Add your voice to Sumi’s and help stop the #heartbreakers

Stop the #heartbreakers

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Australians love denim. 670,000 tonnes of the stuff in 2014 alone and with a $56 billion price tag. That’s a lot of cheddar, and a whole lot of denim. For the last two years we have pressured ten of the country’s largest garment manufacturers to sign the Bangladesh Fire and Building Safety Accord — but two companies refuse to sign.

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Photo: David Crosling/Oxfam AU

Woolworths shares a secret

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Most clothing and footwear companies are highly secretive about the factories that supply to them. But, in addition to signing this important safety agreement, companies are now starting to tell us where their factories are. For the first time ever we can now see where Big W (owned by Woolworths) is making its clothes in Bangladesh.

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Ethical Fashion Season is here!

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It’s been a few weeks of catwalks, convos and clothes inside out – and with the one year anniversary of the Rana Plaza collapse, MB Fashion week + Fashion Revolution Day, it seems like the perfect time to go behind the seams and talk ethical fashion. Welcome to 3things’ Ethical Fashion Season – a celebration of compassion fashion, ethical clothes, sartorial sanity, […]

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Kalpona Akter and the Bangladesh Centre for Worker Solidarity

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Kalpona is a former child worker who started work in garment factories when she was twelve. She is now the Executive Director of the Bangladesh Centre for Worker Solidarity (BCWS), one of Bangladesh’s most prominent labour rights organisations. Find out how you can help improve the rights of workers in Bangladesh.

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Photo: Alan Jacobsen, The Sidney Hillman Foundation

Bangladesh factory fire survivor visits Australia

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Sumi Abedin was working in the Tarzeen garment factory in Bangladesh when she was forced to make a chilling decision. Trapped in the burning factory and faced with the horrific choice between burning alive or jumping to certain death, she chose to jump.

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Understanding The Alliance and The Accord on Bangladesh worker safety

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Since April 2013 Oxfam has been asking Australian companies sourcing from Bangladesh to join the Bangladesh Fire and Building Safety Accord. The Accord is a legally binding initiative that mandates independent safety inspections (involving trade unions and local groups), the right for workers to be able refuse dangerous work and obliges companies to help pay […]

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The Bangladesh Accord and why it is important

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The Bangladesh Fire and Building Safety Accord brings together the United Nation’s International Labour Organization, Bangladeshi unions, international unions, the Bangladesh Government and garment companies to oversee safety inspections into more than 1600 garment factories in Bangladesh. We are concerned that company’s own auditing programs and safety checks are not enough to ensure long term […]

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Fantastic news!

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We have just heard that after months of promises, Woolworths have finally listened to you and signed the Bangladesh Fire and Safety Accord. This means that soon, safety teams will be inspecting all of Woolworths’ (Big W) supplier factories in Bangladesh for building and fire safety. The news that Woolworths has finally signed the Bangladesh […]

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Tell Woolworths: no more delays

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Last Tuesday the Aswad Composite Mills factory in Gazipur in Bangladesh burnt down killing at least 7 people and injuring around 50. The factory provided fabric to Big W (owned by Woolworths), Target Australia, Kmart Australia as well as several European, American and Canadian clothing companies. We need all Australian companies to do more ensure worker’s […]

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Decent Work and Bangladesh

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The 7 October is World Day for Decent Work. It is a day when groups around the world call in unison for social justice and decent jobs for all.  Decent wages as well as safe workplaces and freedom of association (the right to form and join a union of your choice) continue to be important […]

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Katies and Millers take action on safety in Bangladesh

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Thanks to the great work of Oxfam supporters like you, another major Australian clothing retailer has now signed the Bangladesh Fire and Safety Accord. This week, Specialty Fashion Group (incorporating the Katies, Millers, City Chic, Autograph and Crossroads brands) became the fifth Australian company to sign the accord, joining Kmart, Target, Cotton On and Forever […]

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Tell us where our clothes are made

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When retailers tell the truth about where their products come from, their honesty means better working conditions for the people who make the products. Oxfam has spent nearly two decades investigating the global clothing industry, uncovering a world where low wages, long hours of overtime and unsafe work practices are the norm. Our investigations are […]

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Everyday activist: Australian mum campaigns for workers’ rights in Bangladesh

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Last week, Sarah Crawford, a Sydney mum of three, delivered a petition to Woolworths asking the company to join the Bangladesh Fire and Building Safety Agreement and ensure Bangladeshi workers making Big W clothing are able to work in safe factories. Here is Sarah’s story of delivering her petition to Woolworths in Sydney:  My Thursdays […]

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Photo: Abir Abdullah/EPA

Which brands are yet to sign the Bangladesh Fire and Building Agreement?

