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Nearly 5,000 workers protested in Dhaka on 26 April expressing outrage at the death to hundreds and injury to thousands of garment workers in the Rana Plaza building collapse. You can join the protest online here.
The protest in Dhaka was in response to the worst ever industrial accident in Bangladesh where already more than 300 workers have died, thousands are injured and many more remain trapped and unaccounted for in the rubble of the collapsed 8 story building.
Roy Ramesh, IndustriALL Bangladesh Council (IBC) General Secretary, presiding over the protest in Dhaka, demanded the severest punishment under the law, including the death penalty, to all those responsible for the mass murder and injury of the workers.
“No words can describe the horror of the criminal action of the manufacturers, brands, employers’ groups BGMEA and BKMEA, and the regulatory authorities for their greed for profit, at the cost of precious human lives, injuries and misery to thousands,” said Ramesh.
The leaders of the rally demanded the immediate arrest of the owners of the building, the manufacturers and the regulatory and inspection authorities, pointing out that no one involved in the numerous building collapses and factory fires in the past have yet been punished.
“In this case, the workers had refused to work, but the employers had threatened to remove them from rolls and deny their wages for the whole month. As this happens to be the last week of the month, workers could not afford to live without their wages, forcing them to work, literally pushing them into the jaws of death!” they said.
The IBC has put forward a Charter of Demands to the Bangladesh government consisting of 5 major demands among many:
In addition the unions are demanding changes to Labour Law so as to guarantee workers decent work, a living wage and freedom of association and collective bargaining rights at the plant, industry and national level.
“IndustriALL Global Union fully supports the IBC and their demands for justice, safe workplaces, union rights and improved working conditions and wages,” said Jyrki Raina, General Secretary of IndustriALL Global Union.
Join the campaign and add your voice of protest on the LabourStart campaign calling to make garment factories in Bangladesh safe here: http://www.labourstartcampaigns.net/show_campaign.cgi?c=1813