During Gap Inc.’s shareholder meeting in San Francisco on Tuesday, a social activist organization launched a website and created a Twitter handle to falsely claim that the retailer had signed the legally binding Bangladesh Accord on Fire and Building Safety — to underscore that it actually hasn’t.
18 Million Rising, also known as 18MR, is run by digitally savvy Asian-American activists, and takes on issues important to Asian-Americans and Pacific Islanders in the U.S.
Gap Inc. condemned 18MR’s hoax almost immediately and posted information about its actual work for its foreign manufacturing operations in Bangladesh and elsewhere, which does not include signing the Bangladesh Accord on Fire and Building Safety.
The Bangladesh Accord on Fire and Building Safety is widely seen as the strongest effort by retailers to prevent the kind of disaster that occurred last year and improve working conditions for garment workers in Asia. This action by the activist organization 18MR shows how last year’s collapse of Rana Plaza in Dhaka, Bangladesh remains a captivating story that will continue to put pressure on retailers to take effective actions.