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
All components of this story
Just-Style looks at the changes that have been made to imporve workers & building safety within the country's ready-made garment indursty. While progress has undoubtedly been made, questions remain about the speed of remidiation if all parties involved are to leave their legacyof safer factories in 2018.
Author: Clean Clothes Campaign
As the third anniversary of the Rana Plaza building collapse approaches, the Clean Clothes Campaign is releasing a comprehensive update on the efforts that have been taken by workers, governments, trade unions, activists and brands to demand improvements to the Bangladesh garment industry and to get justice for the families affected by this horrendous disaster.
Author: Clean Clothes Campaign
In total, the Rana Plaza Arrangement paid out BDT 1,421,273,046.31 (almost 13 million GPB/16 million EURO/USD 18.5 million), from the money collected by the Rana Plaza Donors Trust Fund...Of the 41 individuals facing criminal charges only two, Sohel Rana and an inspector from Rajuk (Civil Development Agency), are held in custody. Of the remaining 39 at least half have yet to surrender to the court; this includes the Spanish owner of the Phantom Tac factory. ..Overall, the pace of repairs has been much slower than anticipated...The lack of transparent rules and guidelines for the assessing of union applications leaves room for undue influence over the process by employers who have considerable local power.
Author: Kate Nicholl & Vikram Shako in www.theconversation.com
Three years since the Rana Plaza collapse which killed 1100 people, small steps have been made towards improving the transparency of the garment supply chain, to help consumers understand the conditions in which their clothes are produced...The collapse of a garment factory in the plaza highlighted the lack of safety procedures and the oppressive conditions that workers are subjected to. Yet conditions and wages remain very poor for garment factory workers in countries like Bangladesh, despite surface efforts by western retailers.
- Related stories: 3 years on from Rana Plaza building collapse in Bangladesh - little improvements in health & safety conditions Rana Plaza two years on: Progress, but compensation and workers' rights still lacking
- Related in-depth areas: Rana Plaza building collapse, April 2013 The Rana Plaza building collapse in Bangladesh - one year on
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.
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.