Rutgers joins push for safer working conditions

Rutgers joins push for safer working conditions

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International workers rights groups are praising a decision by Rutgers
University that could help eliminate sweatshops in Bangladesh.
Rutgers, New Jersey’s state university, is the latest of 17 schools
requiring manufacturers of its collegiate apparel to sign the Accord
on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh.
That accord requires factories to establish workplace safety rules and
agree to independent inspections, said Judy Gearhart, executive
director of the International Labor Rights Forum.“There’s a binding commitment by global brands so they’re no longer
saying, ‘Oh yes, we’ll follow this code of conduct, we’ll do this
monitoring,’ but it’s all voluntary,” she said. “So when it gets too
hard to fix the factory, we just walk away, which has been the case.”
Rutgers’ action sends a strong message, said Charles Kernaghan,
executive director of the Institute for Global Labor and Human Rights.
“At least we know that the workers will be in a safe location when
they make these garments for Rutgers and for other universities,” he s
aid. “The workers have the right to walk off the job if they think the
conditions are unsafe.”
The push for the new safety rules came after a building collapse in
Bangladesh last year that killed more than 1,100 apparel workers and
injured 2,500 others. – EIN news via Google

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