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In yet another revelation of how slipshod safety standards are in Bangladesh, the BBC reports that the clothing factory that went ablaze two weeks ago didn't have a valid fire safety certificate.

The Director General of Fire Service and Civil Defence, Abu Naim Mohammad Shahidullah, told the BBC that the factory's certificate had expired in June and was not renewed.
"The fire safety certificate was given [to the factory] last year," Mr Shahidullah said.

"But he [the owner] is supposed to get it renewed this year any time after June 2012. We gave him a reminder that he should contact us for renewal. It was not done."

Mr Shahidullah said the fire safety certificates are issued annually to factories and that the owner of Tazreen Fashions Limited did not have valid documentation for the period between July 2012 and June 2013.

Operating a factory without a fire safety certificate is technically illegal in Bangladesh, but those rules are frequently ignored.

Shahidullah said that had factory owner Delowar Hussain sought renewal, the factory would have been inspected.  However, it's pretty safe to say it would have flunked, based on a front-page story in today's NYT.  It reveals that even by Bangladesh's low standards, the factory was a death trap.

Fire safety preparations were woefully inadequate. The building itself was under construction — even as sewing work continued inside — and mounds of flammable yarn and fabric were illegally stored on the ground floor near electrical generators.
Additionally, the windows were blocked by iron bars, and the only staircases led into the fire.  A member of the fire safety team said that her training consisted of little more than a rudimentary lesson on how to use a fire extinguisher.  Precious seconds were lost when the alarm initially sounded and workers were told to ignore it.

Tell me again how sending manufacturing jobs overseas actually saves money?

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (5+ / 0-)

    Romney-Ryan: America's Rollback Team

    by Christian Dem in NC on Fri Dec 07, 2012 at 02:33:59 PM PST

  •  Just appalling (3+ / 0-)

    and no matter how we try, we can't make 3rd world nations change their ways on abusive labor practices.  It's just not possible.

    Better to re-open the factories here in the U.S. and give jobs to people here.  I know I wouldn't mind paying a little more and the corporations can certainly stand a little pinch in their profits.  One less yacht for the CEO to buy.

    Democratic Leaders must be very clear they stand with the working class of our country. Democrats must hold the line in demanding that deficit reduction is done fairly -- not on the backs of the elderly, the sick, children and the poor.

    by Betty Pinson on Fri Dec 07, 2012 at 02:46:13 PM PST

  •  horrific. tragic. and not worth the money (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    miss SPED

    we save .... and the fact that Walmart sells products from these places packages it all with a nice big bow.

    Women are 51% of the population yet are represented in congress by barely 17%! Until our representation reflects the population, we risk sliding backwards .....

    by 51percent on Fri Dec 07, 2012 at 06:33:35 PM PST

  •  Triangle shirtwaist (0+ / 0-)

    Deja vu all over again. And for what? People die so we can give more money to millionaires and billionaires for clothes that fall apart when they are washed.

  •  Reality beckons: (0+ / 0-)
    Tell me again how sending manufacturing jobs overseas actually saves money?
    It saves WalMart and the Gap lots of money, provides cheap clothes to Americans and more money to investors.

    The fact that it costs human lives over there is not important.

    Bangladesh is not a small county in Alabama. It is a different country. The government needs to care; the populace needs health care and education.

    Just thinking WalMart's focus on the bottom line is what is keeping the country poor and ignorant is WAY too simplistic.

    And with the way Michigan is going, the U.S. is losing the moral high ground on working conditions.

    "I believe more women should carry guns. I believe armed women will make the world a better place. Women need to come to think of themselves not as victims but as dangerous." Anna Pigeon

    by glorificus on Sat Dec 08, 2012 at 06:44:35 AM PST

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