TORONTO, April 24, 2018 /CNW/ - On the fifth anniversary of the Rana Plaza tragedy, the United Steelworkers (USW) is calling on Mark's, Sport Chek and other Canadian retailers to operate transparently and do a better job letting Canadians know what they are doing to protect and respect human rights in their global supply chains.
"Leading Canadian retailers like Mark's, Sport Chek and Sport Experts (all owned by Canadian Tire) continue to operate in the dark and hide from public scrutiny when it comes to their global garment supply chains. They should do better," said Ken Neumann, USW National Director.
Mark's, Sport Chek and Sport Experts do not disclose the names and addresses of factories they source their garments from. That means human rights watchdogs and labour advocates can't independently verify that garments sold under Canadian Tire's private labels are manufactured in factories that are safe and where workers' rights are respected, nor can they ask Canadian Tire for corrective action in specific factories when problems arise.
To highlight the call for transparency, United Steelworkers members are visiting 67 Mark's, Sport Chek and Sports Experts stores across Canada to appeal to store managers to disclose the locations of the 67 garment factories in Bangladesh that the Canadian Tire group sources from.
A copy of the letter to store managers is found here. Attached to the letter is a list of 67 garment factories in Bangladesh randomly drawn from a database of the Alliance for Worker Safety, with the question – are these the 67 factories? Canadian Tire is a member of the Alliance.
A copy of the USW's April 24th letter to the corporate leadership of Canadian Tire is found here.
"Five years ago on April 24, the Rana Plaza building collapse killed over 1,100 Bangladesh garment workers. Much has changed since then, but improvements in factory safety need to be sustained and more needs to be done to protect workers' rights in Bangladesh," Neumann said.
"Transparency and public reporting on global supply chains are critical to ensuring that Canadian retailers respect and protect human rights."
To join with the USW to ask Mark's, Sport Chek, Sports Experts and Canadian Tire to disclose factory locations, visit www.usw.ca/april24.
SOURCE United Steelworkers (USW)
For further information: Ken Neumann, USW National Director, 416-544-5951; Doug Olthuis, USW Global Affairs, 416-859-9953, firstname.lastname@example.org; Bob Gallagher, USW Communications, 416-544-5966, 416-434-2221, email@example.com
The USW is the largest private sector union in both Canada and North America with more than 225,000 members in Canada and more than 800,000 members continent-wide. The USW is Canada's most diverse union, representing men and women working in every sector of the economy.