30 June, 2022Last week, IndustriALL affiliates Bangladesh Garment and Industrial Workers Federation and US Workers United joined United Students Against Sweatshops, Model Alliance, Remember the Triangle Fire Coalition, the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility at Levi’s flagship store in Times Square in New York City, to call on the denim giant to join the International Accord.
Demonstrators entered the Levi’s store carrying signs and delivered a letter to the management. The demonstration continued in front of the store, where Levi’s was called on to join the International Accord for Health and Safety in the Textile and Garment Industry.
“Levi's is dangerously behind the curve when it comes to making garment factories safe places to work. Levi's has decided to pursue a voluntary approach to factory safety, which we know from many years of experience does not work. It is well past time for Levi’s to sign the Accord and ensure the safety of their workers,”
said Kalpona Akter, president of Bangladesh Garment and Industrial Workers Federation.
It’s been nine years since 1,138 workers died at Rana Plaza and nearly one year since the Accord–the most successful workplace safety programme in modern fashion history–was renewed and expanded into an international agreement.
Under the Accord, Bangladesh’s brutal history of garment factory deaths was halted. And even though 175 other brands, including Uniqlo, Zara, and H&M support the new International Accord agreement, Levi’s has refused to sign, threatening to undo progress.
"Since its inception in 2013, the Accord has achieved immense progress in making garment factories in Bangladesh measurably safer, saving countless lives. As a company that prides itself on sustainability in action and living its values, Levi's has a responsibility to sign the International Accord and ensure safe workplaces for the workers in its supply chain. No worker should have to risk their life in order to go to work,”
said Edgar Romney, secretary-treasurer, Workers United.
Christina Hajagos-Clausen, IndustriALL textile director, said:
“Levi’s claiming commitment to ethical supply chains without signing onto the Accord is just lip-service in a world where complacence is a matter of life and death. We join our affiliates’ call and urge Levi’s to sign this effective and legally binding safety agreement.”