A FIRE BUCKET IN THE ASHES AND DEBRIS of one floor of what used to be the factory of Tazreen Fashions in Savar, about 30 kilometres north of Dhaka. Reuters reported that 112 workers were killed in the fire that swept through the factory on 24 November 2012. The incident sparked a wave of outrage against poor safety standards in Bangladesh’s factories. Last month, a court directed Delwar Hossain, the owner of Tazreen Fashions, to appear before it to answer for the incident.
Despite this, little seems to have changed for Bangladesh’s workers. On 24 April this year, an eight-storey commercial building containing shops, a bank and several garment factories, also in Savar, collapsed. Over 1,127 people were killed in the incident, making it the worst industrial disaster in Bangladesh’s history. On 8 May, yet another fire broke out in a garment factory, in Dhaka, killing eight. The incidents have drawn international attention to the poor working conditions in Bangladesh’s garment factories, many of which manufacture products for international brands like Benetton, Mango and Walmart. On 13 May, several of the world’s biggest garment retailers signed a safety plan for factories in Bangladesh. Walmart and Gap were among the companies that refused to sign.
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