KARACHI: Five years ago on April 24, the Rana Plaza building in Bangladesh collapsed. Thousands of workers employed at five factories operating from the building were caught in the rubble. The death toll was recorded at 1,134. “On this day, our thoughts are with the families who lost loved ones in the Rana Plaza tragedy, and with the survivors who have to live with memories of that dreadful day,” a joint statement issued here on Tuesday stated. The day has since been marked every year by a global Clean Clothes Campaign (CCC). Its Pakistani partner hold events every year to express solidarity and to vow to improve workplace safety to prevent accidents like the Rana Plaza one in Bangladesh or the Baldia Factory one in Karachi. Pakistan Institute of Labour Education and Research (PILER), National Trade Union Federation (NTUF) and Labour Education Foundation (LEF) are partners of Clean Clothes Campain in Pakistan. In a statement issued on Tuesday, the CCC partners said that many workplace accidents that lead to loss of life and limb of workers were not even reported in the media due to the ‘small’ scale of these accidents. It said even though the Rana Plaza accident received international spotlight, it took considerable campaigning and international pressure on garment brands to secure compensation for the affected workers. Even then, it said, many workers had to wait for two years to receive compensation, and some were still waiting for processing of their claims. The statement urged the government of Bangladesh, with the support of the ILO and brands sourcing from Bangladesh, to do justice to all workers affected by workplace accidents through the establishment of a national employment injury insurance system. “Above all else, new factory tragedies need to be prevented. We would like to reiterate that there is only one credible way for garment brands to ensure that the workers in their supply chain can work in safe factories: by signing the 2018 Transition Accord. “Clean Clothes Campaign and its Pakistani partners urge all apparel and textile companies sourcing from Bangladesh to join the ranks of the accord and to leave behind non-binding alternatives without worker participation. We call upon those brands that already signed the 2018 Accord, to extend its protection to more workers in their supply chain, by adding their factories for home textile and knit and fabric accessories to the monitoring activities of the Accord.” Published in Daily Times, April 25th 2018.