One year after the devastating Rana Plaza garment factory collapse in Bangladesh, Labour councillors have reiterated their call for more focus on ethical procurement.
The factory collapse on the 24th April last year killed over 1,000 garment workers and injured countless more.
The public outcry led to calls for clothing retailers to increase standards at their factories. Labour councillors in Tower Hamlets, a borough with close links to Bangladesh, called for those responsible to be held to account whilst proposing steps the council could take to improve its procurement processes.
A year on and Labour say there is more to be done, with John Biggs, the Labour candidate in the upcoming Mayoral elections, saying that he would always encourage others, including schools in the borough, to ensure their procurement processes prioritise ethical sources.
Leader of the Labour Group, Cllr Sirajul Islam, said:
“The Rana Plaza disaster hit home how important it is to shop ethically. Whether as an individual or a big organisation like a council ethical procurement makes a real difference.
“Everyone has an opportunity to make a little difference whether by changing their shopping habits or encouraging retailers to up the standards at their factories. Whatever happens the Rana Plaza disaster must not be forgotten.”
Labour Candidate for Mayor of Tower Hamlets, John Biggs, said:
"The rapid growth of the Bangladesh economy is helping lift millions out of poverty but it needs better accountability. If anything good comes out of disasters it is in the resolve that we must never allow such things to happen again. One of the ways British people can help is by using our unique cultural and business connections to make sure this is the case."