Press Release ● Foreign Affairs
For Immediate Release: 
May 17, 2013
Contact Info: 

Stephanie Young, 202-225-3130

WASHINGTON, DC – House Democratic Whip Steny H. Hoyer (MD) and senior House Democrats have sent letters to nine separate U.S. retailers calling upon them to join a broadening global coalition supporting a May 12 Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh, developed by the Worker Rights Consortium and a number of key stakeholders. The accord has won the support of labor rights organizations and unions around the world, and it has gained significant momentum among buyers, with Abercrombie & Fitch, Aldi, Benetton, C&A, Carrefour, El Corte Inglés, Esprit, G-Star, H&M, Helly Hansen, Hess Natur, Inditex, JCB, KIK, LIDL, Loblaws, Mango, Marks & Spencer, Mothercare, N. Brown group, New Look, Next, Primark, PVH, Rewe, Sainsbury's, Stockmann, Switcher, Tchibo, Tesco, and WE Group having signed on already. 

“The tragic building collapse in Bangladesh, in which over 1,100 people lost their lives, could have been prevented with greater oversight and the kind of workers’ rights and safety standards we take for granted here in our country," stated Whip Hoyer. "I hope that American retailers sourcing their products from Bangladesh will join with labor unions, government officials, and other stakeholders to devise a fully enforceable agreement to ensure the safety of garment workers there.” 

The letters were signed by Leader Nancy Pelosi, Whip Steny Hoyer, Ways and Means Committee Ranking Member Sander Levin, Education and Workforce Committee Ranking Member George Miller, Rep. John Lewis, Caucus Chairman Xavier Becerra, Caucus Vice Chairman Joe Crowley, Rep. Jan Schakowsky, Labor, Education, Health, and Human Services Appropriations Subcommittee Ranking Member Rosa DeLauro and Rep. Mike Michaud.

“Circumstances are at a tipping point in Bangladesh, much as they were in the wake of the tragic Triangle Shirtwaist fire in New York over a century ago. … We urge you to seize this moment, and to help ensure that workers in Bangladesh do not needlessly lose their lives to produce the clothes we wear,” the lawmakers wrote in the letter to the retailers. 

Read the letters to each individual retailer: