Canadian Tire under fire for supply chain transparency
With today, Monday marking the fourth anniversary of the Rana Plaza disaster that killed more than 1,100 garment workers in Bangladesh, several Canadian apparel retailers are under fire by human rights and labour rights advocates for not disclosing full supply chain transparency.
A new report, Follow the Thread: The Need for Supply Chain Transparency in the Garment and Footwear Industry, asked 72 major clothing brands to adopt the Apparel and Footwear Supply Chain Transparency Pledge.
Canadian companies contacted included Mountain Equipment Co-op (MEC), Hudson’s Bay Company, Loblaw, owner of Joe Fresh, and Canadian Tire, owner of Mark’s and Sport Chek.
In the report, Mountain Equipment Co-op just missed the pledged standard, while Hudson’s Bay provided some supply chain information. Joe Fresh operator Loblaw said they will begin to publish supplier factory information in 2017. Meanwhile, Canadian Tire made no commitment to publish supplier factory information.
"The Canadian Tire family of brands, including Mark's and Sport Chek, imports products from 67 factories in Bangladesh. However, they don't publicly report which garment factories they use. That means human rights groups can't independently verify if these factories are safe and how they are treating their workers," said Ken Neumann, Canadian Director of the United Steelworkers (USW), in a news statement.
The USW, an organization committed to the support of garment workers in Bangladesh and to improve their working conditions and several allies in Canada launched last week the 'No More Operating in the Dark' campaign urging Canadian apparel companies like the Canadian Tire family of brands to adopt the international Transparency Pledge.
"Four years after the Rana Plaza tragedy, we are calling on Canadian Tire, Mark's and Sport Chek to make a clear commitment to transparency and accountability," Neumann said.
Through the campaign, USW is calling on Canadians to email and call the presidents and CEOs of Canadian Tire brands to ask them for change.
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