Five years on, one of world’s worst industrial disasters


WHEN:   TODAY, 11am

WHERE: Bourke St Mall, Cnr Bourke St and Swanston St, VIC

WHO: SDA National Secretary Gerard Dwyer

SDA Victoria Branch Secretary Michael Donovan

Retail workers

WHAT:   Commemorating Rana Plaza industrial disaster


The SDA will today commemorate the five-year anniversary of the Rana Plaza building collapse that claimed over 1,000 lives in Bangladesh.

The SDA, a major affiliate of the international union ‘UNI Global’ which was instrumental in securing the Bangladesh Accord, will be gathering at Bourke St Mall to remember the victims of this horrific tragedy, and raise public awareness about the event and the importance of industrial safety in Australia and around the globe.

On April 24 2013, Rana Plaza, a nine story commercial building in Bangladesh collapsed, killing 1,100 and injuring 2,500 others, mostly garment workers.

SDA National Secretary Gerard Dwyer said “today marks a tragic day in history. This is a horrific example of what happens when businesses put profit before safety.

“While we mourn the hundreds of lives lost, we are also reminded of the importance of working peoples’ rights to a safe workplace.”

“As a collective force across the world, workers must continue to join together and stand up for their rights in the workplace, so that this tragedy never happens again.”

After the 2013 Rana Plaza tragedy, the international trade union movement responded by creating the Bangladesh Accord for Building and Fire Safety. Over 100 brands, using 1,173 ready-made garment factories, have committed to signing the 2018 Accord, which extends the legally-binding commitment to factory safety in Bangladesh.

The SDA is a proud affiliate of UNI Global Union, the international union who recently took the matter of the Rana Plaza disaster to court through the Bangladesh Accord.

Bangladeshi textile workers were awarded $2.3 million as a settlement for risks they were exposed to in their workplaces.

“The Bangladesh Accord and this landmark settlement shows what workers can achieve when we stand together.” Mr Dwyer said.


Media Contact: Amelia Brock, 0430 187 161

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