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April 08, 2010

Thousands respond to Bangladesh Factory Fires - Send an email to H&M

After the recent tragic fire at the Garib & Garib Sweater Factory in Bangladesh, which claimed the lives of 21 trapped workers who could not escape because exits were locked or blocked with debris, no less than 1,500 ILRF and SFC supporters contacted the Swedish fashion giant H&M, the main buyer at the
factory, expressing concern and demanding change. Please add your name to the list of supporters by sending an email to H&M through our Take Action page here:

Thank you to those who have already participated for taking action so quickly. Worldwide more than 6,000 people sent a clear message that authorities and companies have to take immediate action to
support the workers and prevent future disasters.

The Garib & Garib fire was not the first in the Bangladeshi garment industry and, tragically, it is no longer even the last one. Just last week a fluorescent light exploded at the Matrix sweater factory, causing a cloud of smoke. When the fire alarm went off, workers panicked and fled the building crushing one woman and injuring 25 in the ensuing chaos. Early reports from police say that there were no emergency exits and that stairways were blocked with cartons.

The fires highlight the need for structural change in the industry. "I strongly believe that if you are really serious about preventing future deaths you must immediately start involving workers in monitoring health and safety standards," said Mr. Amirul Haq Amin of the National Garment Workers
Federation. "This can only be done through supporting the right to organise and working directly with trade unions."

Please email H&M and other stakeholders in the Garib & Garib fire now, calling upon the brands, the employer and the government of Bangladesh to take immediate action to ensure justice for the victims, and to prevent these tragedies from occurring in the future. Just visit

Posted by cat at 07:53 PM