A blaze at Garib & Garib Newaj company last week has killed 21 workers and injured 50 others. The company is known for making cardigans and sweaters for the retail giant, H&M. The fire is thought to have started around 9pm while workers were busily working their way through an order. H&M claims to have visited the factory on a regular basis to check that working conditions were safe.
“In general we have been satisfied with Garib & Garib’s way of working with our code of conduct. As far as we know this terrible accident was not caused by poor working conditions or safety measures. When it comes to general working conditions in Bangladesh, we believe that being present in the country is the way we can make a change long-term.”
There are a lot of people in the press that are looking to point the finger at H&M and claim that they are responsible for the deaths of these people. I agree that conditions in Bangladeshi factories are horrible. Working conditions there have been reported in detail and many in the western world would be horrified to learn of the way in which people work in this country. But H&M is no different than any other retailling giant in using Bangladeshi factories for mass production of goods. They are, in fact, encouraging development in the country by providing jobs for local people.
Our thoughts are with the families of loved ones lost or injured in the fire. We will keep you updated as more details are released.
Read more about this disaster at The Independent.