April 24, 2014 marked the first anniversary of the Rana Plaza factory collapse in Bangladesh where over 1,138 workers were killed and thousands more were injured. Social Justice Fund officer, Louise Casselman participated in a Canadian trade union delegation to Bangladesh to express solidarity with garment workers and to assess the progress made since the factory collapse. The delegation also included Paul Meinema (UFCW), Ken Neumann (USW), Michael Bride (UFCW), Louise Casselman (PSAC), Kelti Cameron (CUPE), Ruth Pryce (UNIFOR), Randy Kitt (UNIFOR) and Matthew Kellway (NDP MP House of Commons) who initiated the visit.
The goal of the mission was to meet with workers and union representatives, victims and their advocates and to participate in significant events commemorating the Rana Plaza victims. Through meetings with workers, employers, government and the ILO, the mission learned about some of the challenges still facing the garment industry in that country, and confirmed that the Accord on Fire and Safety is a positive and necessary step to improve working conditions in the industry. Members also witnessed the amazing organizing work carried out by the Bangladesh Centre for Workers Solidarity that is nurturing a new generation of young organizers rising from the shop floor.
A film crew accompanied the delegation to record some of the important moments of this visit, including factory visits and to record the demands of workers and the voices of the victims and their advocates who are still seeking just compensation for their loss.
Film: Victims of Fashion