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‘Don’t mention the garment workers’

Press releases

12 September 2014

NEWS PEG:  Friday, 12 September 2014   London Fashion Week opens

Protesters today are taking action to mark the opening of London Fashion week with the message “Don’t mention the garment workers”.

Activists are highlighting an event which, they say, promotes the creativity of the UK’s fashion industry, but is silent over the millions of workers who produce clothes for high street chains, often working long hours on poverty pay in unsafe conditions.

The demonstration, organised by the anti-poverty charity War on Want, is taking place in view of London Fashion Week’s opening nearby at Somerset House.

Just before the catwalk shows begin, campaigners are sending the message to London Fashion Week “Don’t Mention The Garment Workers”.

War on Want senior campaigner Owen Espley said: “London Fashion Week is a glittering showcase for the fashion industry. But fashion’s dark side is kept in the shadows.

“The British Fashion Council would rather we all forget about those who often work long hours, on poverty pay, in unsafe conditions to produce the clothes we love.

“We can love fashion, but hate sweatshops and want a fashion week that lives up to its responsibility to all the workers who make the fashion we buy. The time has come for London Fashion Week to mention the garment workers.”

NOTES TO EDITORS

 

  • All major UK brands who are members of the Ethical Trading Initiative have signed a pledge to pay workers a living wage. None currently does so.

  • London Fashion Week is promoting itself as big business, stating that orders estimated at £100 million will be placed  during  the event. This is enough to pay a month’s wages for 2.4 million Bangladeshi garment workers who earn a mere £42 each month.

  • The minimum wage for clothing factory staff in Bangladesh – where brands such as Primark and Next source clothes – is only £42 a month.
  • The protest comes only days after Primark’s parent company, Associated British Foods, announced over £600 million operating profit for the fashion chain in the year to 13 September.

  • It also follows hard on the heels of Next reporting £324 million profit in the six months to the end of July.

  • In addition, the demonstration will raise concerns over garment workers in developing countries toiling up to 14 hours a day, large numbers of them suffering physical and verbal abuse, besides living in slum housing.

CONTACT

War on Want media officer Paul Collins

(+44) (0)20 7324 5054 or (+44) (0)7983 550728

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European Commission rejects a citizens' petition against the EU-US trade deal (TTIP)

Press releases

11 September 2014

The European Commission has today rejected a proposal from an alliance of European campaigners to hold a European Citizens' Initiative against the EU-US and EU-Canada trade deals (known as TTIP and CETA). This decision prevents citizens from forcing the Commission to review its policy on the deals and to hold a hearing in the European parliament.

Negotiations on TTIP and CETA deal have provoked strong opposition across Europe, the US and Canada. Campaigners fear these treaties will give unprecedented power to multinational corporations, risking privatisation of public services and dilution of environmental standards and workers’ rights. To express this opposition, over 200 trade unions, social justice campaigns, human rights groups and consumer watchdogs applied for a European Citizens’ Initiative to force a re-think on the deals. 

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Tags: trade justice | TTIP

   

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G4S profits from illegal child imprisonment

Press releases

12 August 2014

The world’s largest security company, G4S, today faces growing pressure to end complicity in Israel’s torture and ill-treatment of Palestinians, on the eve of the firm announcing its half-year figures.

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War on Want backs protest to halt Israel arms trade

Press releases

06 August 2014

David Cameron faces new pressure to stop weapons deals with Israel, as a charity supports activists who have shut down for a second day a UK factory exporting military drone engines to Israel

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Shell blasted for pollution ‘neglect’

Press releases

04 August 2014

Royal Dutch Shell today faced heavy criticism that the UK-listed oil giant has turned its back on the victims of human rights and environmental abuse caused by the company, despite United Nations pressure for urgent remedial measures.

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Tags: conflict zones | Nigeria | overseas work | resources & conflict

   

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Stop Israel aid, Hague told

Press releases

09 July 2014

Foreign Secretary William Hague today faces accusations that Britain is allowing Israel to act with impunity and intensify its collective punishment measures against the Palestinian population.

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Tags: campaigns | palestine | wall

   

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Jobs threat fight set for launch

Press releases

08 July 2014

National campaign opposes EU-US deal

A national campaign against clandestine economic negotiations between the European Union and the US opens today, amid warnings from activists of the biggest shift of power to transnational capital for a generation.

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MPs pressed over Colombia investment deal

Press releases

25 June 2014

Campaigners are urging MPs to stop investment moves between the UK and Colombia that would let companies sue governments, with huge legal bills for taxpayers, and deter ministers from policies that serve public interests.

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Tags: campaigns | colombia | resources & conflict | trade justice

   

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Pan-EU coalition slams EU-US trade deal as threat to democracy

Press releases

21 May 2014

On the eve of the European Parliament elections, 120 campaign groups from across Europe have rejected the trade negotiations between the EU and the US as a threat to democracy, and have called on negotiators to radically rewrite the proposed agreement.

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‘Deathtrap’ protests target Kate favourite Gap

Press releases

24 April 2014

Mark Thomas, Katharine Hamnett in demos over safety plan

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Bill Gates attacked over G4S child prisoners 'shame'

Press releases

17 April 2014

The philanthropic body run by the world’s richest person, Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, today faced accusations that the charity is complicit in the torture and ill-treatment of Palestinian detainees, including child prisoners.

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Politics for People campaign launches across EU

Press releases

15 April 2014

Today, War on Want is one of a broad coalition of civil society organisations from across Europe launching a campaign to demand that candidates for the upcoming European elections (on 22 May) stand up for citizens and democracy against the excessive lobbying influence of banks and big business.

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Tags: campaigns | Europe | trade justice | TTIP

   

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Rogue firms nominated for badge of shame

Press releases

08 April 2014

Three of the world’s biggest companies have been shortlisted for a new corporate shame award, to be voted on by the British public next month.

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Tags: campaigns

   

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MPs call on UN to monitor human rights in Western Sahara

Press releases

03 April 2014

The UN Security Council must extend the mandate of the UN peacekeeping mission to Western Sahara so that it can monitor and protect human rights, an all-party group of British MPs said today.

The call comes in the report of the first ever British parliamentary delegation to the Occupied Territory of Western Sahara, released two weeks before the UN Security Council’s scheduled debate on the issue.

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Tags: campaigns | western sahara

   

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Shell blasted amid poverty, conflict

Press releases

20 March 2014

Shell will come under fire on Saturday, World Water Day, when a Nigerian campaigner speaks out in London against the Anglo-Dutch corporation exploiting oil, as thousands of people face grim hardship, including lack of running water.

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Tags: conflict zones | Nigeria | overseas work | resources & conflict

   

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