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Thread: Ashulia fire updates

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    Elite Member Naveed HRitom's Avatar
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    Ashulia fire updates

    Forensic officials on Monday collected sample for DNA test of 59 workers who were charred beyond recognition in Ashulia garment factory fire on Saturday.

    Hospital sources said officials of forensic laboratory of Criminal Investigation Department; and Forensic and DNA departments of Dhaka Medical College collected the samples from the remains of the bodies.

    The bodies are now kept at Dhaka Medical Hospital Morgue.

    The bodies will be buried at Jurain Graveyard after completion of sample collection, the morgue sources said.

    The forensic officials will later collect samples from the relatives, who will come to the hospital to identification of the bodies.

    The death toll from Ashulia readymade garment factory fire rose to 111 on Monday, two days after the incident.

    Of the deceased, the relatives and family members identified and took away the bodies of 52 workers.
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    Elite Member Naveed HRitom's Avatar
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    Ashulia fire updates

    DHAKA, NOV 26: Expressing deep concern and resentment over the deadly Ashulia fire that killed 114 people, leaders of different political parties and organisations, and members of civil society in separate statements on Monday demanded fair probe of the incident. Awami League chief and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has deeply grieved deaths in fire and flyover collapse incidents. Opposition BNP on Sunday mourned the huge loss of lives in Saturday’s garment factory fire in Savar and flyover girder collapse in Chittagong.
    The party flag was kept at half-mast and a black flag was hoisted at its Nayapaltan central office on Sunday.
    “We’re shocked over the death of so many people in the two incidents,” BNP acting secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir told a press briefing at the party’s central office in the morning.
    Announcing the programmes to mourn the deaths in the incidents, he prayed for salvation of the departed souls and the quick recovery of those injured and conveyed deep sympathy to the bereaved family members.
    The BNP spokesman held the government’s negligence responsible for the under-construction flyover collapse in Chittagong, saying the government could not take any measures to stop the recurrence of such incident although similar incident took place in June last.
    Earlier, on Saturday night, BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia expressed deep shock at the loss of lives in the tow tragic incidents.
    Jatiya Party (JP) Chairman and former president HM Ershad in a statement expressed his deep concern over the Ashulia fire and demanded compensation and treatment of the victims.
    The JP chief also demanded a fair probe to find out the real reason behind the fire.
    Bangladesh Labour Welfare Foundation, in a condolence message, demanded exemplary punishment to the people, who were responsible for the fire.
    It also demanded compensation for the victims and their family members.
    Bangladesh Centre for Workers Solidarity condoled and expressed sympathy to the family members of the fire victims.
    Bangladesh Garments and Industrial Workers Federation, in a statement, expressed their deep concern and prayed for the salvation of the departed souls of the victims.
    In a separate statement, Bangladesher Samajtantrik Dal (BSD) demanded Tk 5 lakh compensation each for the families of the victims and exemplary punishment to the people, who were responsible for the incident.
    Bangladesh Garments Workers Solidarity, in a statement, demanded immediate confirmation of paying compensation to the family members of the victims.
    Gonotantrik Bam-Morcha, in another statement, demanded fair investigation on the Ashulia fire incident.
    BNC and Bangladesh Garments Workers Solidarity Parishad organised a protest rally in front of the Jatiya Press Club on Monday demanding a fair probe into the fire incident.
    Workers Safety Forum, in statement, expressed deep concern over the fire incident in Ashulia and condoled the deaths of the 112 victims.
    Federation of Garments Workers also expressed deep concern on the Ashulia Fire incident.
    Manusher Jonnyo, in a statement, expressed deep concern and condoled the deaths of workers in the fire incident.
    In a separate statement, Bangladesh Occupational Safety, Health and Environment Foundation (OSHE) called upon the government and NGOs to take proper measures for compensating the fire victims.
    National Garments Workers Jote demanded a departmental probe body to punish the people, who were responsible for the fire in Ashulia factory
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    Elite Member Naveed HRitom's Avatar
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    Workers rally, clash with police at Ashulia

