Tragedy Bangladesh jumpstarts debate working conditions

Tragedy Bangladesh jumpstarts debate working conditions

The collapse of the textile factory in Savar, in which at least 381 people have died, has once again jumpstarted the debate about local working conditions. The Irish retail chain Primark was one of the companies of which clothes were made in the collapsed factory.

Illegal storeys cost hundreds of lives

By now 381 bodies have been recovered and more than 2,500 people got injured, while it is still unclear how many are missing. Officially 3,122 people worked in the building, but it is suspected more were present at the time. Sunday there was a fire when rescue workers tried to rescue an employee from under the rubble.

 

Seven people have been arrested: the owner of the building and his wife, the three owners of the textile factories in the building and two engineers. The building of eight storeys was an illegal construction. The owner was arrested when he tried to flee the country.

 

Third largest textile superpower in the world

Providing for the textile industry is worth 77 percent of all export of the impoverished Bangladesh. Behind China and Italy, Bangladesh has the largest textile industry in the world. It is one of the largest exporters of clothing to the United States and Europe. Savar is located situated in the heart of the textile industry of the country, 45 km from the capital Dhaka.

 

The minimum wage is 29 euro per month, even though a lot of companies pay even less. Furthermore working conditions are very often below par: deadly victims are no exception. Five months ago a factory fire cost the lives of 112 people.

 

Irish Primark already admitted that the collapsed factory was part of their supply chain. Other retailers are trying to stay out of the picture, but labels of Spanish Mango were also found in the rubble. C&A also worked with the factory, but recently stopped that cooperation.

 

“Lack of safety structural and poignant”

In the meantime policy makers urge companies to follow the OECD guidelines. “The lack of safety in textile factories in Bangladesh is structural and very poignant”, said the Dutch minister for Foreign Trade and Development Lilianne Ploumen.

 

“Since 2006 over 800 workers have died in Bangladesh. We can not accept that textile workers run incredible risks while making our jeans and T-shirts”, she states.

Questions or comments? Please feel free to contact the editors


Small Belgian brewery conquers Brazil thanks to playing cards

13/09/2017

Het Nest, a small brewery from Turnhout, will get its beers brewed in Brazil as well. It has struck a deal with Cervejaria Premium Paulista, which will brew and distribute the beers locally.

Price cuts drive 25 % more customers to Whole Foods

12/09/2017

Supermarket chain Whole Foods welcomed an additional 25 % of customers in the first few days following Amazon’s price cuts.

Ter Beke enters British food service industry

12/09/2017

Belgian food group Ter Beke has acquired a 90 % stake in British competitor KK Fine Foods for an undisclosed fee. The current shareholders hold onto the other 10 %.

Godiva wants to conquer the world through supermarkets

12/09/2017

Belgian praline brand Godiva will soon sell its chocolate in supermarkets all over the world after signing a deal with chains like Albert Heijn and Sainsbury’s. Previously, it sold nearly all its chocolate through its own store network.

Insight: Xavier Piesvaux' seven labours at Delhaize

10/09/2017

Can one French and several Dutch managers do what the Belgian management failed to do these past few years at Delhaize Belgium? Its new CEO will face plenty of challenges: we count at least seven.

Nestlé USA acquires food manufacturer Sweet Earth

08/09/2017

Nestlé USA has acquired American Sweet Earth for an undisclosed fee. The company mainly manufactures meat replacements, a rapidly-growing market, but also several frozen meals.

Back to top