Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/763/16614

From The Socialist newspaper, 1 May 2013

Bangladesh building collapse - casualties of a rotten profit system

It is said that where labour is cheap, life is cheap. This is never more so than in the recent horrific deaths of over 400 garment workers crushed in a collapsed building in Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh. Hundreds are still missing and a further 1,000 workers were injured.

The disaster led to spontaneous protests by thousands of low-paid garment factory workers throughout the city who demanded justice for the dead and injured. Police attacked demonstrators using tear gas and rubber bullets.

The opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP), a capitalist Islamist party, has opportunistically called for a national strike on 2 May. When in power previously it did nothing to advance workers' rights.

According to media reports, the day before the disaster inspection teams had found huge cracks in the building's structure.

But while shops and a bank on the lower floor immediately closed the owners of the garment factory above told employees to continue working, despite the obvious safety risks.

Exploitation

There are an estimated 5,000 factories in Bangladesh paying around 3.2 million workers as little as 24 a month to make clothes for western-based companies such as Primark, Matalan, Wal-Mart, Benetton, etc.

This is not the first time such a catastrophe has happened at a garment factory in the area. A similar collapse occurred in 2005. And only last November, a fire at another garment factory in Dhaka left 112 dead.

Despite repeated assurances from brand importers and local authorities that they would ensure the safety of workers and eradicate substandard buildings, it's clear from this latest disaster that nothing has changed.

The building's owner, arrested along with six others, is reportedly well connected to the ruling Awami League and the BNP.

It is clear that the bosses both globally and locally will not protect workers when there are vast profits to be made; neither will the Bangladesh government as the garment industry accounts for 80% of the country's export earnings.

Trade unions should pressure clothing companies into binding agreements on health and safety for workers in ex-colonial countries.

Only strong union organisation can fight to improve workplace health and safety and drive up wages to acceptable levels.

The building of effective trade unions won't, however, be easily achieved. Last year trade union activist Aminul Islam was murdered and the police have not solved the case.

Why not click here to join the Socialist Party, or click here to donate to the Socialist Party.


In The Socialist 1 May 2013:


Socialist Party news and analysis

Give us jobs not cuts

IDS' 'wealthy pensioners' smoke screen

Them & Us


Socialist Party feature

The 'precariat': fighting for real jobs


Socialist Party review

Review of 'South Africa: The Massacre that Changed a Nation', BBC2 April 24th


International socialist news and analysis

Cyprus economic meltdown: Build a socialist alternative to austerity

Bangladesh building collapse - casualties of a rotten profit system


Socialist Party workplace news

Local government: fight for decent pay, terms and conditions

Justice for 'the 33' sacked tube workers

Saying no to blacklisting in Southampton

Unison health conference

Land Registry: Fight Con-Dems' privatisation plans

Unison: Defend the Four

Workplace news in brief


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Liverpool rally marks 30 years since election of socialist council

Scotland: Anti-bedroom tax federation launched

Council Tax: Con-Dems turn screw on poorest

Southampton Labour council leader quits as anti-cuts pressure grows

Doncaster: For a mayor that would really stop the bedroom tax!

Thatcher's funeral day in Newbridge


 

Home   |   The Socialist 1 May 2013   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate   |   PDF  |   ebook






Related links:

Bangladesh:

triangleBrutal repression of Rohingya people sparks massive humanitarian crisis

triangleExtreme weather events and global warming

triangleBangladesh: 'Hartal' protest against destructive power plant

trianglePicket against coal project in Bangladesh

Profit system:

triangleObesity epidemic: end food market anarchy

triangleHistoric demonstration in Barcelona in support of refugees

triangleChile: general strike threat as pensions protests grow

triangleWhy the Socialist Party opposed the EU

Health and safety:

triangleFood processing workers vote for action against miserly bosses

triangleThe Socialist inbox

triangleBin workers - fifth week of strike action

International

International

18/10/17

Hong Kong

Campaign against political repression in Hong Kong

11/10/17

Catalonia

Catalonia: Workers can finish what Puigdemont won't

4/10/17

Catalonia

Solidarity with Catalonia - the people have the right to decide

4/10/17

Catalonia

Eyewitness: Irish socialist MP participates in events

2/10/17

Catalonia

Exemplary resistance by the people of Catalonia

27/9/17

Germany

Germany: Election results in political earthquake

27/9/17

Catalonia

Strike against Madrid's 'state of emergency'!

27/9/17

Germany

German elections: rise of the far right and right-wing government will provoke resistance

27/9/17

France

French Labour reform protests

25/9/17

Catalonia

Catalonia: Student strike called

20/9/17

Myanmar

Brutal repression of Rohingya people sparks massive humanitarian crisis

20/9/17

Catalonia

Solidarity with Catalonia in the Spanish state

15/9/17

Germany

Berlin hospital strike

13/9/17

Korea

Korean peninsula: is nuclear war likely?

13/9/17

Students

Interview with leader of students' union in the Spanish state: "When we fight, we win!"

triangleMore International articles...


Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party

triangle19 Oct Arriva North West bus drivers strike over pay

triangle18 Oct Russia, October 1917: When workers took power

triangle18 Oct Tories torn - bin them now

triangle18 Oct Royal Mail bosses block strike - back postal workers

triangle18 Oct Balloting members on the pay cap

triangle13 Oct The end of the Tories?

triangle11 Oct Nasty party imploding...drive out the Tories

More ...

triangle23 Oct Chesterfield Socialist Party: The continuing struggle for abortion rights

triangle24 Oct Liverpool Socialist Party: The October Russian Revolution 100 years ago to the day

triangle25 Oct Salford Socialist Party: The October 1917 Russian revolution

triangle25 Oct Swansea Socialist Party: Mother Jones - A US labour pioneer

More ...

Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

Archive

Archives:

October 2017

September 2017

August 2017

July 2017

June 2017

May 2017

April 2017

March 2017

February 2017

January 2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999

Legal

SP RSS feed RSS

Platform setting: = No platform choice

V2