    Workers of Tazreen Fashions Limited at Ashulia, where a fire killed 111 people on November 24, on Saturday blocked the highway passing by and clashed with the police after several hundred survivors, who went to take their wages to the factory, had waited for several hours.
    The workers refused to take the wage for a month and demanded, instead, wages for four months and 13 days when they gathered in a school ground at Nishchintapur as directed earlier.
    They demanded the regular wage for November that was outstanding and wages for three months and 13 days, which owners are supposed to give in keeping with the labour law if a factory is closed without notice. The factory has been closed since the fire incident.
    Law enforcers dispersed the workers shortly after they had blocked the highway at Nishchintapur and the industrial police asked the workers to take their wages from the Industrial Relations Institute at Tongi in Gazipur.
    Enraged at this, Tazreen Fashions workers started vandalism. They pelted four to five apparel factories near by with stones and asked workers of the factories to join the protests about 11:00am.
    New Age Apparels workers extended their support for Tazreen workers and blocked the Dhaka–Tangail Highway.
    Workers of other factories went on demonstrations separately in various points at Savar. They also attacked two export-oriented factories at Jirabo.
    Picard, a Bangladesh-Germany joint-venture leather factory, came to be attacked about 3:00pm after apparel factory Designedtex Fashions was attacked half an hour before.
    The Ashulia police officer-in-charge, Sheikh Md Badrul Islam, said that he had found no valid for Picard and Designedtex to be attacked Picard is about two three kilometres off Designedtex and they both are about five kilometres off Tazreen Fashions.
    Saiful Islam, owner of Picard, alleged that the lawmen had acted late, allowing the attackers to damage at least five vehicles, in which 15 people were injured.
    Earlier in the morning, the demonstrators attacked New Age Apparels at Ashulia.
    None from the Tazreen management was available at Nishchintapur even after 9:00am when workers, as directed earlier, gathered at the place about 8:00am to get their wages.
    The workers there held a meeting and demanded wages for four months and 13 days and the arrest of the factory owner holding him responsible for the fire.
    The Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters’ Association welfare officer, Shahin Akhter, told New Age that they had arranged 10 buses to carry the workers to Tongi for wage payment. But the workers refused to do so.
    She said that the factory management had plans to give wages to 1,100 workers but they refused to take the wages.
    ‘We did not get into the buses as we do not trust our management,’ said Masud Rana, 28, a worker of the factory.
    The demonstrators in small groups paraded the road passing by the factory and shouted slogans against the factory owner for his negligence that had caused the fire.
    A large number of police personnel reached the place about 11:30am, charged at the workers with truncheons and dispersed them. At least 15 were injured, the workers said. The police, however, brushed aside the claim of the workers.
    The workers again gathered in the Nischintapur Primary School ground and a BGMEA team reached there about noon and held a meeting with Tazreen workers.
    As the workers refused to take wages, the BGMEA team told them that they would need a few more days for calculation of what the workers were demanding, workers said.
    ‘Local leaders contained the situation and decided that a 70-member team of Tazreen workers would sit with the BGMEA today to decide a date for the payment of wages,’ SM Manan Kochi, a BGMEA vice-president, told New Age.
    The workers left the place in the afternoon after enlistment. The list will be submitted to authorities today.
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    Elite Member Naveed HRitom's Avatar
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    Ashulia region remains restive

    Stemming from the Tazreen Fashions disaster, garment and leather workers' agitations in Ashulia industrial belt continued yesterday as they attacked several factories and clashed with industrial police.

    They halted traffic on Dhaka-Tangail highway at Jamgara for about 45 minutes.

    Police had to resort to teargas, rubber bullets and truncheon charge to disperse them as the workers fought running battles with them.

    Mitu, a staff of MD Jeans, lost consciousness when police charged truncheons.

    The workers' unrest began since a fire on November 24 claimed 111 lives at Tazreen Fashions factory in Ashulia.

    The demonstrations yesterday began around 9:00am when nearly 1,000 workers of leather factory Picard Bangladesh Ltd in Zirabo came out of their factory to protest garments workers' attack on their unit on Saturday.

    Golam Rouf, director of industrial police, said workers of adjoining garment factories also took to the streets then but police promptly dispersed them. The workers were only interested in dodging a day's work using any excuse available, he claimed.

    Rouf said just before 11:00am, 25 garment workers attacked the Rose Dress factory. The 25 workers had been suspended by Hyun Apparels Ltd, now temporarily closed, in connection with assaulting a factory official.

    Workers of Rose Dress then rushed out and started vandalising adjoining factories including Sterling Creations Ltd and Setara Garments.

    They broke windowpanes of the factories.

