Two members of Unifor’s National Executive Board were part of a delegation to Bangladesh this week to meet with survivors of last year’s deadly Rana Plaza collapse, their families and government and union leaders.
“Workers in Bangladesh need greater rights to free collective bargaining, as well as safe workplaces and a living wage,” said Randy Kitt, Unifor’s Media Sector chair, in Bangladesh with Ruth Pryce, the Aboriginal and Racialized Workers representative on the NEB.
They met several workers and families, including: Sharla, whose brother died in the collapse, leaving three children; Shahana, whose daughter died and her body was never recovered; Majiber, pinned under the rubble for four days listening to co-workers’ screams; and Parveen, who lost her husband, and can no longer send her children to school.
“Meeting some of the Rana Plaza family's and survivors was very heart-wrenching,” Pryce said.
NDP MP Matthew Kellway and seven other Canadian union representatives were also in the delegation meeting a Bangladeshi garment union leader to offer support. Rana Plaza, where workers made clothes for top North American brands, collapsed April 24, 2013, killing 1,129 people.
The tragedy was the focus of Unifor’s World Day for Decent Work declaration last fall.