Monday, April 29, 2013

Bangladesh: Tragedy Shows Urgency of Worker Protections

The situation in Bangladesh is surprising, considering that it’s a nation very similar to India that is an emerging super-power.

On April 24th, 2013, hundreds of factory workers died when the factory building collapsed, crushing all of them at once. The worse part is that this tragedy was highly predictable. Huge cracks had appeared all over the infrastructure the day prior to the tragedy and even though the building had been evacuated a few hundreds workers were forced to still go in and work.

Factory owners pay Bangladeshi workers some of the least amount of wages when compared to all over the world. But even then “they did not have the decency to ensure safety of people who put clothes on the backs of people all over the world.”

Moreover, this is not a sole incident. Several such incidents have occurred in the past killing hundreds of more workers.

Were all these deaths accidental?

Maybe Not! The reason is corruption.

Inspectors, upholding the Labours Act in Bangladesh, take bribes from the factory owners instead of imprisoning them when they find violations of safety provisions. The average bribe is considered to be $13.

The value of the lives of hundred workers is $13 in Bangladesh!

Once again the problem moves back to the government of the nation. Its time there is a reform in the way system works so that normal people get basic rights and living conditions.

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