    Industrial police rushed to Jamgara, chased the workers, lobbed teargas canisters, fired rubber bullets and brought the situation under control around 11:30am.

    Fearing vandalism, the authorities of different factories in the neighbourhood stopped production and let the workers go home for the day.

    A chaotic situation was created in the area with the sudden rush of hundreds of workers on the highway and its adjacent roads.

    Meanwhile, Bangladesh Garments Manufacturers and Exporters Association yesterday held a meeting with labour leaders, government high-ups and other stakeholders for paying workers of Tazreen Fashions their salary.

    BGMEA President Shafiul Islam Mohiuddin said the salary of the workers would be paid on either December 5 or December 6.

    Tazreen Fashions owner Delawar Hossain wanted to pay the salary for the month of November through the BGMEA on December 1 but the workers demanded salary for four months.

    Mohiuddin said, “We are holding meetings with the owner, labour leaders and government high-ups so that we can reach a consensus on paying the workers' salary.”

    The BGMEA and the Tazreen Fashions management were preparing a list of Tazreen Fashions workers, he said.
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    Elite Member Naveed HRitom's Avatar
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    A future burnt out

    With high hopes for a better living, Bilkis Begum and her 18-year-old daughter Munni Akter joined Tazreen Fashions on November 14, only to have their dreams shattered in ten days.

    Munni was killed in a devastating fire at the garment factory on the night of November 24. The fire left at least 111 workers dead.

    Along with her husband and daughter, Bilkis came to Ashulia from Satkhira three years ago in search of a better life.

    Devastated, she is now considering going back to her village.

    The mother and daughter were employed in the same production line on the fifth floor of Tazreen Fashions.

    “I survived but my daughter was burnt alive,” Bilkis sighed.

    The last time Bilkis saw her daughter was when she was frantically making her way from the fifth floor to the ground floor.

    “But I could not follow her as I lost my sight in the thick of the smoke,” she recalled.

    Somehow, she managed to get to the sixth floor, from where she exited the building with the help of some male workers through a broken window.

    Her husband Shahidul was a worker at Sharmin Garments until November 24, when he resigned. The reason, he said, is, “How can I leave my wife on her own in such a state and go to work?”

    “We are jobless now,” Shahidul said. “I don't know when my wife will get her salary or when we will receive compensation for the loss of our daughter's life.”

    He reiterated their desire to go back to their village in Satkhira.

    “The city has become excruciating for us since the deadly fire. We cannot bear the scar for the rest of our lives.”

    Shahidul's is not the only family that has come to the Ashulia industrial belt in search of a better life. There are many others. And most have been ravaged in the wake of the fire at Tazreen. Paralysed by grief, they have no idea where their next meal would come from.

    Hawa Begum and her daughter Mousumi too worked at Tazreen Fashions.

    Both jumped from the fifth floor of the building to flee from the blaze. Hawa survived but Mousumi gave way.

    Hawa's son Md Nahid said, “My mother has broken her right collar bone and dislocated the right shoulder.”

    Nahid and his family were mostly dependent on the incomes of the two Tazreen workers.

    “My father is a carpenter and he earns no more than Tk 6,000 a month,” said Nahid, who foresees hard days ahead for the family.

    Nazma Akter, a survivor of the fire, and her husband Golam Mostafa are worried about their future now that they have survived the fire.

    “We have already borrowed Tk 5,000 for treatment and sustenance,” said Mostafa, a day labourer, who has been tending his injured wife morning, noon and night since the fire. Hence he is unable to go to work.

    Mostafa does not know when he would return to work or when his wife would recover from her injuries.

    “We are dependent on each other's income to run our family of five. We do not know what is in our fate,” he said.

    Unless they can go back to work at the earliest, they are going to have to borrow again.
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    Senior Member Felix's Avatar
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    Sad story. RIP for all the vicims and prayers for who they leave behind
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    Body to probe fire at Rangpur Ispahani Camp

    Rangpur district administration has formed a committee yesterday to probe the Wednesday night's fire incident at Ispahani Camp.

    Led by Shahidul Islam, Additional District Magistrate of Rangpur, the 4-member probe committee will submit its report within three working days.

    On Wednesday night, more than 300 houses were gutted and at least 20 people injured at the fire incident at Ispahani Camp-3 of stranded Pakistanis (Beharis) in Robartsonganj area of the city.

    The fire broke out at about 10:00pm and five Rangpur fire fighting units doused the blaze after two and half an hours of frantic efforts.

