Dhaka workers demand action after factory fire
Thousands of angry textile workers demonstrated on the outskirts of Dhaka after a fire swept through a garment workshop at the weekend, killing more than 100 people in Bangladesh's worst-ever factory blaze.
The fire has put the spotlight on global retailers that source clothes from Bangladesh, where the cost of labour is as little as $37 (£23.70) a month for some workers – and rights groups have called on the big brands to sign up to a fire safety programme.
A second fire broke out at a separate clothes factory on the outskirts of the city today. Eight workers were reported to have been injured by heavy smoke inhalation.
Workers from Tazreen Fashions, the site of Saturday's blaze, blocked roads and forced the closure of other factories in the industrial suburb of Ashulia, where the huge fire started, demanding that those responsible be punished. "I haven't been able to find my mother," said one worker, who gave her name as Shahida. "I demand justice, I demand that the owner be arrested."
Police and officials said narrow exits in the nine-storey building trapped workers inside, killing 111 people and injuring more than 150.
Amirul Haque Amin, the president of Bangladesh's National Garment Workers Federation, said: "This disastrous fire incident was a result of continuing neglect of workers' safety and their welfare. Whenever a fire or accident occurs, the government sets up an investigation and the authorities – including factory owners – pay out some money and hold out assurances to improve safety standards and working conditions. But they never do it."
Working conditions in Bangladeshi factories are notoriously poor, with little enforcement of safety laws. More than 300 factories near the capital shut for almost a week this year as workers demanded higher wages and better conditions.
- 1 The BBC has just done more to eradicate ‘terrorism’ than all our wars since 9/11
- 2 Does the path to true love really lie in these 36 questions?
- 4 Presidential optical illusion offers clues to how brain processes faces
- 5 Roald Dahl letter warning student to 'eschew beastly adjectives' rediscovered after 35 years
King Salman: Just five days in, Saudi Arabia's new king has already overseen a beheading
Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
Auschwitz liberation 70th anniversary: Woman sent to three Nazi death camps describes surviving gas chamber
Presidential optical illusion offers clues to how brain processes faces
Chilling drone footage captures Auschwitz ahead of 70th anniversary of liberation
'We would evict Queen from Buckingham Palace and allocate her council house,' say Greens
French court convicts three over homophobic tweets, in case hailed as a 'significant victory' by LGBT rights campaigners
Greece elections: Syriza and EU on collision course after election win for left-wing party
British Muslim school children suffering a backlash of abuse following Paris attacks
British grandmother Lindsay Sandiford faces execution by firing squad in Indonesia
Louise Mensch says 'F**K YOU' in explosive tweets about David Cameron, Saudi Embassy and the Queen over King Abdullah tributes
£25000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This web-based lead generation ...
£125 - £150 per day + Negotiable: Tradewind Recruitment: A 'wonderful primary ...
£90 - £140 per day: Tradewind Recruitment: Our client is an 11-16 mixed commun...
£32000 - £36000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A rapidly developing company in...