Washington, DC- U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA), Chairman of Senate’s Subcommittee on Employment and Workplace Safety, released the following statement on the one year anniversary of the Tazreen fashion factory fire.
“Horrific tragedies like the Tazreen fashion factory fire are an unfortunate reminder of the importance of strong labor standards,” said Senator Casey. “Lax standards put workers at risk and force U.S. employees to compete on an unfair playing field as companies often opt for the lowest bidder in the global market.”
This week, Senator Casey offered an amendment to that requires Military Exchanges to abide by the “Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh,” which is a binding agreement that would oversee and direct garment factories to remedy unsafe conditions using the purchasing power of the retailers/ brands. Bangladeshi factories used by the Military Exchanges have been found to be unsafe, at times deadly, and workers—mostly women—have been subjected to abuse and uncompensated overtime.
While the government can’t require every retailer to source material and merchandise from responsible employers the government should lead by example by promoting a safe workplace and a strong voice for workers in Bangladesh through responsible federal agency procurement requirements.