    Police and locals said that some stranded Pakistanis locked in an altercation with Harin Mia, a tea stall owner near the camp.

    At one stage, they stabbed Harin and his son Putul and set the stall on fire.

    Locals rescued the duo and sent them to Rangpur Medical College Hospital.

    Angry stranded Pakistanis also ransacked a few shops and Robartsonganj High School and College in the area.

    Later the agitated locals gathered in front of the camp and at one stage set the camp on fire following a clash that left scores injured.

    Meanwhile, Narayan Chandra Borma, additional divisional commissioner of Rangpur, said they made a list of the fire victims and served food among them at noon.

    He also assured the victim families of giving corrugated iron sheets to rebuild their houses.

    The administration will also extend Test Relief (TR) and Group Relief (GR) and distribute warm clothes, Narayan Chandra said.
    Fear Is No Policy Surrender Is No Option

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    Elite Member Naveed HRitom's Avatar
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    For how long thugs/rogues will torture em'. They're also human.Nobody has right to take law in his.her own hand.
    Doing viloence for a small / ignorable matter is kind of foolishness. Most Pathetic is " lootin " , how can 1 do this,speechless
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    Ashulia fire updates

    Due to the high number of casualties from the fire, this thread has been made a sticky. Please post all news here.

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    Elite Member Naveed HRitom's Avatar
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    Helps offered to Ashulia fire victims

    Various individuals and an organisation have expressed interest to support the hapless victims of the Tazreen Fashions fire incident with medical and education expenses following news reports by The Daily Star.

    Centre for the Rehabilitation of the Paralysed intends to provide free treatment to Fahima, who broke her back while escaping the devastating fire that swept the garment factory in Ashulia on November 24 night.

    Jatiya Party Chairman HM Ershad intends to support the upbringing and education of two children, Seema and Zakaria, who were orphaned by the tragic fire, said Ziauddin Ahmed Bablu, political advisor to Ershad.

    The former president told The Daily Star that he will be arranging for accommodation, food, education and all that necessary for the upbringing of the two children in Rangpur, where they hail from.

    He is expected to meet the children at Ashulia on the capital's outskirts today.

    A businessman, seeking anonymity, intends to support two-month-old Sayem, who lost his mother in the fire.

    An USA expatriate wants to support two children, Mizan and Masum, who lost their mothers in the incident.

    Another individual from the capital's Basundhara residential area, seeking anonymity, wants to bear treatment costs of three victims severely injured in the fire.

    The fire killed at least 111 workers and injured 100 others.
    Last edited by Naveed HRitom; 8th December 2012 at 19:50.
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    Elite Member Naveed HRitom's Avatar
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    Post Confusion over Tazreen toll | Sun 9, 2012

    Labour rights activists yesterday claimed the number of casualties in the Tazreen fire is much higher than the official count.

    The government put the number of dead at 111 and that of missing at 53.

    But Moshrefa Mishu, president of Garments Sramik Oikya Forum (GSOF), a labour rights organisation, insisted that over 200 workers died in the blaze.

    Dozens have remained missing since the incident two weeks ago, Mishu said at a press conference.

    At a separate press meet, three researchers and rights activists put the number of missing workers at 59.

    Saydia Gulrukh, a researcher from the University of North Carolina, said the journalists and fire-fighters who rushed to the fire site on the night of November 24 think the authorities were evasive about the total number of casualties.

    The activists also came down heavily on the government and Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) for siding with Delowar Hossain, owner of Tazreen Fashions, from the very beginning.

    "BGMEA has maintained its tradition by siding with the owners," said Anu Muhammad, professor of economics at Jahangirnagar University.

    The rights activist said the government has been trying to protect Delowar by painting the incident as an act of sabotage.

    “Although the government talks about sabotage there is no sign of investigating the reasons and people behind it,” he said.

    The activists demanded immediate arrest of the owner of the export-oriented apparel company as well as the officials of BGMEA and the government agencies whose negligence led to the fire.

    Mishu said the factory owner sent the workers to death by violating workplace safety laws, and demanded life imprisonment for him.

    "It is a criminal offence equivalent to killing. We want the owner to be arrested. But it has been over two weeks, and the owner remains at large. We strongly protest and condemn such inactivity by the government.”

    She cited previous cases of deaths from factory fire, where the owners went unscathed due to government's apathy.

