Six months after the worst man-made disaster in Bangladesh’s history, safety conditions in garment factories have a chance to improve. But not the lives of survivors or the victims' next of kin.
On the industrial outskirts of Dhaka, which is dotted with big and small clothes factories, thousands of workers took to the streets demanding a minimum wage rise.
Citing Bangladesh's alleged failure to respect international labour rights, U.S. President Barack Obama Thursday suspended trade benefits for the South Asian country's exports under the Generalised System of Preferences (GSP).
Australia’s largest textile workers’ union and activist groups are up in arms that the country’s leading retail chains, who source most of their fashion labels from Bangladesh, are refusing to sign a legally binding accord that will help to improve labour and safety standards in Bangladeshi garment factories.
Those responsible for the Bangladesh building collapse that killed more than 1,000 garment workers should be given life in prison, a government-appointed committee has said.
“It was dark and hot with choking dust all around. The air was filled with the smell of decomposing corpses,” recalled Nasima, a 24-year-old factory worker who spent four days buried under the rubble of an eight-storey building that collapsed in a suburb of Bangladesh’s capital Dhaka last month.
Labour groups here are stepping up pressure on U.S. firms to sign a binding building safety agreement for Bangladeshi factories after 10 major European garment companies signed onto the landmark agreement.
Last month, 18-year-old Shapla was just another one of thousands of garment workers employed in a factory in Savar, a suburb of Bangladesh’s capital Dhaka.
Adding to a long list of domestic woes, including a factory collapse that left hundreds dead last month, Bangladesh is now grappling with a wave of violence that threatens to deepen the gulf between secular sections of society and religious fundamentalists.
Worker advocacy groups here are calling on some of the most high-profile U.S.-based clothing companies to make drastic reforms to their international labour practices in the wake of the factory collapse that killed more than 420 workers in Dhaka last week.