The owners of the Bangladesh sweatshop garment factory where 112 workers were killed in a fire last year have been charged with homicide. Bloomberg News reports that Delwar Hossain and his wife, owners of Tazreen Fashion Ltd., and the company’s engineer were among 13 people charged under two sections of the law, including homicide.
The Tazreen Fashion factory, which manufactured clothing for Walmart and Sears, went up in flames last November. Some managers allegedly ordered employees to keep working through the alarms, trapping them as the fire worsened. Read more from Think Progress.
A year after the fire, the survivors, many of whom jumped from the windows of the eight-story building, recently told the AFL-CIO Solidarity Center staff in Dhaka, the Bangladesh capital, how their injuries and lack of assistance or compensation left them unable to provide for their families. Read more here.
See the Solidarity Center video above where Tazreen workers describe the unsafe and deadly working conditions and how they escaped from a factory with blocked aisles, barred doors and windows.
Since 2005, more than 2,500 Bangladeshi workers have been killed in preventable fires and building collapses—including 1,100 who died in April’s building collapse of the Rana Plaza clothing factory.
Local Bangladeshi and international unions and workers’ rights groups negotiated an agreement in 2012 to stop these deaths and help Bangladesh’s garment workers claim their rights. Nearly 100 clothing brands have signed the Accord on Fire and Building Safety that covers 1,800 factories in Bangladesh. It mandates that both brands and the companies they source from fix building and fire hazards and ensures unions are a key part of this process. However Walmart and most major U.S. brands have not signed this agreement.