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Bangla RMG sector has to improve safety structure for workers

April 12, 2006 (Belgium)

On the anniversary of the collapse of the Spectrum Sweater factory, Prime Minister Khaleda Zia has been urged to take immediate measures to protect the safety of workers in the ready-made garments sector.

The demand comes from the Brussels-based International Textile, Garment and Leather Workers’ Federation (ITGLWF), the Global Union representing workers in the sector.

"In a letter to the Prime Minister, ITGLWF General Secretary Neil Kearney expressed concern at Bangladesh’s appalling safety record. “Earlier this year four appalling accidents occurred in the space of only two weeks”, he said.

“On February 23, a fire at the KTS Textile Industries factory killed 61 workers, some as young as twelve, and left about 100 injured. On February 25 twenty-two workers were killed and 50 injured when the five-story Phoenix Building collapsed."

"On February 25, fifty-seven workers were injured when a transformer exploded at the Imam Group building and workers are unable to get out through the narrow exits.”

“And on March 6, three workers were killed and approximately 50 injured when a fire caused by an electrical short circuit at a building housing Sayem Fashions and Radiant Sweaters.”

“What makes these accidents even more painful is that they could have been prevented by safe working practices.”

Mr. Kearney said that a programme to ensure structural and fire safety in the sector must also be undertaken.

Click here to read structural and safety step for the safety of a factory:

Mr Kearney concluded “a total review of existing legislation on structural safety, fire safety, heath and safety and general labour rights and its implementation must be undertaken urgently before more lives are lost”.

International Textile, Garment and Leather Workers’ Federation
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