Garment Factory Collapse in Bangladesh

BY SHANNON DOYLEApril 25, 2013

ISN Staff Report

Savar, Bangladesh

Savar, Bangladesh

4/25/13 – On Wednesday morning April 24, 2013, an eight story building in Savar, Bangladesh which housed several garment factories, including New Wave Style, Ether Tex, Canton Tech Apparel, and New Wave Bottoms, collapsed.  According to various news sources the collapse left nearly 200 people dead, hundreds injured, and an unknown number of individuals trapped in the rubble. News sources also reported that the popular kids chain The Children’s Place sources from a factory located in the building and that Ether Tex listed Wal-Mart as one of its buyers, though it is not clear if the retailer was currently sourcing from the factory. (SOURCE: Money CNN)

At the time 2,000 people were in the Rana Plaza building. The collapse occurred in the suburb of Savar and is the largest accident to afflict Bangladesh’s garment industry,  which is the second leading garment exporter behind China.  It has been reported by the Institute for Global Labour and Human Rights (ILRF) that on Tuesday morning April 23, 2013, significant cracks and fissures could be seen on the exterior of the building and about 2,500 workers refused to enter. When they returned the next morning they were told the building was fine and if they did not enter they would not be paid. An hour later the building collapsed. Reuters further stated that doctors at local hospitals were unable to cope with the number of victims brought in.

Via Reuters report:
“Mohammad Asaduzzaman, who was in charge of the area’s police station, said factory owners appeared to have ignored a warning not to allow their workers into the building after a crack was detected in the block on Tuesday.”

According to the New York TimesBangladesh has the lowest labor costs in the world with  the average monthly wage in the garment factories set around $37/month and stated that the accident represented a failure of government inspectors to ensure safety standards were met. It additionally highlights that this occurred just five months after a fire was set at the Tazreen Fashion Factory killing 112 workers. These two tragedies so close together raise concerns for workers safety in Bangladesh who are forced to keep wages low in order to compete with China, Pakistan, Cambodia etc.

Green America states their, “allies at ILRF are hosting former Bangladeshi garment workers Kalpona Akter and Sumi Abedin (survivor of the 2012 fire) at Gap headquarters in San Francisco this Thursday, April 25.

0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *