This blog makes no apologies for offering our solidarity to fellow-workers across the globe. We are indeed "globalists" in the best sense of the word.
We report the death of 10 workers in a boiler explosion at a Bangladesh garment factory that took place on Monday at a plant of Multifabs Limited, a Bangladeshi company on the outskirts of the capital, Dhaka. The firm supplies knitted apparel to clients in Sweden, Denmark, Germany, Russia, Spain, Netherlands and Britain, including to Littlewoods, one of Britain's oldest retail brands.
Demanding more effective implementation of regulations put in place after the 2013 Rana Plaza disaster that killed more than 1,100 people, workers' unions have called for zero tolerance to such lapses in safety.
"There can be no negotiations on worker safety and no tolerance for such accidents," said Amirul Haque Amin, president of the National Garment Workers Federation, seven of whose members were among the over 50 injured in the factory blast. "After Rana Plaza, the coming together of various stakeholders has brought in better regulation in the industry but casualties in such accidents are still on the higher side. The accident shows that process started after Rana Plaza is far from over"
Implementation of various programmes since Rana Plaza have been uneven and this accident is a reminder that there has to be greater capacity building on ground," said Raisul Islam Khan of UNI Global Union, a federation of trade unions.
Bangladesh's labour department needs to be strengthened, labour inspectors better qualified and more local initiatives are needed to plug the gaps, he told the Thomson Reuters Foundation. Campaigners say the progress in fixing problems in the supply chain has been slow in the industry that employs 4 million people and generates 80 percent of Bangladesh's export earnings.
They have criticised many retailers for failing to improve working conditions - with long hours, low pay, poor safety standards and not being allowed to form trade unions common complaints from garment workers.