For Immediate Release
Hundreds Across U.S. Join International Action on Anniversary of the Rana Plaza Collapse
Feminist actions organized from 12-1pm on April 24 in time zones across the world.
INTERNATIONAL - On April 24th, 2015, Grassroots Global Justice Alliance and the World March of Women chapters from around the country will take part in a global 24-hour feminist action commemorating the second anniversary of the fire and collapse at Rana Plaza in Bangladesh. Starting in New Caledonia and going around the world, actions will take place between 12-1pm in time zones around the world highlighting the on-going struggles of women workers.
“We make the cloth, we make our economy,” said Salima Sultana, World March of Women Member, Bangladesh. “The majority of the victims in the Rana Plaza tragedy are Women. They are the primary wage earning member of their families. We march to pressure the garments owners and buyers to improve the health and environment for women workers, and to increase benefits/ better wages for them. Without movement nothing can changes in our lives.”
On April 24, 2013, at least 1,138 people, mostly women, died in the factory collapse of Rana Plaza in Bangladesh. It remains the deadliest disaster in the history of the garment industry worldwide. On that morning, workers refused to enter the eight-story Rana Plaza factory building because there were large and dangerous cracks in the factory walls. The workers were forced to go in to work after they were told that they were threatened with not being paid for the month. The factory made clothing for U.S., Canadian and European clothing labels and retailers, like Walmart, The Children’s Place, Benneton, Zara, and Mango. Eighty percent of the workers were young women ages 18-20.
The Children’s Place surfaced as a critical target in the campaign for justice for families of the Rana Plaza workers last month when they arrested 27 workers who were attempting to deliver a letter requesting full and fair compensation to the children who were orphaned, to the injured workers, and to the families of the people who were killed.
In addition to The Children’s Place, US groups are also planning protests at outdoor clothing retailer The North Face. North Face is one of the brands owned by VF Corporation, a global brand whose clothing are known throughout the world. Along with The Children’s Place, they have failed to sign onto the Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh, a legally binding agreement designed to maintain minimum safety standards in the Bangladesh textile industry.
"Organizations across the United States, including San Francisco, San Antonio, Seattle, Portland, and Worcester, Massachusetts are holding rallies and events on April 24th to demand US corporations be held accountable for their actions domestically and abroad because women workers across the world are suffering” said Emily Lee, co-chair of the US Chapter of the World March of Women. “The same corporations that are allowing dangerous garment factories to risk the lives of young women in Bangladesh are also creating poverty jobs in the United States, where workers are unable to feed their children without relying on government assistance.”
As part of the international feminist call to action, women’s organizations in Mozambique, Brazil, Spain, the Philippines, Tunisia, Turkey, Kurdistan, and Bangladesh are organizing actions as well.
"Rana Plaza is Everywhere!" said Graça Samo, World March of Women International Secretariat, Mozambique. “Brothers and sisters the most significant way of confronting the dominant forces that oppress as everywhere in many ways is to unite in solidarity with each other and saying loudly that we will march until our bodies, minds and communities are free! Join us and do something on 24 April from 12:00 to 1:00pm, wherever you are!”
Available for Comment:
- Jessica O Guerrero, San Antonio 210-262-0654
- Emily Lee, San Francisco 626-321-8238
- Cindy Wiesner, Grassroots Global Justice 510-205-3114
The Grassroots Global Justice Alliance (GGJ) is a national alliance of grassroots organizations building a popular movement for peace, democracy and a sustainable world. We support each other's local struggles and collaborate with international allies who share our vision and commitment to building a transformative social justice movement beyond borders.