11/27/12 Behind the fiery massacre in Bangladesh

Thousands of factories comprise the garment industry, mainly indirectly owned and or managed by US and European corporations
'emergency exits' were barred shut from the outside, NOT missing, as in other slave-labor industry operations:
At least 112 killed as fire races through garment factory outside of Bangladesh’s capital
AP http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/asia_pacific/official-100-bodies-rec...
DHAKA, Bangladesh — Fire raced through a garment factory that supplies major retailers in the West, killing at least 112 people, many of whom were trapped by the flames because the eight-story building lacked emergency exits...other people were injured after they jumped eight stories from the building to escape, died at hospitals. Local media reported at least 124 people killed. Many were burned beyond recognition...relatives of the workers frantically looked for their loved ones...Army soldiers and border guards were sent to help police keep order as thousands of onlookers and anxious relatives of the factory workers gathered...
The blaze...at a factory operated by Tazreen Fashions Ltd., a subsidiary of the Tuba Group, makes products for Wal-Mart and other companies in the U.S. and Europe... Tazreen was given a “high risk” safety rating after a May 16, 2011 audit by a Wal-Mart “ethical sourcing” assessor according to a document posted on the Tuba Group website...Neither Tazreen’s owner nor Tuba Group officials could be reached for comment. The Tuba Group is a major Bangladeshi garment exporter whose website says clients also include Carrefour and IKEA.
Bangladesh has some 4,000 garment factories, many without proper safety measures. The country annually earns over $20 billion from garment exports, mainly to the U.S. and Europe.
In the past 5 years, over 700 workers have died, with countless more mutilated and maimed, in factory fires in Bangladesh alone. Many such slaughter-house factories throughout the world are hidden behind by US- based LLC owned operations like the Tuba Group, making clothes for major U.S. retailers who mostly remain anonymous.

www.tuba-group.com Tuba Group  | 6066 Leesburg Pike Suite 640  |  Falls Church, VA 22041  | Tel: (703) 417-9410 | Fax: (703) 417-9118

Tuba Garments Limited
Case Study
Novartis (Bangladesh) Limited
Reed Consulting (BD) Ltd.
2010 www.reedconsultingbd.com.
Tuba Garments Ltd implements its corporate social responsibility in the work place, with the workers and with the environment. The whole factory and all equipment possess the highest international safety standards. All employees are regularly trained in order to increase their efficiency and to be able to ensure the safe operation of all the equipments related to their work.
The working environment is very good....The factory has fire prevention measures, fire fighting equipment and fire evacuation programmes. There are many fire extinguishers which are still current. Whenever any fire extinguisher goes beyond the expiry date, it is replaced. There is a 460 feet deep tube well and an arrangement of water bucket and sand to fight fire. There are several hose pipes and fire exits. Fire alarms are controlled centrally. There are breakable glasses. The workers are given monthly training regarding fire fighting and the use of fire fighting equipment like helmets, gloves, blankets etc. The protective and fire fighting instructions are written on the wall in both Bengali and English. In some cases, instructions are through diagrams.

Imperialist Free Trade Zones
Export Processing Zones (EPZs) can be summarized as a unit bearing clusters of specially designed zones of aggressive economic activity for the promotion of export. The main concept of Export Processing Zones was conceived in the early 1970s to promote the growth of the sickening export business of India. Further, the meaning of Export Processing Zones (EPZs) can be broadly defined as an area enjoying special government of India support with respect to fiscal incentives, tax rebates and other exclusive benefits for the growth of export.

India EPZ and Bangladesh EPZ
India EPZ and Bangladesh EPZs have been developed in accordance with the basic idea of Export Processing Zones. The EPZs are now popularly referred to as SEZs or Special Economic Zones. Both India EPZ and Bangladesh EPZ serve to reduce the burden of taxes and duties for firms and companies included within these zones. They have scaled down the burden of restrictions, different kinds of duties, exchange rates and tariffs. The EPZs provide fiscal concessions and assist companies in forming industrial clusters
The EPZs are facilitated with the inflow of cheap labor and create a platform for the betterment of internationally mobile manufacturing groups. The labor force in these zones are benefited immensely by the various training institutes set up by the state as well as central government and by private institutes. The EPZs have helped the promotion of export activities within the indigenous private sector and attracted the attention of the government to organize the private sector through more effective regulatory activities and increase in administrative efficiency. The EPZs have made the collaboration of different companies smoother and thus broadened the scope for the formulation of more joint ventures at present and in the near future....

The government of Bangladesh formulated BEPZA Act to boost the economy through the establishment of EPZs. The EPZS in Bangladesh have facilitated the hassle free as well as fast sanctioning of projects. BEZPA offers significant services as for example:
Issuance of Export and Import Permits
* Water, Electricity, Telephone Connection Aid
Issuance of Work Permits for foreign citizens
Registering companies as per the factory act

The Bangladesh government has also arranged for certain non-fiscal benefits for the EPZs which mainly include exemption from compliance with certain laws like:
The Excise and Salt Act
The Industrial Dispute Act
Foreign Exchange Regulation Act
Employment of Labor Act
The Building Construction Act
The Income Tax Ordinance
The land Development Tax Ordinance

New blaze as Bangladesh workers protest 'deathtraps'
November 26, 2012 AFP http://www.ndtv.com/article/world/new-blaze-panic-as-bangladesh-workers-...
Dhaka: More than 15,000 garment workers staged mass protests on Monday demanding the end to "deathtrap" labour conditions after Bangladesh's worst-ever textile factory fire, as a new blaze... caused widespread damage but no casualties were reported after rescue teams searched the building for workers feared to have suffocated in toxic black fumes. "Most workers broke grilles in the upper floor and escaped to an adjacent building," ...Dozens of factory fires have killed more than 600 workers in Bangladesh's booming garment industry since 2006, but none of the owners has faced prosecution for poor safety conditions... More than 300 factories near the capital shut for almost a week this year as workers demanded higher wages and better conditions.

About15,000 angry Bangladeshi workers protested, blocking a major highway, some throwing rocks, blocks from the gutted factory Monday, demanding justice and improved safety...at least 200 factories were forced to close for the day after a protest erupted in Savar, a suburb of the capital Dhaka..Survivor Mohammad Ripu said they tried to run out of the building when the fire alarm rang but were stopped. "Managers told us,`Nothing happened. The fire alarm had just gone out of order. Go back to work...but we quickly understood there was a fire...ran for the exit... found it locked from outside..." Another surviving worker, Yeamin, said fire extinguishers in the factory didn't work, "...just meant to impress the buyers or authority."...