Target: President Abdul Hamid
Goal: Publish inspection reports on factories in Bangladesh
Since the tragic incident in Rana Plaza, the Bangladesh government along with international retailers were ordered to inspect factories for structure damage and other violations. However, fewer than 40 reports have been published and those have mostly been from non-government groups. Authorities should release all inspection reports and ensure that they are written in Bengali as well as English.
On April 2013, workers were forced back inside the Rana Plaza a day after authorities found large cracks in the structure. Rana Plaza is an eight-story garment factory, and when the building subsequently collapsed, it killed approximately 1,100 people. It is considered the deadliest structural failure in human history and it was allowed to happen because supervisors cared more about profits than the well being of their workers.
Reforms quickly passed after the tragedy. Government officials are now required to inspect factories for structure integrity, along with fire and electrical hazards. There are at least 3,500 garment factories in Bangladesh alone, but only 40 reports have been published. There is a blatant gap in the amount of information being released, and one can only suspect the Bangladesh government of withholding information.
Currently, international retailers have done more for the Bangladesh workers than the government itself. While Bangladesh allows unions, employers who find out that their workers are trying to form unions often resort to intimidation techniques. Their workers can be fired, physically and sexually harassed, and even killed. It’s been documented that managers would deceive factory inspectors by sending child laborers home or hiding them within the factory. Any missing safety equipment could be borrowed by another factory.
Factory owners need to focus on the well being of their workers. Their rights are currently being choked in the country and massive reforms need to take place. Sign this petition to support workers’ rights by demanding that all factory inspection reports be released to the public.
Dear President Abdul Hamid,
In 2013, your country suffered a massive tragedy. Approximately 1,100 people lost their lives when the factory they were working in, the Rana Plaza, collapsed, killing those who were working inside. A day before this incident, supervisors evacuated the building when large cracks were found on the walls. Despite this clear indication that the building was not structurally sound, the supervisors forced these people back inside to work.
The tragedy highlights a very severe problem in Bangladesh. It is blatantly obvious that factory owners and managers have no compassion for their workers. They care more about making profits than human lives, and that is truly sickening. I am writing to demand that your government release all inspection reports to the public and ensure that they are written in Bengali and English. Everyone has the right to know if the place they are working in is safe and secure.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: rijans via Flickr