Capitalist terrorism: Retailers in North America order products from foreign companies because the labor is cheap. They pretend that there are health and safety standards for the workers but no one checks the working conditions and the structures that house thousands of people who make those products.
Bangladesh building collapse: clashes erupt amid anger over rescue operation
The death toll has reached 300 but is expected to rise significantly. About 3,000 people are thought to have been in the building in the industrial zone of Savar on the outskirts of the capital, Dhaka, when it collapsed on Wednesday morning shortly after the day's work started.
More than 60 have been found alive and at least 1,000 are thought to have escaped unscathed.
Workers, mostly women work for small wages in an enormous factory in order to provide European and North American stores with cheap clothing. Although cracks were noticed in the factory ceiling, workers were ordered to continue working. The owner is on the run from the police. There's a direct relationship between this tragedy and the things we buy. We are involved here. We need to insist on ethical products.
Retailers feel consumer fallout over Bangladesh factory collapseEthical shopping and protests by consumers have led to some better standards for foreign workers. Now we need to question whether the retailers are aware of the physical conditions of the factories. There are trade missions in these countries, what are they there for?
Joe Fresh parent company Loblaw released a statement Thursday saying some Joe Fresh items were made in the factory and offered its condolences to the victims and their families.
The company said it requires vendors to ensure products are being manufactured in a socially responsible way, prohibiting child harassment, abuse and forced labour, as well as ensuring fair pay, benefits and health and safety standards.
Spokeswoman Julija Hunter said the standards are audited on a regular basis and align with those of the industry around the world.
Scot Nova of Workers' Rights Consortium says "99% of the apparel that's offered for sale to consumers is made in sweatshops."