    "A precedent needs to be set. If the Tazreen owner goes unpunished, the others will continue to defy the laws.”

    The GSOF president also pointed that Hossain is yet to pay compensation to the families, and urged the government to secure just compensation from him.

    Anu Muhammad reiterated Mishu's views and said the lack of compensation from the owner's part is “most unfortunate”.

    The demands come a few days after the prime minister handed over compensations to the families of 43 workers whose bodies were burnt beyond recognition in the fire.

    "But it does not free the owner from paying up. We want the owner to provide compensation to the affected families soon," Mishu said.

    The compensation that was handed out was from the prime minister, the labour and employment ministry, BGMEA, Pubali Bank and a foreign buyer.

    "They were all public money. Why should the public bear the financial brunt when they are not responsible?" Anu questioned.

    Not all of the 43 workers' families, however, got Tk 6 lakh each as promised, Mishu claims.

    "We have got a number of families who got Tk 1-2 lakh. It is a deceit to the families -- in the name of compensation."

    Anu Muhammad said, "The prime minister has donated Tk 2 lakh to the family each dead and the labour and employment ministry also donated Tk 1 lakh each."

    Besides, he added, the compensation of Tk 6 lakh for each death is not enough.

    "Our Serious Accident Law stipulates that the compensation would be double the amount of money the victim of an accident would have earned during his or her lifetime."

    He said the workers who died were aged 20 to 30 and they would have worked another about 40 if the country's life expectancy is taken into account.

    "By all calculations, the families of the dead workers should have been given Tk 48 lakh as compensation."

    He also said nobody is taking care of the workers injured in the fire.

    "They are taking treatment on their own expenses. If any of the badly burnt workers becomes crippled, who will take care of him or her? We do not know the answers."

    Gulrukh also said the BGMEA has not taken any step to list the injured workers and has also not decided whether any compensation would be given to the family members of the missing workers.

    Meanwhile, over 100 workers of Tazreen Fashions yesterday demonstrated at Nishchintapur Primary School in Ashulia, demanding salary and compensation.

    “It is impossible for me to survive as I have no money to buy foods for my five boys,” said Laizu Begum, 30, who worked at Tazreen for eight months. Her identification number is 4048. She worked on the third floor of the eight-storey building.

    “I left the factory two hours before the blaze started,” said Laizu.

    “I come to the school ground every day and the factory authorities note down my name. But no one gives me salary and compensation,” she lamented.

    Among the demonstrators were family members of some of the workers still missing.

    The salary and compensation of the missing workers should be given to their family members, as the factory authorities know the workers, said Anwarul Islam Arif, who lost his wife Rehena Begum, 26, in the fire.

    “My wife was a known face at the factory. Everyone knew her as she had worked at Tazreen for the last three years,” said Anwarul, also a supervisor of Tazreen Fashions.
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  12. #12
    Elite Member Naveed HRitom's Avatar
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    Left-out Tazreen workers demand wages, other dues

    BGMEA says their dues would be paid on Dec 11


    More than 100 workers of fire-devastated Tazreen Fashions on Saturday staged a demonstration in front of Bangladesh Garments Manufacturers and Exporters Association office at Karwan Bazaar demanding unpaid wages and benefits.


    They said that they were not paid wages and other benefits as their names were not on the list prepared by the factory authorities and BGMEA.
    BGMEA leaders assured them that they would be paid their wages and other dues in three days.
    At least 112 workers of Tazreen Fashions were killed and several more injured in its factory fire on November 24.


    The demonstration of the left out workers was organized by the Garments Workers Trade Union Center.



    The protesting workers showed their identity cards in support of their legitimate demand.
    Romesa Khatun, Tazreen fashions worker, said she took treatment at Dhaka Medical College Hospital for the injuries she had suffered jumping from the third floor of the factory to escape the devastating fire which claimed the lives of her less fortunate colleague.
    Following the treatment she went to Tongi to collect her wages only to find that her name was not on the list, she said.
    Poly, another worker, said she was yet to get her wages and other dues including the cost of treatment she had taken for the injuries she suffered jumping out of the second floor of the factory.


    She said that the faulty list of workers had left out her name from it.
    Shirin Begum, came all the way from Faridpur to find out her daughter Amena Mukta, missing since the fire broke out at Tazreen factory.
    She showed her daughter’s photograph with the expectation that it would help find out her daughter.


