Silver threads, frayed seams

Until

Garment workers on their way to work, early in the morning, in Dhaka. Bangladesh earns more than $12 billion in garment exports, mainly to the United States and the European Union. The sector has employed about 2 million workers, mostly women, with the official minimum monthly wage for a new garment worker starting at 3,000 takas ($45). Dhaka, Bangladesh. September 12, 2012.

Continue reading “Silver threads, frayed seams”

Bangladesh death toll rises

Labels Primark and Mango found after factory collapse Bangladesh Labour Rights groups mourn senseless loss of life

Kazi Azizul from Linkedin group:?Bangladesh Business Discussion
Latest count 261 dead, 371 missing. bdnews24.com 4:00 am GMT.

Workers killed in Rana Plaza in Savar, Bangladesh, embrace in death. Photo Taslima Akhter
Workers killed in Rana Plaza in Savar, Bangladesh, embrace in death. Photo Taslima Akhter

Wednesday, 24 Apri: The Clean Clothes Campaign, along with trade unions and labour rights organisations in Bangladesh and around the world is calling for immediate action from international brands following today’s collapse of the Rana Plaza building in Savar, in Dhaka Bangladesh. The collapse of the eight story building, covering three factories and a mall, cost the lives of at least 82 people and injured over 800.
Wreckage of Rana Plaza, a building which collapsed on 24th April in Savar Bangladesh, killing many. Photo K M Asad
Wreckage of Rana Plaza, a building which collapsed on 24th April in Savar Bangladesh, killing many. Photo K M Asad

Wreckage of Rana Plaza, a building which collapsed on 24th April in Savar Bangladesh, killing many. Photo Monirul Islam
Wreckage of Rana Plaza, a building which collapsed on 24th April in Savar Bangladesh, killing many. Photo Monirul Islam

Activists today managed to enter the ruins of ‘Rana Plaza’ and found labels linking major European retailers to this latest tragedy: Spanish high street brand Mango and British Primark. Rana Plaza also produced for a host of well known European and US brand names including C&A, KIK and Wal-Mart. These brands were also involved in the fire at the Tazreen factory, not far from Savar, where 112 workers died in a fire exactly five months ago. German costcutter KIK was also involved in the Ali Enterprises fire in Pakistan, where nearly 300 workers burned to death last September.
Blackboard lists number of dead and missing at wreckage of Rana Plaza, a building which collapsed on 24th April in Savar Bangladesh, killing many. Photo Taslima Akhter
Blackboard lists number of dead and missing at wreckage of Rana Plaza, a building which collapsed on 24th April in Savar Bangladesh, killing many. Photo Taslima Akhter

Uncontrollable grief of survivors at wreckage of Rana Plaza, a building which collapsed on 24th April in Savar Bangladesh, killing many. Photo Taslima Akhter
Uncontrollable grief of survivors at wreckage of Rana Plaza, a building which collapsed on 24th April in Savar Bangladesh, killing many. Photo Taslima Akhter

Woman grieves over a body at wreckage of Rana Plaza, a building which collapsed on 24th April in Savar Bangladesh, killing many. Photo K M Asad
Woman grieves over a body at wreckage of Rana Plaza, a building which collapsed on 24th April in Savar Bangladesh, killing many. Photo K M Asad

Survivors grieve at wreckage of Rana Plaza, a building which collapsed on 24th April in Savar Bangladesh, killing many. Photo K M Asad
Survivors grieve at wreckage of Rana Plaza, a building which collapsed on 24th April in Savar Bangladesh, killing many. Photo K M Asad

 
The killed and injured workers were producing garments for when their factory ? with allegedly illegally built floors – suddenly gave way with a loud sound, leaving only the ground floor intact. This latest collapse provides yet further evidence that voluntary company led monitoring has failed to protect workers? lives. Labour rights groups say unnecessary deaths will continue unless and until brands and government officials agree to an independent and binding fire and building safety program.
Shocked onlookers at wreckage of Rana Plaza, a building which collapsed on 24th April in Savar Bangladesh, killing many. Photo K M Asad
Shocked onlookers at wreckage of Rana Plaza, a building which collapsed on 24th April in Savar Bangladesh, killing many. Photo K M Asad

Hundreds of people gather at wreckage of Rana Plaza, a building which collapsed on 24th April in Savar Bangladesh, killing many. Photo K M Asad
Hundreds of people gather at wreckage of Rana Plaza, a building which collapsed on 24th April in Savar Bangladesh, killing many. Photo K M Asad

 
?It’s unbelievable that brands still refuse to sign a binding agreement with unions and labour groups to stop these unsafe working conditions from existing. Tragedy after tragedy shows that corporate-controlled monitoring is completely inadequate,? says Tessel Pauli from Clean Clothes Campaign.
Bodies being excavated at wreckage of Rana Plaza, a building which collapsed on 24th April in Savar Bangladesh, killing many. Photo K M Asad
Bodies being excavated at wreckage of Rana Plaza, a building which collapsed on 24th April in Savar Bangladesh, killing many. Photo K M Asad

