May 30, 2013
The AFL-CIO and ChangetoWin labor federations are deeply concerned about Walmart and Gap’s plan to move forward with a corporate-controlled, nonbinding process for adopting building safety standards in Bangladesh. While former Senators George Mitchell and Olympia Snowe are both respected for their ability to forge compromises, we cannot afford to compromise the lives of Bangladeshi workers. We are determined to get this process right, and we will express our concerns to both former Senators and ask that they not participate in undermining the ongoing and more productive process led by IndustriAll and UNI global labor federations. Forty retailers from all over the world, including H&M, PVH, and Loblaws, have agreed to a binding comprehensive safety plan for Bangladesh. No amount of bipartisan window dressing can change the fact that Walmart and the Gap have refused to take this important step. This is a matter of life or death. Quite simply, nonbinding is just not good enough.