    Shirin was in tears as she requested anyone she came across to find out her daughter.
    At one point BGMEA vice-president SM Mannan Kochi arrived on the spot and told the protesters that they all would be paid their dues by December 11.


    He took Shirin to DMCH to trace her daughter through DNA tests of unclaimed victims.
    Mannan said the officials of Tazreen and BGMEA would go to Nishchintapur today to include names of left out workers for the payment of their wages and other dues.
    He said the left out workers would be paid their dues on December 11 on Nishchintapur School ground.
    On December 5, 1,218 workers of Tazreen Fashions were paid their wages and benefits at Tongi in Gazipur.
    Last edited by Naveed HRitom; 9th December 2012 at 19:55.
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  13. #13
    Elite Member Naveed HRitom's Avatar
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    Compensation for victims’ family alone not enough

    THE public outcry over the devastating fire at Tazreen Fashions Limited in Ashulia on November 24, which left at least 111 workers killed, seems to have died down a little, especially since the government and the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters’ Association handed out compensation money to the families of the victims. If so, a number of crucial issues will remain unresolved, as was the case in similar tragedies in the past. Suffice it to say, the fire at Tazreen Fashions has brought to the fore,yet again, some systemic failures related to workers’ safety in particular and factory compliance in general. Regrettably, however, the Awami League-led government appears busy with conspiracy theories that are flying around, oblivious of the fact that even proving such theories demands credible investigation of the incident in question. Moreover, reports have it that the tragedy took place because of, among other things, negligence about instituting safety measures at the factory on the part of its management.


    The fire service department and other government agencies in question seem to have found evidence of such negligence. Yet, there does not seem to be any effective steps to call the Tazreen management into account for the tragedy. Worse still, some key figures of the BGMEA,which had issued compliance certificate to the Tazreen management in the first place despite the obvious loopholes, keep insisting that the latter should absolved of any culpability for the tragedy.


    It is, however, encouraging that certain conscious sections of society like a group of anthropologists, who unveiled the findings of their 48-hour initial inspection of the affected factory at a press conference in the capital on Saturday, have persisted with their efforts to keep the issue alive. According to a New Age report on Sunday, they have demanded that each of the Tazreen victims should be compensated with an amount equal to his/her life-time earnings. Also, they have demanded immediate arrest of the owners of Tazreen fashions and the relevant officials of the government as well as the BGMEA. Indeed, the implementation of such demands to the letter and in spirit might prove deterrent to at least negligence on the part the owner of any factory or the officials entrusted with overseeing the functioning of the factories.


    The government needs to realise that the tragedy of Tazreen fashions involves a sector that not only fetches over 75 per cent of the country’s annual export earnings but also provides employment to millions of people. Besides, if nurtured properly, the sector has the potential to make a breakthrough soon in terms of capturing global apparel market. On the contrary, the impunity the people responsible for all the disastrous incidents in this sector have enjoyed for long is sure to put the sector in peril. Hence, the government needs to get to the bottom of the issue at hand.
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    Elite Member Naveed HRitom's Avatar
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    An eco-friendly RMG sector

    Key to saving, competitiveness, sustainability and workers' right



    It is puzzling to note that garments industry, a prime foreign exchange earner, has been left to its own devices to grow listlessly without sustainability built into the sector. As long as it minted money, the government and the industry owners were lulled into a complacent mode, thinking their position in the world market is invincible. But we have been rudely awakened by the Tazreen factory fire disaster. It has literally opened a Pandora's box as safety standards and environmental issues came under a closer scrutiny world wide.

    In this backdrop, an International Finance Corporation sponsored study has come out with very useful recommendations. It has concluded that taking to eco-friendly production methods in textile and clothing industry could enable it to save up to $150m per year in cost-cutting terms. At the same time it will make the sector competitive and sustainable.

    Basically, the process is sought to be introduced on a wider scale through adopting efficient use of water and energy. Of course, cleaner, environment-friendly production techniques, need to be only underpinned by effluent treatment plant in every factory.

    Already, Kenpark Bangladesg apparel (pvt.) Limited has led the way in Chittagong Export Processing Zone by implementing 'green measures'. These have had benefits by way of improving energy and water efficiency systems together with developing a recycling process to reduce pollution of air, land and water. Vegetation in the factories helps reduce emission of carbon monoxide and cool the environs.

