Garments: The storm has arrived


[Since April, the bloggers of Alal O Dulal have repeatedly warned that HR violations in garments industry will destroy this sector. Those in the garments sector, media, and government who deny reality and call human rights activists “enemy of progress” will reap a bitter harvest (even the PM dismissed the Aminul Islam disappearance on a BBC interview). In July we posted the headline “storm coming.” We were ignored. Now the storm is here, as the bankruptcy of the HR situation in “golden” garments sector is revealed to the world.]

120 people dead and counting. Front page on the BBC, NYT, Guardian and – most ominously – the FT. (Links below the fold). The merchant princes of the BGMEA/BTMEA have insisted for two prosperous decades that any concession to labour’s demands for better wages or safety standards would drive them out of business. For them, the storm has made landfall this weekend taking 120 lives already.

We have warned about garments being in focus since we started this blog (links below the fold). We appreciate the unique role it plays in our economy. It is to preserve and grow this industry that the garments-wallahs need to wake up and listen to their workers.

Over the past two years, we have seen scandals snowball and precipitate an avalanche in the West, burying their victims before they have even had time to look up. Deep Horizon and Tony “I’d like to get my life back” Hayward, phone hacking and the Murdoch gang, Jimmy Savile and the BBC,  love triangles and Dave Petraeus to name a few. Do the garments-wallahs really want to add to that list?

Alal o Dulal: Who Killed Aminul Islam? – April / Garment: storm coming – July / Pechal thread with links to testimony before Congress – July / NYT Front Page: Made in Bangladesh – August / Will “Made in Bangladesh” become a scarlet letter? – September

Bangla Blogs: Reza Ghatak: Look Bangladesh, Poor People Burn/ Eskimo: This is mass murder not accident/  Ragib:Murderer Owners and Golden Egg Duck

Media links: 
BBC / NYT / GuardianFT/ Al Jazeera

5 comments

  1. ‘এটা হত্যাকাণ্ড’……check factory bank status……
    তুবা গ্রুপের ar real owner died 2 years back by gangstar by candabazi…….daughter in law is now runing the show …..islami bank…jamuna bank have 100 crore labilaty labilaty….তুবা গ্রুপর ওয়েব সাইটের তথ্য অনুযায়ী, ‘তাজরিন ফ্যাশন’…..badda factory status check….
    Jumana bank a 16 crore liability…..other bank u check
    3 hours ago via mobile · Like
    Masudur Rahman Sorry 62 crore only Jamuna bank a
    3 hours ago via mobile · Like
    Masudur Rahman Islami bank main bank..
    3 hours ago via mobile · Like
    Masudur Rahman তুবা গ্রুপের ar real owner died 2 years back by gangstar by candabazi…….daughter in law is now runing the show …..islami bank…jamuna bank have 100 crore labilaty labilaty….

    • But these unsafe conditions are at MANY garments factories. Can the particular gangster ownership of this factory be cause for thinking “this is not us” and “just a few bad apples”? If the industry wants to get serious about rights issues, they have to sign, implement and abide by a UNIVERSAL SET OF CONDUCT on rights, regulation, wages. Otherwise this “not us, just those bad ones” game will continue.

  2. A recent past-president of BGMEA said it all in a televised interview. The only thing that attracts garment buyers to Bangladesh is its cheap labour, “If the labour cost goes up, we will lose the market, and that is why we fight tooth and nail when there is any talk of wage rise”. He, of course, forgot to mention about the obnoxious profit he was making from this, and any wage rise is surely to eat into it if he is to remain competitive in the international market. The familiar story of “labour surplus = capital accumulation”…… ? Our modern day entrepreneurs will continue to exploit the situation as long as they can, not for the country, but for themselves.

  3. Well, more details of “Tuba” group is coming out. Owner of Toba group and Tazreen Fashions Ltd. Delwear Hossain seems to be close with Awami League, specially with Awami League leader Mirza Azam.

    http://www.amardeshonline.com/pages/details/2012/11/29/175610#.ULZ892cpWHk

    After such colossal owner is walking and living free (even giving interview) says lot about his affiliation with ruling party.

    Sheikh Hasina said in JS that fire was a sabotage even before any conclusion by knowledgeable authority. But it was widely reported that factory workers who survived the fire by jumping several floors said that most of these workers burned alive because company management locked exit gate on each floor after the fire started. Awami League govt, leadership and law enforcement run and operated by awami league still silent on any action finding these mass murderers. Ramu to Ashulia, digital Bangladesh keep burning…

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