Bangladesh Workers Solidarity Network
Tazreen Fire – One year later.
We mark one year
since the fire that killed over a hundred people in a locked garments factory
building “Tazreen” in Dhaka, Bangladesh.
Against this betrayal of humanity,
there has been
unprecedented cohesiveness within the working class in Bangladesh and an
outpouring of moral support the world over. Small but significant gains have
been achieved by workers materially and politically.
Email Update from Saydia in Dhaka
Date: Fri, 8 Nov 2013 07:44:51 +0600
I hope you all are in good health and enduring struggles wherever you are.
I haven't been able to stay in touch with you more regularly. We are working on a separate writ-petition seeking the government and BGMEA to make the list of missing, injured and deceased workers of Rana Plaza public. The work of putting the petition together kept us on our toes. I am sorry about my prolonged silence.
Writing this brief update is not easy for us. Sumaya was released from the hospital on October 21st after completion of her first round of radiation therapy. Sadly, now she is almost blind. Sumaya does not have the same excruciating pain, but she is suffering. Today, her mother organized a milad-mehfil (a prayer meet), so her soul may be free from this misery soon.
Keep her in your thoughts & prayers and join us in Sumaya's fight to bring the factory owners to justice
love and solidarity
Factory Inspections Begin
As of November 8, 2013, factory inspections under the Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh, signed by at least 80 international retailers have started on a test basis. The alternate North American Alliance (NAA), a platform of 22 North American retailers, and the Bangladesh Labor and employment ministry will inspect another 500 and 2,000 respectively.
As reported by Guardian on November 18, Walmart reports that 10 of about 75 of its Bangladesh garment factories failed safety checks in audits so far and, “factories that failed audits have since made improvements”.
Minimum Wage Increase
After months of
massive street demonstrations participated by 50 thousand to 200 thousand
workers, strikes in several hundred factories, attacks by police and militia
with bullets and tear gas, lockouts by the factory owners etc, the Bangladesh
Government’s minimum wage recommendation of $67/month was announced in November
14, 2013. The prior minimum wage was $40/month.