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Fatal building collapse in Bangladesh.
The factory collapse in Bangladesh has now claimed upward of 700 lives, making it the worst industrial disaster in Bangladesh and the most deadly one in the history of the garment industry. As has been widely reported, workers were hesitant to enter the building on the day of the collapse due to visible cracks in the building.

Rescue workers look for trapped garment workers in the Rana Plaza building which collapsed, in Savar, 30 km (19 miles) outside Dhaka April 24, 2013. A block housing garment factories and shops collapsed in Bangladesh on Wednesday, killing nearly 100 peopl
According to an estimate provided by the Worker Rights Consortium, it could be as little as 10 cents per article of clothing. The group comes to this figure by estimating that building renovation, safety equipment installation, and other related costs would come to about $3 billion, which is says is a high estimate that assumes virtually all factory buildings need major renovations, as some may not. Spreading that cost over five years, it comes to $600 million each year, and tacking 10 cents on to each of the roughly 7 billion garments exported from the country each year would easily cover that cost. After the initial investment in renovations, the group says the costs of maintenance will drop significantly.
Even on a Walmart budget, would anyone notice a difference of ten cents on a price tag? This is perhaps more negligible than adding fourteen cents to Papa John Schnatter's pizza thanks to the burden of providing health insurance to employees.
But it may not be as simple as companies investing more in building renovations and fire extinguishers. As Pietra Rivoli, a professor of international business, told ThinkProgress, one of the biggest barriers to safe working conditions is a political infrastructure in Bangladesh that can properly monitor workers and their employers. “In the U.S. we have things like building codes and occupancy permits,” she pointed out. “What’s missing in Bangladesh is that local political infrastructure.”
Eh. West, Texas begs to differ. Having said that, I happen to live in the 'liberal wasteland' of New York City that values life. The other day workers were powerwashing the rooftop HVAC units of a restaurant less than a hundred feet from my apartment building. Apparently this is by code required regularly,  to prevent grease fires. The restaurant is going strong and seems able to absorb these outrageous costs. I bet they even have adequate insurance.
A victim's body lies amid rubble at the site of a building that collapsed Wednesday in Savar, near Dhaka, Bangladesh,Thursday, April 25, 2013. By Thursday, the death toll reached at least 194 people as rescuers continued to search for injured and missing,
The response from many large retailers so far has been to pull production from the country altogether. The Walt Disney Company has already announced that it will end production in Bangladesh, and other retailers may follow suit. That could devastate the country’s economy and make life even more difficult for its garment workers. Other Western retailers have indicated that they will instead invest in operations in Bangladesh and look at new plans for factory safety, but so far most of the money pledged will be for relief efforts and few have committed to upgrading factories or tougher inspections.
And where will they pull their operations to? Another country with no regulations and dangerous factories?
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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (6+ / 0-)

    "I'm sculpting now. Landscapes mostly." ~ Yogi Bear

    by eXtina on Wed May 08, 2013 at 12:22:23 PM PDT

  •  This is just a (3+ / 0-)

    massive heap of stinking horseshit that belongs on the dining room tables of the responsible parties.

    From here on out, no one can escape the havoc wrought by the unmitigated Class, Climate and Terror Wars.

    by Words In Action on Wed May 08, 2013 at 01:53:52 PM PDT

  •  We need fair trade agreements. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    We need to have requirements for minimum wages, health and safety and environmental protections in every trade agreement we have.

    This needs to be a major push from progressives and labor organizations.  It will help save lives in foreign countries, help save the planet and it will help level the playing field for American manufacturing workers.

    We will not get help from the politicians because their donors do not want it and we will not get help from the media because their advertisers do not want it.

    It is up to us.

    "Perhaps the sentiments contained in the following pages, are not YET sufficiently fashionable to procure them general favour..."

    by Buckeye Nut Schell on Thu May 09, 2013 at 06:51:16 AM PDT

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