This article was originally published on the AFL-CIO's Solidarity Center website.
“The factory caught fire about 6 p.m. After the fire, they did not allow us to go out,” says Nazma. “They locked the gate. The workers were screaming together.”
Nazma is among the Tazreen Factory fire survivors in this video who describe the horrific workplace conditions that killed 112 garment workers in November. The unsafe and deadly working conditions at Tazreen are similar to those many Bangladesh garment workers face every day.
But for many, living through the fire is just the beginning of their ordeal. The meager compensation Tazreen fire survivors have received from the government and the global apparel brands is not enough to replace the wages many no longer can earn because they are too injured to work.
For Nazma and the other mostly female survivors who sustained extensive physical wounds, the inability to support their families and the cultural stigma attached to their injuries means, in Nazma’s words, “death was better than living this kind of life.”
Solidarity Center staff in Dhaka, Bangladesh, compiled this video.