EU must act to stop textile factory tragedies
January 17, 2013
Sinn Féin Martina Anderson MEP today endorsed a resolution in the EU Parliament calling for higher health and safety standards and more protection for workers in the textile industry.
Speaking in support of the resolution Martina Anderson said:
"In recent months we have witnessed a series of fires in textile factories, notably in Bangladesh but it is, sadly, something which occurs throughout South Asia. In the most recent of these tragedies almost 300 people perished. This is an intolerable situation and we cannot allow the perception of tolerance through inaction to prevail.
"There has been an almost complete lack of corporate social responsibility and accountability in these cases. This is completely unacceptable and the EU needs to start putting pressure on countries, whether in South Asia or anywhere else in the world so ensure that conditions which make these tragedies inevitable are eradicated.
"The EU is the biggest market for many of these factories and therefore bears a heavy responsibility to ensure that production and delivery of all products is achieved in the highest of health and safety conditions. It is imperative that politicians, other stakeholders and those responsible for every stage in the supply chain act,and insist that local authorities in the countries of origin establish best practice in protecting the health and safety of workers.
"I encourage European suppliers, wholesalers and major chain stores that benefit financially from South Asian and other textile producing countries to join in offering compensation for the victims and their families and to help provide a better life for those working in the textile industry.” CRÍOCH