By International Labor Rights Forum
Rep. Miller Statement on Meeting with Survivor of Bangladesh’s Tazreen Factory Fire and other Human Rights Leaders
WASHINGTON – Rep. George Miller (D-Calif.), the senior Democrat on the House Education and the Workforce Committee, issued the following statement today after meeting with a survivor of the Tazreen factory fire and other human rights leaders. Rep. Miller met with Sumi Abedin, a survivor of the Tazreen fire in Bangladesh that killed 112 workers in November 2012, Kalpona Akter, the executive director of the Bangladesh Center for Worker Solidarity, and other international workers’ rights leaders.
“Sumi has shown great courage in travelling to the United States in order to speak out on the horrific Tazreen factory fire that took the lives of 112 of her coworkers. Her stories provide real insight into the outrageous working conditions that she and her fellow workers had to endure. There have been at least 40 fires in Bangladeshi garment factories since this tragedy. It’s only a matter of time before the next Tazreen happens. I am increasingly concerned that the response by most U.S. brands that subcontract with these manufacturers has been woefully inadequate. When the cost to fix these fire hazards is estimated to be a mere 10 cents per garment, global brands like GAP and Wal-Mart need to be committing resources and entering into enforceable agreements to protect the lives of workers who create the ready-to-wear clothes they sell. Sumi’s coworkers who perished in this fire must not be forgotten.”