I wanted to share with our members the following story which is directly quoted from CNN, CNN News, April 26, 2013 by Anna McMullen – More than 300 dead in Bangladesh building collapse. Here the writer talks about outsourcing and globalization better than I ever could, and in her opinion, cheap labour goes hand-in-hand with avoidable death. By the end of this very sad story, there may be over 800 innocent people dead in a very avoidable manner.
My heart goes out to all the innocent people working for poverty wages, under terrible and unsafe conditions.
President of Local 70713
More than 300 dead in Bangladesh building
By Anna McMullen, CCN News, April 26, 2013
The collapse in suburban Dhaka occurred Wednesday morning, a day after cracks appeared in the structure. It has stirred outrage in Bangladesh over lax safety standards in the country’s key industry.
Authorities have said they did not know what caused the collapse or how many people remained inside the debris. But a police official said relatives had reported 595 people still missing.
The catastrophe is the latest to strike Bangladesh’s garment industry, which employs more than 4 million people — most of them women — and regularly comes under scrutiny for its slipshod safety standards.
Anna McMullen is a campaigner for Labour Behind the Label which calls itself a group “that supports garment workers’ efforts worldwide to improve their working conditions.” She works with global partners on campaigns around poverty wages in the fashion industry, and has co-authored research reports on labor rights.
The sad fact behind the building collapse in Bangladesh in which hundreds died is that it isn’t an isolated problem. The story will leave the headlines at the end of this week but on Monday hundreds of thousands of workers will return to factories that are frankly further tragedies waiting to happen, and will keep producing clothes for high street brands.
Seven hundred workers have died in factory collapses and fires in this very small region outside Dhaka alone in the last decade.
Savar, where the building collapse took place, is a swampland (yes, swampland…) north of the Bangladeshi capital which has seen mass growth in recent years.
This same region was the site of a horrific factory fire in November last year, when 112 workers burned alive in a building with no fire exits.
Hundreds of factories are being thrown up in a short space of time, with limited building regulations, to meet the growing demand from western brands for cheap export clothing. And it is cheap. Wages for Bangladeshi workers are the lowest in Asia, aside from the recently opened Myanmar industry, at $37 a month.