April 30th, 2013
01:04 PM ET

Erin Burnett calls for stronger unions after Bangladesh factory collapse

Rescue workers have called off a search for survivors in Bangladesh. Last week the eight-story Rana Plaza complex collapsed trapping thousands and killing hundreds of garment workers.

Most of them young, impoverished women. And it could have been avoided.
Officials say the complex was built on spongy ground without the correct permits and the building's owners ignored cracks.

After Bangladesh building collapse, Shahina's death breaks rescuers' hearts

The government in Bangladesh have vowed to investigate conditions at the factories. And retailers that use the facilities – like Wal-Mart and the Gap – have set aside money to improve safety.

Erin Burnett reminds us that we've heard that tune before.

Hundreds have been killed in similar disasters over the past decade. It has become increasingly obvious that the government and retailers can not and will not police themselves.

Bangladesh has about 4,500 garment factories, which account for 80% of the country's total exports.

Bangladesh garment factory fire claims more than 100 lives: How do you stop it from happening again?

In November, when we told you about a factory fire that killed 112 workers, we said it was time for stronger unions to protect the rights of the workers.

Now, with another 400 dead, Burnett says unions are more important than ever.

Filed under: E-Block • International • News
soundoff (2 Responses)
  1. Jorge Valenzuela

    What is evident in all of this is that without real worker input and an avenue for them to bring complaints forward "socially responsible" certificates, like the ones this factory had, have zero validity. There needs to be a clear understanding and unity by the workers, of what is required by the certifying companies, as well as an avenue for the workers to bring about those complaints when they see that codes are being violated.

    April 30, 2013 at 4:55 pm | Reply
  2. Rokshana

    What are steps need to taken or enforced to prevent this kind of accidents/.incidents to take place in the future? Should Bangladeshi government be more involved in inspections? But then there are bribe involved!! How to overcome this? If this condition keeps on going, the economy will worsen day by day!! This country is not in a great economical shape anyways!! @Erin, thanks so much for reporting on this!

    April 30, 2013 at 2:15 pm | Reply

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