H&M: End Deathtraps - Make Factories Safe!

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Almost three years after H&M signed the Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh, the Bangladeshi workers who sew H&M’s clothing continue to toil in dangerous conditions, in many cases lacking the most urgent and lifesaving fire safety measures, according to a new analysis by four watchdog organizations who track progress on Accord implementation.

This latest analysis follows up on a 2015 report, both of which show that the factories that H&M itself calls its “suppliers with the best performance in all areas” have failed to meet mandated timeframes for repairs and the majority of all renovations have still not been completed despite lapsed deadlines. The outstanding renovations include the installation of fireproof doors, the removal of locking or sliding doors from fire exits, and the enclosure of stairwells - meaning that in many factories workers may be unable to safely exit a factory in an emergency.

Despite the efforts to improve factory safety since the Rana Plaza disaster in 2013, fires and explosions still plague the industry. The latest of these emergencies was a fire in February 2016 at Matrix Sweaters factory, an H&M supplier. Although there were some injuries, the fire occurred about an hour before workers were set to start their shifts, which saved lives. Not all workers at H&M supplier factories have been so lucky. In 2010, 21 workers died in a fire at H&M supplier factory Garib & Garib, which lacked proper fire exits. In 2013, 1,138 workers died when Rana Plaza – which housed five garment factories – collapsed due to structural failures.

Take action: Please join us in calling on H&M to urgently ensure the required safety repairs at its suppliers in Bangladesh so that there are no more Matrix Sweaters, Garib & Garibs or Rana Plazas.

International Labor Rights Forum
Letter Campaign by
Washington, District of Columbia