Wake Up Mark’s — 21 Dead for Canadian Clothing

Marksworkwearhouse  It's one of the most popular chains in Canada. It sells functional work wear, comfortable casual wear, shoes and accessories. It even claims to adhere to 'ethical sourcing'.

Well there's nothing ethical about the burning down of the Garib and Garib Sweater Factory in Bangladesh. 21 workers dead when exits were blocked, and windows were barred. Firefighters couldn't get in.

Garib sweater factory  Now what does that sound like to you? Workers unable to exit? Windows barricaded? And this is Mark's version of 'ethical'? I don't think so.
Garib sweater disaster  People died so that Canada could import sweaters. That's heinous. Also linked to Garib and Garib is Sweden's H&M store that became popular in Canada and the USA.

If Mark's Work Wearhouse claims it adheres to ethical sourcing, they need to hear from us that this is UNACCEPTABLE. Period. No one should be killed for our fashion… not any fashion. It's tragic enough when an accident happens in a stable, safe working environment, but when people are forced inside to work in intolerable conditions and simply cannot escape death… no excuse. Take responsibility, Mark's.

It won't stop until we speak out.

For those of you wanting to tell Mark's this, email Mark's Social Compliance Officer:
socialcompliance@marks.com

____________________________________________________________________________________

Garib victims (victims of Garib and Garib disaster)

Taken from the International Labour Rights Forum (http://www.unionvoice.org/campaign/Garib/explanation)

What's At Stake?

21 Workers Die in a Fire at H&M Factory

A government-authorized probe into the cause of the fire said the fire was started by an electric short-circuit on the second floor of the factory. It quickly spread to the other floors filled with inflammable materials such as wool threads and other goods. Lasting nearly two hours, the fire created a thick black smoke and consumed the oxygen in the air, suffocating the workers. The smoke could not escape because of poor ventilation and the presence of unauthorized sheet metal structures that were being used for storage of highly inflammable materials on the roof of the building. Workers could not escape because exits were locked and materials blocked the stairways. The factory’s fire-fighting equipment was "virtually useless", according to the Dhaka Fire Service and Civil Defence, and reportedly none of the security guards on duty knew how to operate fire extinguishers and hydrants.

On March 7, families of the deceased workers received 200,000 Taka (approximately 2893 USD) in compensation. The injured workers have been admitted to several hospitals in the Dhaka area. There is no news yet about whether these first steps will be followed by further compensation measures, as 200,000 Taka is not sufficient. Further compensation is needed in the longer term for both the seriously injured workers and the families of the deceased workers. The factory will remain closed for the month of March. As of March 10, the Garib workers have received full payment of wages for the month of February (including the days after the fire broke out), but are awaiting further payment of wages for the remaining period the factory stays closed. 

More information is available here and here.


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