She adds: ?Right now the families of the victims are grieving and the community is in shock. But they, and the hundreds injured in the collapse, are without income and without support. Immediate relief and longterm compensation must be provided by the brands who were sourcing from these factories, and responsibility taken for their lack of action to prevent this happening.?
Survivors searching for loved ones at wreckage of Rana Plaza, a building which collapsed on 24th April in Savar Bangladesh, killing many. Photo Taslima Akhter
Survivors searching for loved ones at wreckage of Rana Plaza, a building which collapsed on 24th April in Savar Bangladesh, killing many. Photo Taslima Akhter

Survivors being taken for medical care at wreckage of Rana Plaza, a building which collapsed on 24th April in Savar Bangladesh, killing many. Photo Taslima Akhter
Survivors being taken for medical care at wreckage of Rana Plaza, a building which collapsed on 24th April in Savar Bangladesh, killing many. Photo Taslima Akhter

Survivor in shock being given water at wreckage of Rana Plaza, a building which collapsed on 24th April in Savar Bangladesh, killing many. Photo Taslima Akhter
Survivor in shock being given water at wreckage of Rana Plaza, a building which collapsed on 24th April in Savar Bangladesh, killing many. Photo Taslima Akhter

 
Makeshift medical centre at wreckage of Rana Plaza, a building which collapsed on 24th April in Savar Bangladesh, killing many. Photo Taslima Akhter
Makeshift medical centre at wreckage of Rana Plaza, a building which collapsed on 24th April in Savar Bangladesh, killing many. Photo Taslima Akhter

 
To stop these collapses from happening, the Clean Clothes Campaign calls upon brands sourcing from Bangladesh to sign on to the Bangladesh Fire and Building Safety Agreement immediately. The CCC, together with local and global unions and labour rights organisations has developed a sector-wide program for action that includes independent building inspections, worker rights training, public disclosure and a long-overdue review of safety standards. It is transparent as well as practical, and unique in being supported by all key labour stakeholders in Bangladesh and internationally.
A woman searches for missing family members at wreckage of Rana Plaza, a building which collapsed on 24th April in Savar Bangladesh, killing many. Photo K M Asad
A woman searches for missing family members at wreckage of Rana Plaza, a building which collapsed on 24th April in Savar Bangladesh, killing many. Photo K M Asad

The agreement was already signed last year by the US company PVH Corp (owner of Calvin Klein and Tommy Hilfiger) and the German retailer Tchibo. The labour signatories are now calling on all major brands sourcing in the industry to sign on to the initiative in order to ensure its rapid implementation. The programme has the potential to save the lives of hundreds of thousands of workers currently at risk in unsafe and illegally built factories.
The price of greed. A dismembered hand at wreckage of Rana Plaza, a building which collapsed on 24th April in Savar Bangladesh, killing many. Photo Monirul Islam
The price of greed. A dismembered hand at wreckage of Rana Plaza, a building which collapsed on 24th April in Savar Bangladesh, killing many. Photo Monirul Islam

CCC has been campaigning on safety issues in Bangladesh since the collapse of the Spectrum factory in 2005, which left 64 people dead and involved high street brand Zara.

Fire in Khagrachari

A devastating fire broke out in Mohajanpara in Khagrachari at the end of the Biju celebrations. Neighbours and fire fighters were quite to respond and no one appears to have been injured or killed.

A fire broke out in a house in  Mahajanpara in Khagrachari in the Chittagong Hill Tracts. Neighbours and the fire brigade quickly responded. No one was hurt or injured. Photo: Shahidul Alam/Drik/Majority World
A fire broke out in a house in Mahajanpara in Khagrachari in the Chittagong Hill Tracts. Neighbours and the fire brigade quickly responded. No one was hurt or injured. Photo: Shahidul Alam/Drik/Majority World

Continue reading “Fire in Khagrachari”

This Week's Biggest Moments in 27 Photos

By?Emil Lendof

This week was filled with photo-worthy events. With Spring underway, butterflies emerged from their chrysalises in the “Sensational Butterflies” exhibit at the Natural History Museum in London. The world’s number one chess player was also seen competing this week in the World Chess Championship Candidates competition. This competition will decide who challenges Viswanathan Anand for the title of World Champion in november 2013.

A Rare Fossilized Elephant Bird Egg At Christie’s

The elephant bird egg is expected to fetch 30,000 GBP when it features in Christie’s “Travel, Science and Natural History” sale, to be held in London.?(Image via Oli Scarff/Getty Images) Continue reading “This Week's Biggest Moments in 27 Photos”

Dawn-to-Dusk Opposition Strike

Photos by Monirul Alam, text by bdnews24.com

The opposition enforced countrywide shutdown protesting against the latest hike in fuel oil prices began on Sunday amidst tight security necessiated by incidents of explosions and vandalism yesterday evening.

