• Thursday, August 21, 2014

Rana Plaza Tragedy

Published Date: April 28, 2014
Bangladesh looks for 29 cents

A year on from the April 24, 2013, Rana Plaza factory collapse in Bangladesh, the world's attention largely seems to have shifted away from the problems in the garment industry that were exposed by the tragedy. There has been some tentative progress to improve conditions for workers. But serious challenges remain if the 1,132 deaths in that accident aren't to be in vain, let alone repeated. The government in Dhaka and the foreign retailers who buy garments from Bangladesh have...

Published Date: April 28, 2014
RMG industry: Post-Rana Plaza

IT is more than one year now since the horrific Rana Plaza disaster that claimed at least 1,135 lives and left hundreds more missing, wounded or incapacitated. The scale and gravity of the disaster generated a chorus of condemnations from all around the world and mobilised global opinion to revamp and improve building structures and working conditions within the industry. It was a wake-up call! International Labour Organisation (ILO), in this regard, acted quickly and negotiated, within the first ten...

Rana Plaza Collapse

Published Date: April 27, 2014
Cop probe goes nowhere

Even a year after the Rana Plaza collapse that left at least 1,135 people killed and scores maimed, police have yet to complete probing the country's worst industrial disaster. Seven out of 21 accused in the three cases filed in this connection have already been out of prison on bail from the High Court. Three other accused including Sohel Rana, owner of Rana Plaza, have also secured bail from the HC in two cases. They are, however, still behind bars, as...

Published Date: April 25, 2014
Global rally for victims of industrial tragedy

Global rally for victims of industrial tragedy

Hundreds of thousands of people around the world yesterday mourned the garment workers who died in the Rana Plaza disaster one year ago. They also called upon retailers to be more transparent about their supply chains and compensate the victims and their families. In Paris, people wore funeral shrouds and held placards reading the names,...

Published Date: April 25, 2014
Bleeding, still

Salma Begum fumbled in the piles of the debris-strewn disaster site in Savar. A piece of torn cloth here, a rubber slipper there. She looked out. Was it her son's shirt or sandal? She mumbled. Only tears rolled down her cheeks. "Where've you gone, my heart, my bazan (son)?.... I'll take you home," howled Salma, kneeling down on the jumbled concrete debris of Rana Plaza. No one and nothing could stop her mourning. Only a sense of nothingness prevailed. Like Salma, family...

Published Date: April 25, 2014
Crisis seen as opportunity

The word crisis when written in Chinese is composed of two characters -- one represents danger and the other represents opportunity. The narrative of the country's garment sector following the Rana Plaza collapse last year could best be summed up by it. The catastrophe, which claimed at least 1,135 lives and injured about 2,500, drew scorn from around the world, and the sector seemed to be on the brink of a pitfall. But, remarkably, the harrowing debris of the eight-storey building...

Published Date: April 25, 2014
Nightmares haunt them

It has been a year since Rana Plaza collapsed but nightmares still haunt the survivors. Sajal Das survived the collapse with severe injuries. The 26-year-old tried hard to rebuild his life in the apparel sector but the life-changing injuries and the psychological trauma he had sustained got in the way. "After the collapse, I made three attempts to work in a garment factory, but could not continue. Neither my health, nor my mental condition would let me work for hours. Whenever I...

Published Date: April 25, 2014
Rana Plaza episode: let's not repeat it

The state minister for foreign affairs, on the occasion of the anniversary of Rana Plaza collapse, yesterday urged the garment sector stakeholders not to do business in a way that it endangers people's lives. “Today we should commit that we will not do business which kills people. Personally, I made a commitment today that I will not do such a business which will kill people,” Shahriar Alam, state minister for foreign affairs, said. His comments came at an event organised by...

Published Date: April 25, 2014
US unhappy over progress in GSP action plan

Two US congressmen have written a letter to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina expressing dissatisfaction over Bangladesh's progress in a US-prescribed action plan for regaining GSP in the American market. In the letter sent on Wednesday, on the eve of the first anniversary of the Rana Plaza collapse, they called for improving working conditions in factories. The congressmen are Sander M Levin, ranking member of committee on ways and means, and George Miller, a senior democrat member of committee on education and...

Published Date: April 25, 2014
Is the factory collapsea turning point?

As the world commemorates the one-year anniversary of the deadly Rana Plaza factory building collapse in Bangladesh, an overriding question remains: What can be done to prevent such industrial accidents in the future, especially in emerging economies and business sectors like Bangladesh's garment industry? Many European and North American retailers, who depend on the Bangladeshi textile industry for their apparel, have responded to the factory collapse with their own worker safety initiatives. There have also been calls for consumers to...