Posts Tagged ‘Bangladesh’

Preserving Human Dignity of Workers in Bangladesh and Beyond

Monday, January 6th, 2014

David Suter/New York Times

Msgr. Kevin Sullivan and Stuart Appelbaum, president of the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union, responded to The New York Times update on the tragic aftermath of world’s worst garment industry disaster in Bangladesh that killed more than 1,100 workers and maimed and impoverished countless more.

Check out their letter below.

Join us in ensuring “that the dignity of working people doesn’t end up on the clearance rack.”

“We recently traveled to Dhaka, Bangladesh, to meet with survivors of the Rana Plaza factory collapse and their families,” Msgr. Sullivan and Mr. Applebaum wrote in their recently published New York Times Letter to the Editor.

“Your article echoes what they told us. They emphasized the need for greater financial compensation for their suffering. And they warned that unsafe conditions in garment factories could lead to more tragedies.

Americans regularly buy apparel made in Bangladesh. Responsible shopping here can create solidarity with workers there. Consumers can support retailers and brands that have joined the Accord on Fire and Building Safety to improve Bangladesh’s garment factories.

Workers who make the clothes Americans buy and wear cannot just be viewed as costs to control. That race to the bottom could only result in more lost lives.

All of us must help minimize the human casualties of our global economy and ensure that the dignity of working people doesn’t end up on the clearance rack.”

Msgr. Sullivan’s Trip to Bangladesh Continues to Resonate as We Approach Christmas

Friday, December 20th, 2013

Tomas Munita for The New York Times

“Adequate compensation for the disabilities and loss of life caused by the disasters along with safe building and working conditions were the major themes I heard from the garment factory workers in Bangladesh immediately after Thanksgiving.”

 Monsignor Kevin Sullivan

In a front-page story published just yesterday in The New York Times, reporter Jim Yardley documents how those living after the collapse are still struggling to make ends meet.   Even though the Bangladeshi government, local associations and overseas retailers have provided short-term compensation to survivors and loved ones, many still require financial support.

Last month, Monsignor Kevin Sullivan was invited to visit garment factories in Dhaka, Bangladesh with a delegation of New Yorkers that included Tom DiNapoli, New York State Comptroller, and Stuart Appelbaum the head of the RWDSU (Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union.)

The delegation met with surviving workers of the Rana Plaza factory collapse as well as family members of those who perished, labor leaders and retailers tied to the factory. More than 1,100 workers’ lives were lost nearly eight months ago.

“Our trip was intended to meet with the various sectors involved in the garment industry, the workers themselves, organizers, brand names and government officials to learn about what was going on,”  Monsignor Sullivan told Catholic New York.  RanaPlaza survivors and family members of the workers killed had a number of concerns regarding reforming building and work space conditions and receiving adequate compensation from the disaster.

Read more survivors’ stories featured in The New York Times.

 

Msgr. Sullivan Checks Progress on Bangladesh Factory Safety

Wednesday, December 18th, 2013

Photo by Fahad Faisal

Catholic Charities Executive Director Monsignor Kevin Sullivan joined a high-profile delegation from New York City in Bangladesh to gather the latest on-the-ground information on the progress made towards the improvement of factory safety since the Rana Plaza collapse, reports the Daily Star and Catholic New York.
The American contingent that included New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli and others met survivors of the building collapse, officials of the Swedish retail giant H&M and labor leaders involved in getting global retailers to sign on the Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh and improve conditions for garment workers.

The goal was to bring back to New York City compelling facts and testimonial that will help raise awareness of the importance of the Accord and to encourage shoppers in New York City, one of the world’s largest consumer markets, to support the 100-odd brands that have signed the Accord.

“In this holiday season, Americans will purchase huge volumes of clothing apparel. We need to become even more aware of the working conditions in the countries around the world that produce these goods,” said Msgr. Sullivan.

Read the full story in the Daily Star.

Click here to read a story from Catholic New York highlighting Monsignor Sullivan’s trip to Bangladesh

From Bangladesh Factory Fires to Oklahoma Tornadoes, JustLove Tackles the Toughest Topics

Tuesday, June 11th, 2013

Miss Oklahoma, Anna-Marie Costello, and her sister, Miss Teen Oklahoma

By Alice Kenny

Packing your car for a long summer drive and looking for an inspiring way to stay on top of the news?  From Bangladesh factory fires to Oklahoma tornadoes, JustLove radio tackles the toughest topics.

Listen to our recent episode as the show’s host, Msgr. Kevin Sullivan, calls in to Guatemala to speak with Armando Secaira, Program Manager for Catholic Relief Service, about his work preventing child labor abuse.

Learn from Eddie Silverio, Director of Youth Programs at Catholic Charities’ Alianza Division, about hot times, summer in the city and healthy day camp and job opportunities for more than 1,000 Bronx youth.

Find out from Sarah Labowitz, Research Scholar at the NYU Stern School of Business about working conditions and human rights violations at apparel factories including the Rana Plaza complex in Bangladesh where a recent fire stole the lives of more than 1,000 workers.

And check out Miss Oklahoma, Anna-Marie Costello, and her sister, Miss Teen Oklahoma, Caitlin Costello, as they recount close calls with tornadoes back home and how this influenced their passion for charity.

So rev up your car, turn on the AC and tune in to JustLove on The Catholic Channel 129, SIRIUS XM Satellite Radio.