Investor warning: risk shoppers turned off by Gap’s stand on Bangladesh safety deal

21.05.2013

Investors warned, ahead of today’s Gap AGM, the company is out of touch on Bangladesh Safety Accord and risks shoppers’ anger. 40 leading worldwide retail brands have agreed to sign up to the safety deal but Gap, along with Walmart, has declined.

IndustriALL and UNI Global Union say the door is still open for Gap to sign up to the multi-stakeholder accord but time is running out as the 45 day implementation programme begins. The recent factory tragedies, including Rana Plaza, Bangladesh have graphically illustrated the urgency of multinationals, such as Gap, taking responsibility for the safety of workers producing their garments.

IndustriALL Global Union General Secretary, Jyrki Raina said:

Gap has a reputation as being ethical with strong leadership in corporate social responsibility. Today it has a golden opportunity to show this reputation is genuine and not just a part of its US$600 million PR campaign. Gap should act and join the Accord. It is not yet too late to reassure investors and shoppers it’s ready to do the right thing.

UNI Global Union General Secretary Philip Jennings said: 

Investors give Gap CEO Glenn Murphy the message – the Bangladesh Accord has been launched and you are being left behind, isolated and alone, along with Walmart. Gap shoppers will not forgive you if you do not get behind this safety deal.

Now is not the time for Gap to be enlisting Washington insiders to influence the White House and the Hill. They are getting lost in the corporate corridors of spin. Producing a new website won’t help Bangladeshi factory workers. Gap must step up, stop fudging, and take responsibility.”

Gap is holding its annual general meeting today Tuesday 21 May, 10.00 (Pacific Daylight Time) and the Bangladesh Safety Deal is expected to be raised by investors.

Contacts

Tom Grinter, IndustriALL, Mobile: +41 79 79 693 44 99, TGrinter@industriALL-Union.org

Richard Elliott, UNI Global Union, Mobile: +41 79 794 9709, richard.elliott@uniglobalunion.org