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Over the past week there has been a major win in efforts to improve the garment factory safety standards in Bangladesh. More than 30 companies including H&M, Mango, Inditex (owner of the Zara brand), Primark, C&A and Tesco have now agreed to sign the Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh. Unfortunately, Cotton On, […]

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K-Mart, Target, tell us where your Bangladeshi factories are

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Oxfam Australia is urging some of Australia’s biggest retailers to immediately release the locations of their factories in Bangladesh, as the death toll from last week’s collapse of the Rana Plaza building in Dhaka climbs to more than 400. It is imperative that Big W, Cotton On, K-Mart, Target and Pacific Brands release details of […]

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Photo: Abir Abdullah/EPA

How to avoid another clothing factory collapse

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The recent news of a factory collapse in Dhaka, Bangladesh is a shocking reminder of the unsafe conditions facing millions of workers across Asia. Unfortunately, hazardous and sometimes deadly conditions remain commonplace in the garment industry, alongside very low wages and long working hours. This tragedy highlights that companies sourcing from Bangladesh are not doing […]

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Support workers rights in Indonesia

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In countries like Indonesia, many women and men making goods for big-name brands are struggling to make ends meet. Workers who enjoy freedom of association (freedom to form unions and negotiate with employers) have the best chance of obtaining fairer working conditions, escaping cycles of poverty and debt. But even when countries recognise freedom of […]

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Original Marines_istock

Call on Original Marines to end intimidation of factory workers

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Original Marines is facing international criticism for its ongoing failure to respect and uphold the rights of women and men making its products in Indonesia. Although the iconic Italian company claims to have ‘always helped families’, this has not been the experience of the families of workers who lost their jobs trying to improve working […]

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Stop the big brands cheating this Olympics! DIY soccer action guide

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Whether it’s through longer working hours, higher production targets, shorter contracts or leaner real wages, too often global brands race to the bottom when it comes to the rights of workers making their products.But on the eve of the 2012 Olympics in London, many are convinced that global brands can do better. Campus groups around […]

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Play Fair at the Olympics

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While our athletes prepare to go for gold at the London Olympics, the workers who make the clothes they wear are being forced to work excessive hours for poverty-level wages, a recent report has found. Oxfam is calling on the Australian Government to ensure workers who produce sportswear for Australia’s Olympic athletes are treated fairly. […]

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Nestle – Not so pure

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Nestle claims to endorse the pure life, but dirty practices continue at the factories that produce its products Almost 10,000 people have joined the campaign to get Nestle to respect trade union rights in Indonesia. The IUF began the online campaign after 53 union members at the company’s factory in Panjang, Indonesia were fired as […]

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Make IT Fair

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The Make IT Fair campaign, together with GoodElectronics, is putting the pressure on big IT companies like Apple and Samsung to give a fair deal to the people that make their products. Apple is now the world’s largest corporation, valued at more than half a trillion US dollars. Workers in factories that manufacture Apple products, […]

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Historic agreement to help end fatal factory fires

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Phillips Van Heusen Corporation (PVH) who owns both Tommy Hilfiger and Calvin Klein has signed a historic agreement to protect Bangladeshi garment workers from dangerous working conditions. PVH, one of the largest apparel sourcing companies acting in Bangladesh, has faced much criticism in the past for failing to act in response to numerous fatal factory […]

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Wal-Mart receives wooden spoon on workers’ rights

The International Labour Rights Forum (ILRF) has released its latest Working for scrooge report, which exposes companies with some of the worst records on respecting freedom of association in 2011. Four companies were singled out for individual scrutiny because of their poor labour practices. Culprits include the world’s largest fresh fruit and vegetable producer, Dole […]

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