10 Years of Rana Plaza Workers Killing
Joint Press Conference
10 years of Rana Plaza workers murder. 1138 garment workers of 5 garment factories were killed in the accident. 2,500 workers were seriously injured. Hundreds of children lose their parents. Many injured workers are crippled. Many injured workers are still unable to work.
A joint press conference was held today on April 18, 2023, at 2 PM, Zahur Hossain Chowdhury Hall, Jatiya Press-Club (2nd Floor), Dhaka on the initiative of Rana Plaza Victims and the National Garment Workers Federation (NGWF).
The president of the federation, Mr. Amirul Haque Amin, gave a written statement at the press conference.
Federation Central Leader Rafiqul Islam, Md. Kabir Hossain, Sweety Sultana, Farooq Khan and others were present.
Rana Plaza Victims : Rana Plaza lost father and mother — 4 including Vijay, Parvez, Nihan, Rana Plaza injured workers — Miss Nilufa, Mrs. Anju Ara, Mrs. Sheila including 40, husbands — Mrs. Lovely, Mrs. Hosneyara.
Present in solidarity: Mr. Mostafa Kamal, Coordinator UNIBLC, Mr. Kamrul Hasan, General Secretary, Youth Affairs Secretary Industrial Bangladesh Council (IBC), Miss Mehzabeen Mitali, and Women Affairs Secretary – National Shop Employees Federation.
31 buyers were associated with 5 factories. Assisted the victims: 19.
The 12 non-cooperative buyers are: Adler Modemarkte, Ascena Retail, Cato Fashions, Carrefour, Grabalok (Store 21), Iconix (Lee Cooper), J.C. Penney, Kanz (Kids Fashion Group), Manifatura Corona, NKD, PWT (Texman), YesZee.
There is no way to call Rana Plaza an accident or a tragedy. This is direct worker murder. Many people blame this Rana Plaza worker killing incident on Bangladesh’s garment industry was mentioned as a Wake-up call.
Wake up Call- On December 27, 1990, 27 garment workers died in a fire at Saraka Garments in Mirpur.
The victims of Rana Plaza are not doing well. Many of them need treatment, many need resettlement, and many need more support.
Exemplary punishment should be given to all those responsible including cancellation of bail of Rana Plaza owner Sohail Rana.
In the 10 years following Rana Plaza, several advancements have been made in the garment industry of Bangladesh.
Garment owners, workers, governments and buyers are now more aware of worker safety and safe workplaces.
Despite all these advances, the small and medium factories that are still needed for our garment industry and workers, those who do sub-contact work, must also be made safe. Safe workplaces must be sustainable. All obstacles to the formation and practice of trade unions should be removed. All written and unwritten barriers to bargaining and striking should be removed. Workers must be guaranteed a safe workplace as well as a living wage.
At the same time, the buying practice of “buyers”, the main protagonists of the garment or fashion business, needs to be changed, transparent and fair.
The said program was announced from the press conference:
- 24th April on the day of workers assassination Placing wreath on the martyred patient of Rana Plaza.
- Celebration of May Day on 1st May.
- Human chain with Rana Plaza victim in front of High Court demanding cancellation of bail of Sohail Rana on May 8.
- Garment workers human chain to sign all active buyers’ accord in Bangladesh.
- Black flag rally against 12 buyers (who did not help Rana Plaza).
Post : Riyad Hossain, Picture : Lukman Ali, Dhaka, Bangladesh.