The Spark

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.” — Karl Marx

Bangladesh:
Toward New Catastrophes

Oct 26, 2015

It has been two years since the collapse of the Rana Plaza building near Dhaka in Bangladesh, which killed 1,138 garment workers and injured more than 2,000. Now, several organizations recently released a report on the “unacceptable delay” of the multinational retail clothing company H&M in implementing basic safety measures for the workers at its textile suppliers in Bangladesh.

Along with 200 other clothing brands, H&M had committed itself to guaranteeing the safety of workers at its textile suppliers in Bangladesh in 2013, following the Rana Plaza catastrophe. But nothing has changed. In these factories that employ four million people, 80% of whom are women, the owners “cut corners on safety issues, on ventilation, and on sanitation. They will not pay overtime or offer assistance in case of injuries. They will not build fire exits or stock fire extinguishers. Many of them treat their workers like slaves,” according to Human Rights Watch. The report details daily injuries, harassment, and threats made against anyone who complains. It even cites cases of worker militants being assassinated.

H&M blames its local suppliers. How convenient! But it is the one putting pressure to reduce costs and increase profits by as much as possible.

These brands are very profitable, but the companies have taken more than two years to pay the 30 million dollars to compensate the families of the victims of Rana Plaza. It is a crime on top of a crime.