    Obviously, it would require more than a study to prevail upon all concerned to try and reap the multiple dividends of greener production techniques. First, the stakeholders will have to get their act together; second, the government and the BGMEA should engage each other towards preparing a working plan; third, a facilitating role of the government will be welcome; and last, but not least, the workers will have to be retrained in the new ways of production.

    In the ultimate analysis, worker's rights hold the key to taking the garment sector forward to the next step in a sustainable way.
    Fear Is No Policy Surrender Is No Option

  15. #15
    Elite Member Naveed HRitom's Avatar
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    BGMEA again fails to present Tazreen fire probe report

    Bangladesh Garments Manufacturers and Exporters Association on Thursday failed to present its probe report for the second time on the devastating fire at Tazreen Fashions factory which on November 24 claimed the lives of 112 workers and left many more injured.
    A five-member committee appointed by BGMEA to probe the fire failed to submit its report for the second time in 19 days.

    Without mentioning a fresh date, committee convener SM Mannan Kochi said that the investigation was at its final stage and the report would be presented in one week.
    On November 26, BGMEA appointed the committee to probe into the factory fire at Ashulia asking it to submit its report on December 2.

    The deadline was extended to December 20 as the committee failed to present its report for what its chief said that it was unable to work for two days due to workers’ agitations at Ashulia.
    On December 5, BGMEA vice-president Md Siddiqur Rahman said that the committee would submit the probe report on December 20 and BGMEA would make it public.
    After missing the 2nd deadline on Thursday, Mannan said his committee was investigating into the bank documents of Tazreen Fashions.

    He said ‘It is our moral obligation to present the report without further delay.’
    Fear Is No Policy Surrender Is No Option

  16. #16
    Elite Member Naveed HRitom's Avatar
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    Tazreen Victims

    Some solace for families


    After two months of agonising wait, the family members of 11 victims of Tazreen fire could finally find a sense of closure as they paid respect to their loved ones at Jurain graveyard in the capital yesterday.

    A day after DNA tests confirmed the identities of the 11 victims, their family members spotted the graves of the ill-fated garment workers, whose bodies were burnt beyond recognition in the country's worst industrial blaze.

    Kabir Hossain sat in front of the grave of his wife, Lucky Begum, telling her resting soul how much he and his six-year-old son missed her. Sprinkling water on her grave, he muttered, “He [the boy] cries for you all the time...”

    Abdul Malek, whose wife perished in the fire leaving behind three children, said, “My youngest daughter, who is only 5-year-old, keeps asking me where her mother is. I fail to give her any answer.”

    The relatives of the victims said they had gone from one place to another for the last two months with a hope that the bodies of their loved ones would be identified. But none could offer them any help.

    “When we went to the BGMEA, they told us to go to the deputy commissioner's office. But the officials at the DC office said they could not offer us any help. Then we went to the medical [Dhaka Medical College and Hospital], they said none from the BGMEA had asked for DNA report,” said Kamal Uddin.

    They said it had been hard for them to wait for the news that the bodies were finally identified. Many of them had to spend days in the capital, leaving behind their jobs and children back home.

    But for the family members of two other victims, the wait is far from over as the bodies of their dear ones are yet to be identified.

    While others prayed in front of the graves, Motin sat in a corner, stone-faced, unable to process the fact that his sister's body was not among the 53 corpses buried there.

    “How could she just disappear?” he cried, over and over again, clutching his sister's voter ID in one hand. “How can they just say she cannot be found anywhere?”

    Abdul Jabbar, too, was devastated realising that the mother of his 18-month-old son was not there.

    “Where do we go now?” he asked.

    The relatives said none from the BGMEA or the government had contacted them. Garments Workers Unity Forum, Activists-Anthropologists and Garments Sramik Shonghoti had helped them identify the graves.

    Saydia Gulrukh, a member of Activists-Anthropologists, a platform of anthropologists who have closely followed the workers' plight since the Tazreen incident, suspected some anomalies in the report.

    Referring to fire victim Fatema Akhtar, whose body could not be identified, she said Fatema's husband had provided his blood sample on the 24th of this month while the report was finalised on the 28th.

    “Are we to believe that they completed the DNA profiling process in three days when they have been consistently telling us what a lengthy process it is?” she argued.

    The relatives say they now have only one plea to the authorities, and that is to make arrangements for burying the bodies in their ancestral homes.
    Fear Is No Policy Surrender Is No Option

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