Current Weather
The Spy FM

Outrage, Protests In Bangladesh After Factory Fire That Killed Scores

Filed by KOSU News in World News.
November 26, 2012

Horrific is a word that quickly comes to mind about the news from Bangladesh concerning a fire Saturday in a garment factory where clothes were made for retailers around the world, including some in the U.S.

Here’s how The Associated Press starts its latest report:

“The fire alarm: Waved off by managers. An exit door: Locked. The fire extinguishers: Not working and apparently “meant just to impress” inspectors and customers. That is the picture survivors paint of the garment-factory fire Saturday that killed 112 people who were trapped inside or jumped to their deaths in desperation.”

Today, The Wall Street Journal writes, “thousands of Bangladeshi protesters took to the streets. … Workers demanding justice were blocking the streets of a Dhaka suburb in a protest that turned violent at times. The workers threw stones at factories, smashed vehicles and blocked a major highway in the area, according to garment workers’ groups, and some 200 factories were closed for the day after the protest erupted in Ashulia, the industrial zone where the deadly fire occurred.”

There’s also been another fire today at another factory. It’s said to be almost under control.

As The New York Times adds, “activists say that global clothing brands like Tommy Hilfiger and the Gap and those sold by Wal-Mart need to take responsibility for the working conditions in Bangladeshi factories that produce their clothes.”

According to the AP:

“The factory in Saturday’s blaze is owned by Tazreen Fashions Ltd., a subsidiary of the Tuba Group that has produced clothing for Wal-Mart, at least in the past. Neither Tazreen nor Tuba Group officials could be reached for comment.

“The Tuba Group is a major Bangladeshi garment exporter whose clients include Wal-Mart, Carrefour and IKEA, according to its website. Its factories export garments to the U.S., Germany, France, Italy and the Netherlands, among other countries. …

“Tazreen was given a ‘high risk’ safety rating after a May 16, 2011, audit conducted by an ‘ethical sourcing’ assessor for Wal-Mart, according to a document posted on the Tuba Group’s website. It did not specify what led to the rating.

“Wal-Mart spokesman Kevin Gardner said online documents indicating an orange or ‘high risk’ assessment after the May 2011 inspection and a yellow or ‘medium risk’ report after an inspection in August 2011 appeared to pertain to the factory. The August 2011 letter said Wal-Mart would conduct another inspection within one year.

“Gardner said it was not clear if that inspection had been conducted or whether the factory was still making products for Wal-Mart.”

[Copyright 2012 National Public Radio]

Leave a Reply

10AM to 11PM On Point

On Point

On Point unites distinct and provocative voices with passionate discussion as it confronts the stories that are at the center of what is important in the world today. Leaving no perspective unchallenged, On Point digs past the surface and into the core of a subject, exposing each of its real world implications.

Listen Live Now!

11AM to 12PM The Story

The Story

The Story with Dick Gordon brings the news home through first-person accounts. The live weekday program is passionate, personal, immediate and relevant to listeners, focusing on the news where it changes our lives, causes us to stop and rethink, inspires us.

View the program guide!

12PM to 1PM Fresh Air

Fresh Air

This one-hour program features Terry Gross' in-depth interviews with prominent cultural and entertainment figures, as well as distinguished experts on current affairs and news.

View the program guide!

Upcoming Events in your area (Submit your event today!)

Streaming audio and podcasts

Stream KOSU on your smartphone

Phone Streaming

SmartPhone listening options on this page are intended for many iPhones, Blackberries, etc. with low-cost software applications available to listen to our full-time web streams, both News on KOSU-1 and Classical on KOSU-2.

Learn more about our complete range of streaming services

We're perfecting the patient experience - Stillwater Medical Center