Statement to the Fire at the Factory of Tazreen Fashions Killing over Hundreds in Dhaka, Bangladesh
Besides conveying our deepest condolence and concerns to all victims, Asian Transnational Corporations Monitoring Network (ATNC) is calling for an immediate action from the Bangladeshi government and international clothing brands following the deadly fire at the factory of Tazreen Fashions on late Saturday, 24 November 2012.
At least 112 deaths are confirmed and hundreds of workers injured when they jumped from high windows in order to escape the smoke and flames. These killed and injured workers made clothes for Hong Kong-based Li & Fung on behalf of various international brands, such as C & A, Carrefour, KIK and Walmart.
Li & Fung is one of the largest apparel sourcing companies in the world. Regrettably, this multinational enterprise has a poor track record of not respecting labour rights for many years. Despite the company’s vow to comply with their codes of conducts and corporate social responsibility throughout the production and sourcing process, injustices and deadly accidents continue to happen. Before this deadly factory fire inBangladesh, a Turkish garment factory called Hey Tekstil which produced for Li & Fung was also found of having an outbreak of workers’ protest this year. Hundreds of workers, who are owed more than 4.7 million euro, protested at Li & Fung office inIstanbulto demand for compensation. However, the compensation is yet undone. Adding more wounds to workers, theBangladeshfire once again revealed the negligence and irresponsibility of Li & Fung in upholding labour rights.
Li & Fung and the international buyers such as Walmart and C & A have an undeniable responsibility in compensating the workers. Let us be clear. Playing a blame game with other parts of the supply chain is in violation of the UN Business and Human Rights guidelines. All the companies concerned should uphold their due diligence and their obligation to mediate.
1. Li & Fung and other international buyers of Tazreen Factory should pay full and fair compensation to the victims and their families.
2. Li & Fung and other international brand companies should be obliged to comply with national and international health and safety measures, whichever is a higher standard, in a serious manner through their annual audit on the health and safety standards.
3. The manufacturers as well as the international brand companies should ensure all the supply-chain factories are manufacturing under the satisfactory working conditions where both national and international health and safety standards are strictly not violated. Any improvements should be carried out.
4. The Bangladeshi Government to set up an independent and transparent body to investigate the causes of this fire and to examine whether there is any ongoing negligence in failing to comply with both national and international health and safety standards to garment factories. The Government should take appropriate legal action to prosecute when necessary. Also, this body should look into the redress for all victims.
Should there be any enquiries, please contact ATNC at email@example.com