• Monday, November 24, 2014

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Rana Plaza Tragedy

Workplace Safety

EU lauds progress in Bangladesh

The European Union in a statement yesterday lauded Bangladesh's progress in improving workplace safety and establishing labour rights following the Rana Plaza tragedy last year. “In particular, they are making good progress on inspections of factories according to common standards and an operating manual for assessing building, fire and electrical safety,” Karel De Gucht, EU trade commissioner, said in a speech at the OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) ministerial meeting in Paris on Thursday. The EU, however, believes more...

Steps on worker safety, rights under watch

Steps on worker safety, rights under watch

Germany will critically assess Bangladesh's next moves towards improving factory safety and ensuring worker rights following the Rana Plaza tragedy, a German delegation warned yesterday. Stefan Rebmann, deputy head of a seven-member delegation from the German parliament, said Germany and the whole of Europe are attaching great importance to this development. He made the comment...

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...

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

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...

STRAIGHT LINE

Colossal tragedy and corporate liability

THE fact that the Rana Plaza tragedy took away more than 1100 unsuspecting lives on April 24, 2013 and that the nation is yet to witness manifest punishment of those responsible for criminally negligent acts strikes at the base of our civilised existence. Financial compensations and efforts to rehabilitate mentally and physically shocked workers may cause some relief, but effective punitive measures with a view to deterring the potential offenders from causing such ghastly mischief are not in sight. It...

SHAME!

SHAME!

Even a year after the Rana Plaza disaster, the families of dead workers and survivors are yet to get adequate compensation, with a top ILO official terming the delay a shame for all stakeholders. "It is very hard, very difficult to speak here today and say that the victims still cannot be adequately compensated....

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...

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...

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...

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