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Bangladesh Factory Collapse Kills 1,100 People,* Update: woman found alive 

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Old 04-25-2013, 02:28 AM
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Bangladesh Factory Collapse Kills 1,100 People,* Update: woman found alive

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SAVAR, Bangladesh Workers trapped in the wreckage of a collapsed factory building in Bangladesh cried out for help Thursday, as rescuers struggled to reach survivors of a disaster that killed at least 1,100 people and reignited questions about the often lethal conditions the counrty's garment industry.

Army Brig. Gen. Mohammed Siddiqul Alam Shikder said many people are still trapped in the building, which housed a number of garment factories employing hundreds of people when it came tumbling down Wednesday morning. A clearer picture of the rescue operation would be available by afternoon, he said.

The disaster came less than five months after a factory fire killed 112 people and underscored the unsafe conditions faced by Bangladesh's garment workers, who produce clothes for global brands worn around the world. Workers said they had hesitated to enter the building on Wednesday morning because it had developed such large cracks a day earlier that it even drew the attention of local news channels. Just hours later it came tumbling down.
Searchers worked through the night to cut holes in the jumbled mess of concrete with drills or their bare hands, passing water and flashlights to those pinned inside the building.

"I gave them whistles, water, torchlights. I heard them cry. We can't leave them behind this way," said fire official Abul Khayer.

Abdur Rahim, who worked on the fifth floor, said a factory manager gave assurances that the cracks in the building were no cause for concern, so employees went inside.

"After about an hour or so, the building collapsed suddenly," Rahim said. He next remembered regaining consciousness outside.

On a visit to the site, Home Minister Muhiuddin Khan Alamgir told reporters the building had violated construction codes and "the culprits would be punished."

Abdul Halim, an official with the engineering department in the Dhaka suburb of Savar, said the owner was originally allowed to construct a five-story building but he added another three stories illegally.

Local police chief Mohammaed Asaduzzaman said police and the government's Capital Development Authority have filed separate cases of negligence against the building owner.

Habibur Rahman, police superintendent of Dhaka district, identified the owner as Mohammed Sohel Rana, a local leader of ruling Awami League's youth front. Rahman said police were also looking for the owners of the garment factories.

Among the textile businesses in the building were Phantom Apparels Ltd., New Wave Style Ltd., New Wave Bottoms Ltd. and New Wave Brothers Ltd., which make clothing for major brands including The Children's Place, Dress Barn, and Primark.

Jane Singer, a spokeswoman for The Children's Place, said that "while one of the garment factories located in the building complex has produced apparel for The Children's Place, none of our product was in production at the time of this accident."

"Our deepest sympathies go out to the victims of this terrible tragedy and their families," Singer said in a statement.

Dress Barn said that to its knowledge, it had "not purchased any clothing from that facility since 2010. We work with suppliers around the world to manufacture our clothing, and have a supply chain transparency program to protect the rights of workers and their safety."

Primark, a major British clothing retailer, confirmed that one of the suppliers it uses to produce some of its goods was located on the second floor of the building.

In a statement emailed to The Associated Press, Primark said it was "shocked and deeply saddened by the appalling incident." It added that it has been working with other retailers to review the country's approach to factory standards and will now push for this review to include building integrity.

Meanwhile, Primark's ethical trade team is working to collect information, assess which communities the workers come from, and to provide support "where possible."

John Howe, Cato's chief financial officer and executive vice president, told The Associated Press that it didn't contract with any of the factories directly but it's currently investigating what its "ties" were.

Howe said that one of Cato's domestic importers could have used one of the factories to fulfill some of the orders the retailer had placed. It's expected to have more information by Thursday.

Spanish retailer Mango denied reports it was using any of the suppliers in the building. However, in an email statement to the AP, it said that there had been conversations with one of them to produce a batch of test products.

Kevin Gardner, a spokesman at Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., the second-largest clothing producer in Bangladesh, said the company is investigating to see if a factory in the building was currently producing for the chain.

"We remain committed and are actively engaged in promoting stronger safety measures, and that work continues," Gardner added.

Workers said they didn't know what specific clothing brands were being produced in the building because labels are attached after the products are finished.

