Tuesday factory fire worries ILO

ILO Director General Guy Ryder. UN Photo

Expressing dismay over the deaths in Tuesday’s garment factory fire, the International Labour Organization said not enough is being done to address the safety and health issues of workers in Bangladesh.

“This latest fire to affect the ready-made garment (RMG) sector in Bangladesh reflects the sad and shocking truth that not enough is being done to address the safety and health of garment factory workers,” said ILO Director-General Guy Ryder in a statement.

At least seven people were killed as a devastating fire swept through the Aswad Composite Mills at Maona in Sreepur of Gazipur Tuesday night.

Despite the staggering loss of life over the past years, the ILO chief aid workers are still dying for reasons that could well be avoided if decent working conditions were in place.

This photo taken on early Wednesday shows the flames of fire that swept through Aswad Composite Mills in Sreepur of Gazipur on Tuesday. Photo: Palash Khan

Following the collapse of the Rana Plaza building in April this year which killed more than1,100 people, the statement said the Bangladeshi government and its social partners have been collaborating to improve working conditions, strengthen labour inspections and upgrade building and fire safety in RMG factories around the country.

“But all efforts and commitments will be in vain until they translate into concrete actions to avoid further loss of life or injury to workers. The ILO, as always, stands ready to assist the social partners,” Guy Ryder said.

“The fire at Aswad Composite Mills should not be just the latest tragedy to beset the industry. It must be the last,” he added.

The ILO chief in his statement said they are deeply saddened by the tragic loss of life at Aswad Composite Mills and expresses its sympathy and condolences to the victims and their families.

Source: The Daily Star

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