3 years on from Rana Plaza building collapse in Bangladesh - little improvements in health & safety conditions
24 April marks the third anniversary of the Rana Plaza building collapse in Bangladesh that killed 1,134 people and injured over 2,000 others. The collapse of the eight-story building, which housed five garment factories supplying global brands, is one of the worst industrial accidents to date. The rights and safety of workers are in greater focus now than arguably ever before, but progress in fixing problems in the supply chain is slow, experts and activists say.
What progress has been made since the disaster, and what still remains to be done - read the story
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ActionAid Bangladesh published on Saturday the findings of a survey on 1,300 survivors and 500 relatives of the deceased. The report titled, ‘Three years Post Rana Plaza: Changes in the RMG Sector’, says 48 percent survivors are currently unemployed. Of them, 56.5 percent cited physical weakness and 34.1 percent mental weakness as the main reasons for being unemployed. “It is noteworthy that the survivors are changing their jobs and shifting from one factory to another frequently,” the report says. As regards to their career plan, most of the respondents intend to get involved in small business in future, it says. Only 4.8 percent of the respondents have plans to work in garment factory, it adds.
Author: The Accord on Fire & Building Safety in Bangladesh
56% of all identified safety issues reported or verified as corrected, 75% of all electrical safety issues reported or verified as corrected and 7 factories completed all remediation from initial inspections...50 factories participate in Accord Safety Committee pilot program...>125 Safety Committee training sessions held by Accord trainers
Author: Rubina Huq, Daily Star
The fault lies entirely at our end. With comparable, competitive supply of garments to the entire world, Bangladesh has somehow conveyed the message of readiness to complete remediation even without the active funding support from any brand. We have somehow told everyone that we can do almost anything, achieve the impossible, change locations, remediate 100 percent . . . all in less than three years...But then progress is most likely to be “unsatisfactory” and “insufficient”. Apart from addressing the labour law amendment, minimum wage adjustment, remediation, relocation, we must accept that our progress report is most likely to be “slow” as no one is ever likely to believe us when we pledge deadlines. After all, we lost that right in 2013. After all, we killed 1,134 of our own children three years ago. And we will never be good enough for anyone anymore.
Author: Jenny Holdcroft, IndustriALL Global Union in Huffington Post
As we wonder #whomademyclothes - attention turns to the millions of garment workers, surviving on poverty wages, who make the clothes we wear...But what can we do to help these workers - 80% of whom are women?..Certainly not to only buy vintage or second hand - as two fashionistas recently proposed on a BBC radio 4 program. Garment workers desperately need to keep their jobs, so boycotting brands is not the way forward. They want to work. In many countries the garment industry is one of the few avenues to financial independence for women. What they don't want are poverty wages, excessive working hours and unsafe factories.
- Related stories: 3 years on from Rana Plaza building collapse in Bangladesh - little improvements in health & safety conditions Alliance for Bangladesh Workers Safety The Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh Show moreShow less
- Related companies: Arcadia Group Associated British Foods Next
Rana Plaza served as a wake-up call to multiple stakeholders – global and local unions, NGOs and brands have worked together to create the Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh. UNI Global Union and IndustriALL are the two global union signatories to the Accord...The legally binding agreement, with over 200 brands, has brought quantifiable improvements in building and fire safety. The Accord has completed almost 3,700 factory inspections and re-inspections and has both identified and remedied thousands of safety issues...Real improvements on the ground are being made – more than 50,000 problems and 75 per cent of electrical issues have been reported as fixed.
Author: Human Rights Watch
Garment workers face daunting challenges to unionization, and remain at risk of interference and threats by factories three years after the Rana Plaza building collapse, Human Rights Watch said today. The Bangladesh government should urgently remove legal and practical obstacles to unionization...“Let’s remember that none of the factories operating in Rana Plaza had trade unions,” said Phil Robertson, deputy Asia director. “If their workers had more of a voice, they might have been able to resist managers who ordered them to work in the doomed building a day after large cracks appeared in it.”
Protecting and Empowering Bangladesh’s Garment Workers - Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety Progress Report, Apr 2016
Author: Alliance for Bangladesh Workers Safety
As of March 2016, 49.5 percent of all required factory repairs have been completed...According to Bangladesh Fire Service & Civil Defence, the number of res in RMG factories fell by almost 90 percent between 2012 and 2015. There were 250 garment factory res in Bangladesh in 2012—an average of ve res per week—taking the lives of 115 people. Last year, there were just 30 such res, none of which resulted in death.
Photographer Nicola Bailey was in Bangladesh on assignment with ActionAid (an NGO working against poverty, particularly among women and children) when the most devastating catastrophe in the garment industry's history took place. "We needed the world to see the human impact of the collapse so we could provide support to survivors and victims’ families, and ideally prevent such tragedies from happening again in the future," Bailey tells Refinery29...Ahead, Bailey shares her experiences on the front lines of the calamity. As for what has (and, perhaps most importantly, hasn't) changed in the years since the collapse? Well, it's complicated.
As they jostle for space on the floor, with the door to their fire escape padlocked, the seamstresses cannot help but recall the carnage when another of Bangladesh's garment factories collapsed three years ago...We always worry what will happen if a blaze breaks out or the building caves in," one woman worker told AFP on condition of anonymity. "We'll just die like the workers of Rana Plaza...But three years on, only a fraction of Bangladesh's 4,500 clothes factories have been certified safe and experts warn another industrial disaster could happen at any time....While there have been improvements at some of the larger factories, many of the smaller sub-contractors have yet to be inspected and appear to have done little to address safety concerns.
Author: Roz Sanderson, SHP
On the third anniversary of the Rana Plaza collapse, Rob Wayss, the Accord’s executive director, talks to James Irwin, head of health & safety recruitment at Acre about progress on one of the Accord’s core commitments: setting up democratically elected safety committees in factories.