Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE)

Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE)

April 11, 2016 08:00 ET

Bangladesh labour activist visiting Ottawa

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - April 11, 2016) - Bangladesh labour activist Kalpona Akter, who began working in a garment factory at age 12 and was fired for trying to organize a union, will be visiting Ottawa April 11-13, 2016. Now as Executive Director of the Bangladesh Centre for Workers' Solidarity (BCWS), Kalpona will be speaking with Canadians about the human and labour rights situation facing garment workers and their unions in Bangladesh today.

Kalpona's visit to Ottawa is part of an international tour marking the 3rd year anniversary of the Rana Plaza tragedy. The BCWS, one of Bangladesh's most prominent labour rights organisations, is calling for labour rights and a living wage to be paid to workers by the garment companies sourcing from countries throughout Asia, and for the full implementation of corrective health and safety plans as mandated by the Bangladesh Fire and Building Safety Accord inspections to prevent more tragedies like Rana Plaza.

In January 2016, the Government of Canada signed the Sustainability Compact for Continuous Improvement in Labour Rights and Factory Safety, which aims to improve working conditions and respect of labour rights in Bangladesh's ready-made garment industry. With more than $1 billion in annual clothing imports from Bangladesh, Canada must remain engaged and committed to building a sustainable, safe garment sector in Bangladesh.

Contact Information

  • Kelti Cameron
    CUPE International Solidarity
    613-252-7170

    Louise Casselman
    PSAC Social Justice Fund Officer
    613-290-3394