From the TUC

Bangladesh: counting the cost

08 Sep 2013, By

People search for survivors after the Rana Plaza building disaster in Bangladesh

People search for survivors after the Rana Plaza building disaster in Bangladesh. Photo: Qamrul Anam Coordinator, IndustriALL IBC

In Bangladesh, more than 100 of the workers injured in the Rana Plaza building collapse are still in hospital. More than 500 children between 3 months and 8 years have lost a parent. Nearly 1,400 injury victims discharged from hospital but need more treatment. There are 1,133 families mourning a dead relative. And 1,500 injured workers waiting for compensation.

The Rana Plaza tragedy happened on the 24th of April. Five months before, in the Tazreen Fire, there were 112 workers dead and 150 seriously injured. We need safer workplaces!

Now we have the Bangladesh Fire and Building Safety Accord – a union Accord.

86 multinational enterprises have already signed the Accord. Today, we are focusing on UK companies who have not signed the Accord. We say to them: stop killing workers; end the death traps; sign the Accord; ensure safe workplaces.

In Bangladesh at present, there are 5,000 garment factories with 3.6 million workers, 85% of them women. They provide 79% of the country’s total exports.

But they are paid a minimum wage of just £24 a month. Even skilled sewing machine operators get between £32 to £42 a month. We need to ensure a living wage. Raise your voices for fairer prices to ensure a living wage!

Not only Bangladeshi workers are suffering. You are also facing a lot of problems. Like social security, pensions, other benefits. We need to fight together.

Let’s raise our voice in unity! Challenge the multinational enterprises jointly! Fight, united, for better conditions, a better life and a better society.

Workers of the world unite!

Campaign action: Tell 8 UK clothing brands to sign the Accord now!

GUEST POST: Amirul Haque Amin is the President of the National Garment Workers’ Federation in Bangladesh. His union has fought successful campaigns to raise the minimum wage, an now they are campaigning for justice for the workers killed in the Rana Plaza factory collapse this April.

One Response to Bangladesh: counting the cost

  1. Tell high street brands to commit to Accord on factory safety in Bangladesh | STRONGER UNIONS
    Sep 9th 2013, 1:52 pm

    […] in Bangladesh.  Amirul made a moving speech to Congress as it began yesterday as you can see on Stronger Unions. He spoke of the shocking impact that the collapse of Rana Plaza factory building in April has had […]