For my international trade union work I have visited Bangladesh, which once included also a visit to various jute factories. These were state-owned enterprises in decline because demand for jute was becoming lower and lower as a result of the growing use of for example plastic shopping bags.De working conditions were terrible, especially compared to those common in Europe. The local unions did their best but even in these state enterprises they could not change much. Women and children sat working on the oil contaminated floor. There were no decent bathrooms so workers -women and men alike – pooped and peed in the gutters along the outdoor walls of the factories. No pleasant sight.
These days once again there was a huge fire in a textile factory in which 122 people were killed. That were so many deaths that the disaster reached the international press and TV news worldwide. A trade union colleague in Bangladesh has send me some newspaper clippings with photographs. As you can read on the frontpage of the Daily Star since 1990 there have been no less than 33 major fires with a total of 500 deaths. You can read also that the day after the big fire in the Ashulia textile factory there was another fire in another factory, but fortunately without casualties. (See the clipping at the end of the article).