BANGLADESH: Factories close as deaths rise and workers protest
The eight-storey Rana Plaza building on the outskirts of Dhaka collapsed two days ago
Bangladesh ready-made garment (RMG) factories will stay closed over the weekend, after the death toll in Bangladesh's worst ever industrial accident climbed to around 300 and garment workers took to the streets to protest.
The Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) and the Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BKMEA) announced the decision at a joint press conference today (26 April).
The groups say they will also compensate the families of the dead workers, provide jobs, and rehabilitate those who are unable to work.
Meanwhile, eight garment worker organisations have called for a day-long protest on Sunday at all RMG factories across the country. They are calling for the arrest of Rana Plaza owner Sohel Rahna, as well as the owners of the garment factories housed in the building.
An estimated 20,000 workers from ready-made garment (RMG) factories in Gazipur, Savar and Narayanganj yesterday (25 April) blocked five major highways in protest at the death of workers trapped in the collapsed Rana Plaza building in Savar where five garment factories were based.
The clashes left 20 people injured in the Adamjee Export Processing Zone (EPZ) area in Narayanganj, according to reports.
Several garment units in Savar and Gazipur were shuttered on Thursday, amid fears of vandalism and violence. Many garment factories in the capital Dhaka also suspended operations in a show of sympathy to the victims.
The eight-storey Rana Plaza building on the outskirts of Dhaka collapsed on Wednesday (24 April) - just five months after a fire at the Tazreen Fashion factory, not far from Savar, led to the loss of another 112 lives.
The factories based at Rana Plaza - Ether Tex, New Wave Bottoms, New Wave Style, Phantom Apparels and Phantom Tex - made low-cost garments for Western brands, including the UK's Primark fashion chain and Canadian brand Joe Fresh.
On Thursday, the government formed a five-member probe committee to investigate the building's collapse.
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