Social Justice and Democracy

Making Global Supply Chains Safe for Workers: Nine Years after the Rana Plaza Collapse

April 24, 2022

April 24th marks the anniversary of one of the world’s worst and avoidable industrial accidents. Rana Plaza, in Dhaka, Bangladesh, was home to garment factories supplying international garment brands. When it collapsed, more than 1,100 garment workers were killed and another 2,500 workers were seriously injured. This tragedy has drawn global attention to the exploitation and dangerous health and safety conditions facing millions of workers in the global supply chains.

“Every year on this sad anniversary, we reaffirm our pledge to work every day so that no workers die at their jobs,” says Bea Bruske, CLC President. “Canadian companies must take responsibility to ensure workers making their goods are doing so in safe conditions, everywhere in the world.”

Canada’s unions have been supporting workers in the Global South and demanding that government and companies introduce policy and practices that respect rights, improve working conditions and pay a living wage.

We work closely with the Bangladesh Center for Workers’ Solidarity, which trains Bangladesh’s garment sector workers on their rights at work and supports unions in promoting and defending the respect of freedom of association and collective bargaining.

Again, today we call on Canadian brands sourcing clothing in Bangladesh to sign the binding International Accord on Fire and Building Safety, which makes retailers liable to legal action if their factories fail to meet labour safety standards. The extension of the Accord to other countries will help ensure a disaster like Rana Plaza never happens again.

Canada’s labour movement continues to lobby for strong Mandatory Human Rights Due Diligence legislation in Canada to require companies to review all their business activities to identify actual and potential risks to people and the environment, take steps to mitigate those risks and ensure remedy for those harmed.

Last month, Canada’s unions declared support for two bills recently tabled in the House of Commons that will ensure Canadian companies respect human rights and the environment throughout their supply chains and ensure independent investigation when cases of rights violations are brought forward. Global campaigns are calling on companies to keep workers safe. You can help by sending a message to global brands to sign the International Accord to ensure factories in Bangladesh meet safety standards and keep workers safe. Visit the Clean Clothes Campaign’s Rana Plaza Never Again remembrance page to send your message.

  • Social Justice and Democracy
  • National AccessAbility Week: Income Security Critical to Accessibility

    May 29, 2024
    Click to open the link
  • Anti-Scab
  • Unanimous support from MPs for anti-scab legislation – now over to senators

    May 28, 2024
    Click to open the link
  • Social Justice and Democracy
  • Reduce interest rates and offer relief to Canadian families – ball is in your court, Governor Macklem

    May 21, 2024
    Click to open the link
  • Workplace Health and Safety
  • 20 years after its passing, Canada’s unions demand enforcement of the Westray Law 

    May 9, 2024
    Click to open the link
  • Social Justice and Democracy
  • Unified labour front: Nova Scotia Teachers’ Union joins Canadian Labour Congress

    May 8, 2024
    Click to open the link
  • Social Justice and Democracy
  • NEW POLL: CANADIANS BACK UNIONS TO DELIVER WORKER PROTECTIONS, FAIRER WAGES

    May 1, 2024
    Click to open the link
  • Workplace Health and Safety
  • Canada’s unions call for ‘Safe work now!’

    April 26, 2024
    Click to open the link
  • Trade and International Affairs
  • 11 years after the Rana Plaza factory collapse, Canada’s unions honour victims and continue demands to improve conditions for workers

    April 23, 2024
    Click to open the link