On the tenth anniversary of the horrific Ali Enterprises garment factory fire in Pakistan, UNI Global Union, IndustriALL Global Union and signatory brands to the International Accord are united in their commitment to launching a worker safety programme in the country as soon as possible.
More than 250 garment workers were killed and over 50 more seriously injured when the Ali Enterprises factory in Karachi exploded into flames. Since that deadly day on 11 September 2012, there have been a catalogue of fatal incidents in the garment and textile industry in Pakistan.
For this reason, the International Accord for the Health and Safety in the Textile and Garment Industry, which is a collaboration between global unions and brands, has identified Pakistan as a priority country in which to expand its groundbreaking and legally-binding worker safety programme. The Bangladesh Accord on Fire and Building Safety transformed garment factory safety in Bangladesh since the Rana Plaza disaster in 2013, and the International Accord continues to keep workers there safe.
UNI Deputy General Secretary, Alke Boessiger, who is a key negotiator for the International Accord in setting up a safety programme in Pakistan, said:
“Both UNI and IndustriALL have been working together for months with brands and key stakeholders in Pakistan to develop a worker safety programme in the garment and textile industry. We are in the process of finalizing the details for establishing this programme and we look forward to starting it very soon.
“As we remember and mourn those who perished in the devastating Ali Enterprises fire ten years ago, we demand a future that is safe for all textile and garment workers in Pakistan.”
Photo credit: the Ali Enterprises factory in Pakistan after the fire on 11 September 2012.