Rana Plaza: three years on, garment workers still exploited

War on Want, 21 April 2016, by Thulsi Narayanasamy

"Global fashion brands dictate the precise designs of clothes down to the last stitch, yet claim to have little power to ensure the basic rights of workers in factories. On the third anniversary of the Rana Plaza factory collapse, the voices of garment workers continue to be ignored.

The mass of rubble and clothes. Stunned workers emerging on makeshift stretchers. Then the news: it wasn’t an accident. Factory workers had seen the cracks. Rana Plaza had been evacuated, but garment workers were forced to return, for fear of losing their jobs.

Three years after the devastating collapse of Rana Plaza in Bangladesh, the factory owner is in prison, compensation to victims and families has been paid and global garment brands continue to profit from exploitation of workers in Bangladesh.

Over 1100 workers were killed and thousands more seriously injured on 24 April 2013, yet it took years for brands to pay compensation to victims.

Three years on, workers are still forced to work 14-16 hours a day, six days a week, face routine abuse in the workplace, and all for poverty wages that aren’t enough to pay rent in a slum or provide three meals a day. 

All over the world, fashion brands are driven by the search for lowest production prices and the highest profit.

The race to the bottom on wages and competition across garment producing countries has left local factories scrambling to offer the cheapest production prices at the expense of the rights of workers. Exploitation of workers is the norm, and relied upon to rake in profits for the brands. ..."


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"Truly eye-opening."
Julie Kosin, Harpers Bazaar