conditions and trade union rights including the right to refuse unsafe work.”