Blog: Health & Safety

Second Anniversary of Baldia Factory Fire Tragedy

Two years ago on September 11, 2012, a third-degree fire broke out at Ali Enterprises, a garment factory in the industrial area Karachi, in which 259 workers perished alive. It was one of the most devastating fire tragedies of known industrial history. The tragedy sparked a debate, but unfortunately on too small a scale, on one of the most neglected but important issues: workplace safety and working conditions of the working class.

Baldia Town factory fire victims still without compensation

Despite repeated appeals by the International Labour Organisation (ILO), families and garment workers affected by the fire, and trade unions, the government, judicial commission and concerned authorities are still not paying attention to the demands of the victims’ families.

During a blaze at Ali Enterprises garment factory in Baldia Town, Karachi, on September 11, 2012, 259 workers were burned to death.  The affected families are still waiting for compensation.

Progress in Bangladesh?

After 30 years of unsafe and abusive conditions, consistent repression of union organizing, and the lowest wages in the world, Bangladesh’s apparel industry is today the testing ground for massive industry reform initiatives.   The Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh, a legally-binding agreement between 180 apparel companies and 12 unions, has introduced accountability and transparency in an industry where social responsibility has meant voluntary efforts and private reporting.  The U.S.

VF Inspections Fail to Prevent Latest Bangladesh Factory Fire

Before the Tazreen fire of November 2012 and the Rana Plaza building collapse of April 2013 made international headlines, safety incidents were a regular occurrence in Bangladesh. And they continue to be. According to the Solidarity Center, in the past year and a half – and not including Tazreen and Rana Plaza – at least 26 workers have been killed and 823 injured in 57 separate incidents in Bangladesh garment factories.

Bangladesh garment factory crisis is a women's crisis

The crisis in the Bangladesh Apparel industry is really a women’s issue and something all advocates of women’s rights and equality should be deeply concerned about. To be clear, we are not talking here about individual cases of discrimination at work and the need for more equitable labor justice – although there is a need for improving that as well.

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