BNP supported lawyers shout slogan during the dawn to dusk strike in Old Dhaka on Sunday. The Bangladesh National Party BNP and its 18 party alliance enforced a countrywide dawn to dusk shutdown protesting against the latest hike in fuel oil prices January 06 2013/ Dhaka, Bangladesh- ? Monirul Alam
BNP supported lawyers shout slogan during the dawn to dusk strike in Old Dhaka on Sunday. The Bangladesh National Party BNP and its 18 party alliance enforced a countrywide dawn to dusk shutdown protesting against the latest hike in fuel oil prices January 06 2013/ Dhaka, Bangladesh- ? Monirul Alam

The government on Thursday increased prices of octane, diesel, petrol and kerosene for the fifth time in four years, despite a threat by the opposition alliance to enforce a strike within a day of the hike.
A Bangladeshi  policeman fires a rubber bullet to disperse the procession during the dawn to dusk strike in Old Dhaka on Sunday. The Bangladesh National Party BNP and its 18 party alliance enforced a countrywide dawn to dusk shutdown protesting against the latest hike in fuel oil prices January 06 2013/ Dhaka, Bangladesh ? Monirul Alam
A Bangladeshi policeman ?in Old Dhaka fires a rubber bullet to disperse the procession during the dawn to dusk strike on Sunday. The Bangladesh National Party BNP and its 18 party alliance enforced a countrywide dawn to dusk shutdown protesting against the latest hike in fuel oil prices January 06 2013/ Dhaka, Bangladesh ? Monirul Alam

Incidentally, the shutdown has come on a day when the ruling Awami League led coalition completes four years in office.
A Bangladeshi  polices carries a water drum to  try to remove  fires on the burning car during
Bangladeshi policemen carry a water drum to try to quench the fire on a burning car during the dawn to dusk hartal enforced by the opposition 18 party alliance on Sunday. January 6 2013. Dhaka Bangladesh. ? Monirul Alam

Long March

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Day One

Dhaka to Gazipur

Bangladeshi citizens began a long march from Dhaka to Dinajpur to protect the country’s natural resources. The march began at Muktangon in Dhaka with a rally and the first day ended in Gazipur with a cultural programme. People joined along the way. The march will end with a rally at Phulbaria in Dinajpur on the 30th October 2010

Latest update from Taslima Akhtar: 9:43 am. 25th Oct 2010: Rally now headed for Tangail District. Via Konabari and Chondra.
Update from Taslima Akhtar: 12:01 pm 26th October 2010: Rally left Sirajgonj, heading to Bogram via Hotikimrun and Gurkha Point. Stopping soon for lunch.
Long March leaving Sherpur for Bogra Shodor. Source Taslima Akhter 16:35 pm. 26th Oct 2010
Arrived at Bogra. Public Meetings. Overnight in Bogra: Source Taslima Akhter 19:48 pm. 26th Oct 2010
Heading 2 Mahasthangar, St. rally n Mokomtola upazila. lunch @ Gobindogonj then 2ward Gaibandha: Source Taslima Akhter 11:58 am 27/10/2010
Arrived in Gaibandha. Source Taslima Akhter 14:35 pm 29/10/2010
Left Gaibandha for Rangpur at 10:00 am. Will be passing through Sadallahpur and Madargonj upozilas before stopping at Peergonj where we will have lunch at noon: Taslima Akhter 11:42 am 28/10.2010
Left Rangpur. Expect to arrive in Sayedpur around noon via Paglapeer and Taragonj. Numbers steadily growing as more people join the procession: Taslima Akhter 10:49 29th October 2010

Concert along the way. Long March. Photo: Taslima Akhter

More recent photos by Taslima Akhter of Long March

]
- The Long March of the National Committee to Protect Oil-Gas and Power-Port. reached Bogra on Tuesday. The committee started their Long March to Phulbari Coal Mine in Dinajpur from Dhaka on October 24 to press home its 7-point demand. The demands include expulsion of Asia Energy from Bangladesh and cancel its deal with the government on Phulbari coal mine. The March reached Dinajpur on October 30. Bogra, Bangladesh. October 27, 2010 ? Mahabub Alam Khan/DrikNews

Garment worker leader Moshrefa Mishu amongst many other leaders who attended the rally. Shahidul Alam/Drik/Majority World


Towards the beginning of the march as it goes past the secretariat. Paltan. Shahidul Alam/Drik/Majority World

The March as it goes through Shantinagar in Dhaka. Shahidul Alam/Drik/Majority World

The Long March makes its way through Dhaka city. At Moghbazaar before turning toward Rampura. Photo: Shahidul Alam/Drik/Majority World

Others join the group as it goes through Tejgaon. Shahidul Alam/Drik/Majority World

Construction workers looking on. Photo: Shahidul Alam/Drik/Majority World

Part of the march was by bus, with rooftops used as there were too many people. Photo: Shahidul Alam/Drik/Majority World

Vegetable Khichuri for lunch. Photo: Shahidul Alam/Drik/Majority World

Many others join in Gazipur where an evening cultural programme is also held, before more speeches. Photo: Shahidul Alam/Drik/Majority World

Onlookers trying to get a peek at the stage. Photo: Shahidul Alam/Drik/Majority World