Charles Kernaghan, executive director of the Institute for Global Labour and Human Rights, which has an office in nearby Dhaka, says his staff is investigating the situation. He's hoping his team, working with local workers' groups, will be able to find out which brands were having their products made at the time of the collapse.

"You can't trust many buildings in Bangladesh," Kernaghan said. "It's so corrupt that you can buy off anybody and there won't be any retribution."

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/25/wo...anted=all&_r=0
http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-202_162-...ls-149-people/
http://ittefaq.com.bd/index.php?ref=...8wXzNfMzYxNTc=
http://live.wsj.com/video/the-deadly...541229889.html

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Old 04-25-2013, 04:12 AM
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Re: Bangladesh Factory Collapse Kills 149 People

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The Bangladesh Garment Manufacturing and Exporting Association (BGMEA), the peak employer organisation, sought to deflect any responsibility. BGMEA president Atiqul Islam told the New Age that his association had asked factory owners to close their operation after cracks were discovered. “But after the inspection by some engineers, the building owner assured the factory owners that there would be no problem,” he said.

Like the government, the BGMEA’s main concern is to minimise the impact of the disaster on the garment industry, which makes up 80 percent of the country’s exports. Some 3.6 million garment workers toil for long hours in more than 5,400 factories, often in unsafe and unhealthy conditions.

The major international corporations that make huge profits exploiting Bangladeshi workers—the lowest paid in the world—rushed to distance themselves from the latest disaster.
Five garment factories—Ether Tex, New Wave Bottoms, New Wave Style, Phantom Apparels and Phantom Tac—operated in the Rana Plaza complex. Ether Tex chairman Muhammad Anisur Rahman told the Independent that his firm was sub-contracted to supply Walmart and the European chain C&A. The New Wave group produced apparel for major European brands, including Primark in Ireland.
Primark acknowledged that “one of its suppliers occupied the second floor” of the collapsed building, declaring it was “shocked and deeply saddened.” Benetton issued a statement denying that any of the companies in the Rana Plaza were its suppliers. Walmart said it was “sorry to learn of this tragic event” and was investigating to see if any of its suppliers were involved.

All this follows a well-established pattern, aimed at deflecting public attention and minimising responsibility, accompanied by a little aid to the victims and their families, and empty promises to improve conditions in the future. Production is simply shifted to other unsafe low-wage sweatshops in Bangladesh or other countries.
The latest tragedy comes just five months after Bangladesh’s worst factory fire, which killed at least 112 people. The fire in the eight-storey Tazreen Fashions building in the Ashulia industial zone began on the ground floor, trapping hundreds of workers in the upper storeys. Workers died either through suffocation and burns, or by jumping out of the building in a desperate attempt to escape.
Two investigations found evidence of gross negligence. Managers had forced workers to go back to work after the fire alarm started. The only exit was blocked by fire; the others were locked. The investigators recommended that the owner be charged with “criminal negligence,” but he was only arrested in February after workers staged angry demonstrations. And the hundreds of other unsafe sweatshops throughout the country continued as before.
More than 300 workers have died in garment factory fires in Bangladesh since 2006. Building collapses also occur regularly. In April 2005, the Spectrum-Sweater factory near Savar, collapsed, killing 64 workers and injuring another 80.

The responsibility for these tragedies rests not only with the garment companies, state authorities and government in Bangladesh, but with the global corporations that create the sweatshop conditions through their relentless drive to cut costs and boost profits at the expense of the working class.
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In Bangladesh, 3.5 million workers in 4,825 garment factories1 produce goods for export to the global market, principally Europe and North America. The Bangladeshi garment industry generates 80% of the country’s total export revenue. However, the wealth generated by this sector has led to few improvements in the lives of garment workers, 85% of whom are women.

The majority of garment workers in Bangladesh earn little more than the minimum wage, set at 3,000 taka a month (approximately £25), far below what is considered a living wage, calculated at 5,000 taka a month (approximately £45), which would be the minimum required to provide a family with shelter, food and education.

