Students DEMAND University of Maryland Brands Sign the Bangladesh Fire and Building Safety Accord – In Coordination with USAS Day of Action
On Wednesday April 23, 2014, UMD students honored the 1,129 Bangledeshi workers who died in the Rana Plaza factory collapse the day before the one-year-anniversary of the disaster on April 24, 2013. United Students Against Sweatshops (USAS) and UMD students are joining together to pay their respects to the families and victims of the collapse and to demand companies like JanSport take action to prevent disasters like this in the future. 150 brands have signed the Accord including American Eagle, H&M, and Adidas, but VF Corporation, owner of JanSport, VF Imagewear, and other affiliates, have thus far evaded responsibility for the safety of their workers. 18 schools across the nation have already required their licensees to sign the Accord, including American University just yesterday!—it’s time for UMD to join them.
USAS organizers and Bangladesh workers met with University of Maryland Administration officials to discuss suspending JanSport licenses in a bid to pressure them to sign the Accord, however university representatives indicated they would not take action on this issue. So students groups Justice at Maryland and Community Roots teamed up to take the message directly to the UMD students and consumers to boycott JanSport products. The event turned out really well and the reception from the UMD community was fantastic. We had so many great conversations, words of support, and got connected to more students and faculty who want to become involved. On Thursday April 24 2014 – the one-year-anniversary of the Rana Plaza factory collapse – we are delivering a letter addressed to University of Maryland President Loh to ask him to suspend the license agreement with JanSport and affiliates if they do not sign the Accord and comply with UMD business ethics standards. Also, a second demonstration is planned to coincide the the USAS National Day of Action TODAY (Thursday 4/24) at 12:30PM in STAMP Student Union.
How will signing the Accord prevent this catastrophe from happening again?
While no legislation can guarantee this could never happen again as long as sweatshops exist, the Accord requires collaboration with workers’ protection groups, rigorous inspections and public transparency, and it’s legally binding to the companies that sign it.
What can you do to help?
- BOYCOTT JANSPORT PRODUCTS
- sign our online petition at change.org
- Share information about the Accord and talk to other people about it!
- Demand that University of Maryland President Wallace Loh cut ties with VF Corporation, owner of JanSport and VF Imagewear, and its affiliates.
- Demand that President Loh require current and future licensees at the University of Maryland to sign onto the Bangladesh Safety Accord.