Top brands used fire factory
Bershka, Lefties, KIK and New Look labels all found on site
Activists yesterday entered the ruins of “Smart Exports”, where a fire last week killed 7 female garment workers, and found labels linking major European retailers to the tragedy.
Bershka and Lefties, both of which belong to Inditex, owner of the well-known Zara brand; KIK Okay, German company and New Look, Scott and Fox, and Solo Invest, all French brands.
The fire started on Saturday at the Smart factory in the Bangladeshi capital Dhaka and took fire fighters 2 hours to get under control. Four of those killed were only seventeen years old.
This incident comes just two months after a blaze killed 112 workers in another factory near the capital and raises yet more questions about safety standards and treatment of workers in Bangladesh's $20 billion garment industry that exports clothes to leading Western retailers.
The Clean Clothes Campaign, along with labour rights organisations in Bangladesh and around the world, are calling for immediate action from international brands following the fire.
"Workers continue to die, and brands continue to waste time and make up excuses instead of taking action. Inditex was asked to sign the Bangladesh Fire and Building Safety Agreement over a year ago. Meanwhile they all continue to expand their production in Bangladesh, knowing full well that the buildings are unsafe. These deaths could and should have been avoided” says Ineke Zeldenrust from the Clean Clothes Campaign.
Building fires have led to more than 600 deaths of garment workers in Bangladesh since 2005, according to research by the advocacy group International Labour Rights Forum.
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