During the Gap Inc. shareholder meeting in San Francisco, 18MillionRising.org launched a campaign targeting the clothing company for failing to uphold its responsibility to factory workers in Bangladesh. Utilizing a website (www.GapDoesMore.com) and Twitter account (@GapDoesMore), 18MR posed as the clothier and announced the decision to sign the Bangladesh Accord on Fire and Building Safety. 18MR also claimed that Gap Inc. intended to pay $200,000 in compensation to the families of 7 textile workers who died in the Aswad Composite Mills factory fire in October 2013.
The facts are that Gap Inc. has made no move to sign the legally binding Bangladesh Accord, or to pay the compensation it owes for lives lost at Aswad despite ongoing international protest from garment industry workers and activists.
Since 2005, over 1,800 workers have died in industrial accidents at Bangladeshi factories supplying western brands and retailers. Spouses have been widowed, children have been orphaned, and entire communities left impoverished and traumatized – all for the sake of profits.
This afternoon, Gap Inc. issued a statement decrying the hoax and dissemination of “fraudulent” information. In fielded press calls, Gap Inc. has stated that “there’s nothing accurate” on the site, but avoids key questions: Why has the company refused to compensate the families of injured and deceased factory workers? Why does the company continue to avoid signing the Bangladesh Accord – choosing instead to collaborate with Walmart, a corporation notorious for creating fronts for unregulated, false accountability?
This is not about a hoax on the company, it’s about justice for the workers who make the company possible. Gap Inc. has refused so far to “do more” for the most vulnerable workers in its supply chain, so now we are demanding more.