Four days after the collapse of a eight-storey building containing shops on the outskirts of the capital, Dhaka, Bangladesh the country is still in shock. A final assessment after the industrial accident, the worst the country has experienced, reported 376 dead and more than 900 missing. Nearly 2,500 people are alive out of the rubble of Rana Plaza, but the hope of finding survivors is dwindling. Sunday, while rescuers thought they had found “a woman who was, we believe, the last survivor,” a fire broke out, killing the potential miracle.
According to the first elements of the investigation, the building was built on unstable ground and without the necessary permits, and more than 3000 workers, mostly young women, were sent a few hours before the collapse, despite warnings about the fragility of the building.
After several days of searching, police arrested several people, including two engineers, two leaders of a workshop and the owner of the building, arrested the Indian border. She is always looking for the owner, a Spanish industrial named David Mayor.
The suspect is also CEO of Phantom-Tac, a joint venture equally between Phantom Apparels (Bangladesh) Audit and Textile Company (Spain). Mr. Mayor should include giving further details on the operation of workshops, and Western companies that were present.
BENETTON AND CARREFOUR DISCLAIM ANY LINK WITH WORKSHOPS
Since the collapse of the building, the presence of several brands of clothing was found. Some, like the Spanish or British company Mango Primark, admitted placing orders in these workshops. Others strongly deny any presence. This is the case of Benetton, which provides that “the people involved in the collapse of the workshop in Bangladesh were not suppliers of Benetton.” However, a photograph circulated showing blue shirts labeled “United Colors of Benetton” where the subcontractor New Wave Bottoms, citing the brand among its customers on its site, had its workshops before the disaster.
The group has not responded to an initial request for a copy of documents provided by the Federation of textile workers in Bangladesh with reference to an order for 30 000 items in September 2012. Labels for the American brand of ready-to-wear Cato were also found on site.
The NGO Clean Clothes Campaign, which represents the textile workers around the world, argue that labels the European brand C & A were also found. The company provides no longer have any connection with Rana based in Plaza since October 2011 manufacturers. According to the Clean Clothes Campaign, the British Bon March??, Spanish Corte Ingles and Canada Joe Fresh acknowledged their relationship workshops. However, Carrefour has denied any link with “companies that were active in this building” while the Federation of Textile Workers and Industry in Bangladesh said they found in the rubble of the labels of the brand “Tex”.
PETITION AND EVENTS IN BRITAIN
Anger against the negligence that led to the tragedy sparked violent protests in Bangladesh since Wednesday, the second largest textile exporter after China. Sunday, however, the streets of Dhaka were quiet. Opposition calls for a national strike on May 2 to protest against this particularly deadly industrial accident, the third in five months. The textile sector employs 3.6 million people in the country, for most women, some of whom earn the equivalent of 30 euros per month.
In Britain, the presence of Western brands has been criticized. A demonstration was held in front of a Primark store in London, and a petition was put online to require companies involved in these workshops compensation for victims’ families. The NGO ActionAid has also launched a campaign for consumers to voluntarily pay a “tax on t-shirts” to help the affected families. “It seems to me that we have a moral obligation to help, says the Guardian Victoria Butler-Cole, originally of the action. Everybody has a garment made in Bangladesh. This is not just the fault of companies that sell these clothes. “