Tazreen factory fire killed 112 people in Bangladesh. Disney, Wal-Mart, Sears, IKEA, C&A, Carrefour etc. bought clothing from Tazreen despite its very poor safety records. Tazreen’s deadly ‘High Risks’ was ignored. The Western companies talk a lot about ethical buying and ethical sourcing! Aren’t they just hypocrites?
Factory fire is very common in Bangladesh. Workers are burned to death almost every year. But the owners do not take initiatives to make their factories safe. Workers who survived Tazreen factory fire said, exit doors were locked, fire extinguishers didn’t work and managers had told them to go back to work after the fire alarm rang.
The same old story.
Tazreen factory owner is not arrested. Owners are rich. They are powerful people, politicians, parliament members.
‘In 1982, the country had 47 garment factories. Now it has more than 4,000. The factory owners are against the workers who complain about poor working conditions and pay that can be less than $40 a month. Employees are barred by law from forming trade unions, even though Bangladesh allows workers in other industries to unionize.The minimum wage for a garment worker is $38 a month, after being nearly doubled this year following protests by workers.’
The pay and working conditions of garment workers in Bangladesh are the worst in the world. Sewing helpers get almost nothing, workers often receive their wages two or three months late. Overtime is often not paid and workers are swindled by a system of fines for late arrival and mistakes in the work. The average working week is 80 hours, and many women are regularly forced to work between 14 and 16 hours daily. Sanitation is poor and workers are often locked in the factories during the shift. This has led to workers being killed in fires or structural failures of buildings.
Garment factories exploit women. The factory owners prefer female and child workers because it is easier to exploit them. More than 80% of garment workers are young women between the ages of 14 and 29 years. Female garment workers are often raped. Suicide rates among them are shockingly high.
The greedy Tazreen factory owner must be happy. He saved his ass by paying $1200 per life. It’s just peanuts to him.