UPDATE: We’ve just had word that the day of action has been cancelled because of a win for the campaign! Well, that was quick! We announced a Saturday 23 November day of action at Edinburgh Woollen Mills and Peacocks stores only two days ago. Despite m …

Walton Pantland

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UPDATE:

We’ve just had word that the day of action has been cancelled because of a win for the campaign!

Well, that was quick!

We announced a Saturday 23 November day of action at Edinburgh Woollen Mills and Peacocks stores only two days ago. Despite months of campaigning, they had been refusing to join nearly all their competitors and take action to fix dangerous factories in Bangladesh.

And then as we prepared the placards and leafleting teams, the Edinburgh Woollen Mill group signed the Bangladesh Fire and Building Safety Accord, a real win for garment workers in Bangladesh.

This union-backed agreement commits Edinburgh Woollen Mills, and their subsidiaries Peacocks and Jane Norman, to an independent programme of inspections and safety measures for their factories in Bangladesh. This will make working life safer and more secure for the workers who make clothes for their stores and brands.

Edinburgh Woollen Mills have done the right thing by signing the Accord and we welcome their decision. The Accord now has 115 corporate signatories, covering most of the UK clothing industry working in Bangladesh, and many other firms internationally.

It’s also a big win for everyone – campaigning organisations, trade unions and individuals – involved in the campaign. Thank you all for your support, which has really made a difference.

But Edinburgh Woollen Mills haven’t yet agreed to compensate the victims of last year’s Tazreen factory fire, or their families, as other retailers whose clothing was found in the factory have done.

Sunday will be the anniversary of that fire, in which over 100 workers died. Many were injured too badly ever to work again, and the hardship inflicted on their families has been immense. We hope Edinburgh Woollen Mills will add to the commitment they have made this week on the Accord, and contribute to compensation for the victims of Tazreen.

Original text

On Saturday 23 November, the day before the anniversary of the Tazreen fashions fire, in which over a hundred people lost their lives, we are calling out Edinburgh Woollen Mill and their subsidiary company Peacocks for their continued inaction on their deadly factories in Bangladesh.

Please help us to take the message right into their branches near where you live by printing out and signing a letter, and delivering it in person. We need them to join the overwhelming majority of their competitors in signing up to the fire and building safety plan for their factories in Bangladesh, and to pay compensation to victims of the Tazreen disaster.

Retailers are always concerned about their image locally, and getting a lot of letters passed over the counter around the country, on an important Christmas trading date, will send a very strong signal to the company that their customers won’t let them just brush people’s lives under the carpet.

To make this a bit easier, we’ve mapped their branches online, and there’s likely one near you. Choose a branch in your area, and click to visit the store. We’ll give you a letter to download and print out.

First step is to choose a branch that you could visit on Saturday 23 November

NB: This action is supported by the TUC, War on Want, People and Planet, Labour Behind the Label, SumOfUs.org, SEAD, STUC and WTUC, so you’ll be in good company!


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Walton Pantland

South African trade unionist living in Glasgow. Loves whisky, wine, running and the great outdoors. Walton did an MA in Industrial Relations at Ruskin, Oxford, and is interested in how trade unions use new technology to organise.

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