The World Federation of Trade Unions (WFTU) is shocked and appalled by the recent crime against the working class of Bangladesh. On January 26, a fire broke out at the “Smart Fashion” garment factory, killing 7 women in their attempt to escape the burning building. Two of them were just teenagers, 15 and 16 years old. At the scene of the tragic event it was discovered that said factory was working for multinational corporations – giants of the clothing industry, such as Inditex (Zara, Bershka etc.) and Solo Invest (Sol’s).
The fire at the “Smart Fashion” garment factory was the latest in a series of deadly incidents at textile factories in Bangladesh. It happened barely two months after the “Tazreen Fashions” tragedy that left 112 workers dead. Workers who survived the fire said that the emergency exits were locked. This comes to prove that this and similar incidents are not just “accidents”, but a continuous crime by the employers and the multinationals who gain billions of dollars and euros by the exploitation of the Bangladeshi working class. The government of Bangladesh does its best to serve the interests of the capitalists and the multinationals, as it is well known that health and safety rules are not respected and Bangladeshi workers are obliged to work under medieval working conditions. The capital and the Bangladeshi government are responsible for these deaths.
The WFTU expresses its sympathy and support to the families of the victims and stands in solidarity with the Bangladeshi garment workers, the working class and people of Bangladesh. The WFTU, on behalf of its 82 million affiliates in 120 countries of the world, demands the immediate application of health and safety standards in the country and calls upon the trade unions of the country to strengthen their struggles against the medieval working conditions in the country and fight for the interests and demands of the workers.