As well as earning a pittance, Bangladeshi factory workers face appalling conditions. Many are forced to work 14-16 hours a day seven days a week, with some workers finishing at 3am only to start again the same morning at 7.30am. On top of this, workers face unsafe, cramped and hazardous conditions which often lead to work injuries and factory fires. Since 1990, more than 400 workers have died and several thousand more have been wounded in 50 major factory fires. Sexual harassment and discrimination is widespread and many women workers have reported that the right to maternity leave is not upheld by employers. Factory management also take steps to prevent the formation of trade unions, a right protected under the Freedom of Association and Collective Bargaining ILO Conventions, which Bangladesh ratified in 1972.

The National Garment Workers' Federation (NGWF) has been fighting for the rights of garment workers in Bangladesh since 1984. Based in Dhaka, the country’s capital, and with 7 branches nationwide, it is the largest trade union federation in the Bangladeshi garment sector, with more than 27,000 members. Women workers are at the frontline of the movement with women making up 18 of the 30 members of the NGWF’s central executive committee. The NGWF is a founding member of the Bangladesh Garment Workers Unity Council, an umbrella organisation of 21 garment worker federations, and is also a member of the arbitration committee, a body that negotiates labour law and cases of workers’ rights violations through dialogue between trade unions, government and factory owners.

The NGWF is working hard to strengthen the trade union movement across Bangladesh by setting up factory-level unions challenging labour rights abuses within factories. It also promotes workers’ rights through targeted campaigning and by lobbying the government, factory owners and multinational corporations for stronger legislation and its enforcement. Finally the NGWF provides legal advice and carries out training sessions for workers around labour rights, particularly on women leadership.

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Old 04-25-2013, 05:39 AM
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Re: Bangladesh Factory Collapse Kills 149 People

first a fire, now this? Damn Bangladesh, get with the program!

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Old 04-25-2013, 10:46 AM
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Re: Bangladesh Factory Collapse Kills 149 People

They dont have building codes, why should this be surprising?

Only thick bastards believe just putting a building up with some walls and a roof is all there is to it.

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Old 04-25-2013, 01:37 PM
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Re: Bangladesh Factory Collapse Kills 149 People

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Originally Posted by ices View Post

Only thick bastards believe just putting a building up with some walls and a roof is all there is to it.
They are not thick, they just don't care. Why would they? They only care about profit and wealth just like the/all government(s). Its the multi nationals and factory owners (the idle rich) who fund election campaigns and the polititions lavish holidays in the bahamas. As long as we keep buying their products nothing will change. It's easy to pin the blame a thousand miles away while ignoring the primarks and walmarts on our own streets

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Old 04-25-2013, 01:45 PM
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Re: Bangladesh Factory Collapse Kills 149 People

Terrible... even more so that this sort of thing is common over there.

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Old 04-25-2013, 04:53 PM
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Re: Bangladesh Factory Collapse Kills 149 People

like the owners care.
all they care about is the $

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Old 04-28-2013, 03:12 PM
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Re: Bangladesh Factory Collapse Kills 149 People

The owner of a building which collapsed on the outskirts of Dhaka leaving 363 persons dead was captured at the border with India by the police.

A total of 6 persons including the building owner's wife are now in custody.

Nine persons were pulled alive from the rubble today as rescuers continue work at the site in hope of finding more survivors.

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Old 04-28-2013, 03:23 PM
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Re: Bangladesh Factory Collapse Kills 149 People

The arm photo is really dramatic for me. We have people fighting building codes here on a regular basis, maybe they should look at these photos. Incredibly sad.

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Old 04-28-2013, 03:50 PM
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Re: Bangladesh Factory Collapse Kills 149 People

Benetton' clothes at Bangladesh site

Benetton, the one which loves to promote anti-racism message, like the white and the black handcuffed men, but there's a lot of examples, from the same company.

Soooo, Benetton, you are always so nice to show to us your ads, you troll the tv with you ads, where all the people are happy, black&wite, men&women and all the rest, but you forgot to tell us that those cheap jeans are made by DESPERATE people paid 30$ in the best case (MONTLY, not daily), stuffed in 3000 into a eight-story building building that may collapse if someone sneezes.
370 lost their lives.
Oh, and now even a fire broke out
Now i'd like to know a LIST of all the companies doing the same, how can we call it? Global slavery?

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