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Bangladesh Garment-Factory Collapse Kills Nearly 100 People

Bangladesh, Dhaka, eco-fashion, sustainable fashion, green fashion, ethical fashion, sustainable style, workers rights, human rights, sweatshops, sweatshop labor, sweatshop workers, forced labor, Primark, Mango, Tazreen Fashions

Photo by Andrew Biraj for Reuters

NOT AGAIN

One firefighter told Reuters that around 2,000 people were in the building when the upper floors caved into those below. Mohammad Asaduzzaman, the local police chief, said factory owners appeared to have ignored a warning to keep their employees out of the building after a crack was detected in the block on Tuesday.

Labor activists who entered the site found labels of several major retailers, including Mango, Primark, C&A, and Walmart.

Rana Plaza contained five garment factories, employing mostly women, including Ether Tex Ltd., whose chairman said he was unaware of any warnings not to open the workshops. “There was some crack at the second floor, but my factory was on the fifth floor,” Muhammad Anisur Rahman told the wire service. “The owner of the building told our floor manager that it is not a problem and so you can open the factory.”

Labor activists who managed to enter the site found labels linking the building’s facilities to several major European and U.S. brands and retailers, including Mango, Primark, C&A, KiK, and Walmart. The latter three were also implicated in the Tazreen Fashions fire in November.

Bangladesh, Dhaka, eco-fashion, sustainable fashion, green fashion, ethical fashion, sustainable style, workers rights, human rights, sweatshops, sweatshop labor, sweatshop workers, forced labor, Primark, Mango, Tazreen Fashions

Photo by Andrew Biraj for Reuters

NOT TRYING

The collapse offers further evidence that voluntary, company-led monitoring is failing to protect workers’ lives, says Tessel Pauli from the Clean Clothes Campaign, an alliance of organizations in 15 European countries dedicated to improving working conditions in the global garment and sportswear industries. These unnecessary deaths will continue until brands and government officials agree to an independent and binding fire and building-safety program, she adds.

The collapse offers further evidence that voluntary, company-led monitoring is failing to protect workers’ lives.

“It’s unbelievable that brands still refuse to sign a binding agreement with unions and labour groups to stop these unsafe working conditions from existing. Tragedy after tragedy shows that corporate-controlled monitoring is completely inadequate,” Pauli says. “Right now the families of the victims are grieving and the community is in shock. But they, and the hundreds injured in the collapse, are without income and without support. Immediate relief and longterm compensation must be provided by the brands who were sourcing from these factories, and responsibility taken for their lack of action to prevent this happening.”

KEEP READING: WHAT ABOUT “SOCIAL AUDITS”? >

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4 Responses to “Bangladesh Garment-Factory Collapse Kills Nearly 100 People”

  1. peday says:

    Is there anyway to find out what brands were being sewn there?

  2. Jasmin Malik Chua says:

    It’s in the article: C&A, Walmart, Primark, Mango, KiK.

  3. Sadia Rahman says:

    Hi, I live in Dhaka and am a fan of your website. Thanks for featuring this story. Your coverage is especially important because the international market for our ready-made garments industry has the power to push for necessary changes to the way workers are treated and remunerated. I’d like to add that your coverage could be even better if you duly credited the photographer(s) who took the images shown, as they are also workers whose rights should be protected. Further, I hope that you will follow up this breaking news story so that you can continue to build a fuller picture of Bangladesh than the international audience is generally presented with. Thanks again! Sadia, from Dhaka.

  4. taralynn says:

    Just another reason to shop locally made or fair trade fashion. Mass produced garments are trendy, fashion forward, make you look cool yet more often than not underneath these clothes is a travesty! This is appalling! Disgusting! And so so sad! I shared this story as much as I could. Thank you for covering the things you guys do. My heart goes out to all the families effected.

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