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Old 04-26-2013, 09:36 PM   #1
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Default 2 arrested as death toll in Bangladesh reaches 324

SAVAR, Bangladesh Two owners of garment factories in a Bangladesh building that collapsed into a pile of mangled metal and concrete have been arrested as public fury mounts over the accident that left at least 324 dead.

2 arrested as death toll in Bangladesh reaches 324
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Old 04-29-2013, 04:51 PM   #2
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Granny says dey oughta grill him till his teeth fall out...

Bangladesh police interrogate building's owner
Apr 29,`13 -- A Bangladesh court on Monday gave police 15 days to interrogate the owner of a building that collapsed last week, killing at least 382 people, as rescuers used heavy machinery to cut through the destroyed structure after giving up hopes of finding any more survivors.
Mohammed Sohel Rana, who was arrested Sunday as he tried to flee to India, will be held for questioning on charges of negligence, illegal construction and forcing workers to join work. His father, Abdul Khaleque, was also arrested on suspicion of aiding Rana to force people to work in a dangerous building. The illegally constructed, 8-story Rana Plaza collapsed in a heap Wednesday morning as thousands of people worked inside in five garment factories. About 2,500 survivors have been accounted for.

Rana was brought to the Dhaka Metropolitan Magistrate's Court in a bullet-proof vest, and led away to an unknown detention place after the magistrate granted a police request to hold him longer before filing formal charges. The crimes he is accused of carry a maximum punishment of seven years. More charges could be added later. The collapse was the deadliest disaster to hit Bangladesh's garment industry, which is worth $20 billion annually and supplies global retailers.

In renewed anger against conditions in garment factories - a mainstay of Bangladesh's economy - hundreds of workers poured into the streets in the Dhaka suburb of Ashulia and set fire to an ambulance Monday, the Independent TV network reported. They also tried to set fire to a factory, it said. Authorities shut down all garment factories in the Ashulia and Gazipur industrial suburbs, including one that had reportedly developed cracks and was evacuated earlier.

Volunteers, army personnel and firefighters have worked around the clock since Wednesday, mostly using their hands and light equipment to pull out survivors. Around midnight Sunday, authorities deployed hydraulic cranes and heavy cutting machines to break up the massive slabs of concrete into manageable pieces that could be lifted away. "We are proceeding cautiously. If there is still a soul alive, we will try to rescue that person," said army spokesman Shahinul Islam.

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Surviving hell in a Bangladesh factory collapse
Apr 29,`13 -- Merina was so tired. It had been three days since the garment factory where she worked had collapsed around her, three days since she'd moved more than a few inches. In that time she'd had nothing to eat and just a few sips of water. The cries for help had long since subsided. The moans of the injured had gone silent.
It was fatigue she feared the most. If sleep took her, Merina was certain she would never wake up. "I can't fall asleep," the 21-year-old thought to herself, her face inches from a concrete slab that had once been the ceiling above her. She'd spent seven years working beneath that ceiling, sewing T-shirts and pants destined for stores from Paris to Los Angeles. She worked 14 hours a day, six days a week, with her two sisters. She made the equivalent of about $16 a week. Now she lay on her back in the sweltering heat, worrying for her sisters and herself. And as the bodies of her former coworkers began to rot, the stench filled the darkness.


The eight-story, concrete-and-glass Rana Plaza was one of hundreds of similar buildings in the crowded, potholed streets of Savar, an industrial suburb of Bangladesh's capital and the center of the country's $20 billion garment industry. If Bangladesh remains one of the world's poorest nations, it is no longer a complete economic cripple. Instead, it turned its poverty to its advantage, heralding workers who make some of the world's lowest wages and attracting some of the world's leading brands.

But this same economic miracle has plunged Bangladesh into a vicious downward spiral of keeping costs down, as major retailers compete for customers who want ever cheaper clothes. It is the workers who often pay the price in terms of safety and labor conditions. The trouble at Rana Plaza began Tuesday morning, when workers spotted long cracks in at least one of the building's concrete pillars. The trails of chipped plaster led to a chunk of concrete, about the size of a shoe box, that had broken away. The police were called. Inspectors came to check on the building, which housed shops on the lower floors and five crowded clothing factories on the upper ones.

At 10 a.m., the 3,200 garment workers were told to leave early for lunch. At 2 p.m., they were told to leave for the day. Few of the workers - mostly migrants from desperately poor villages - asked why. Some were told the building had unexplained electricity issues. The best factory buildings are well-constructed and regularly inspected. The workers are trained what to do in case of an emergency. Rana Plaza was not one of those buildings. The owner, Mohammed Sohel Rana, was a feared neighborhood political enforcer who had branched into real estate. In 2010, he was given a permit to build a five-story building on a piece of land that had once been a swamp. He built eight stories.

Rana came quickly after the crack was found. So did the police, some reporters and officials from the country's largest garment industry association. Rana refused to close the building. "There is nothing serious," he said. The workers were told to return the next morning, as scheduled, at 8 a.m.

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Old 09-23-2013, 01:59 AM   #3
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Higher minimum wage wanted...

Bangladesh garment workers, police clash
September 23, 2013 ~ BANGLADESHI garment workers calling for an increase in the minimum wage have clashed with police outside Dhaka.
POLICE have fired rubber bullets and tear gas to disperse thousands of garment workers who blocked streets outside Bangladesh's capital to demand factory owners raise their minimum wage. Police say at least 50 people were injured in Sunday's clashes outside Dhaka.

Police official Abul Kalm Azad said the workers were demanding that their minimum monthly wage be increased to 8114 takas ($A105), up from the current 3000 takas ($A40). He said the workers attacked some factories and torched a van.

Factory owners are unwilling to increase the wage beyond 3600 takas, according to the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association. Bangladesh earns about $US20 billion a year from exports of garment products.

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