The fire at the Matrix Sweater Factory is special. It is special despite the fact the previous fires have claimed lives and this one (fortunately) didn’t. The 6000 workers of this factory narrowly escaped certain fatalities due to an accident of fortune which worked well for them – but not so well for their predecessors. The timing of the fire was just a matter of sheer luck.
So you may ask “why is this special?” – to this there is a simple answer, IT WAS A FACTORY INSPECTED BY THE AMERICAN ALLIANCE + EUROPEAN ACCORD . They did prescribe improvements to the factory, but did not have is closed for necessary corrections. While many other factories had been closed previously by these bodies which caused job losses and a lot of pain for workers.
The great enterprise of INGOs + Politicians turned trade unionists (or vice-versa) + and the Buyers (from where the cash comes) despite all its antics can churn out something like this and can still get away with it is simply called “hypocrisy”. Since when did it become a law that a body that is so deeply involved in ensuring safety can be given a “Green Card” because of its affiliation with certain bodies which has earned itself a title of being the Flagship of Business Ethics? A self proclaimed prophet who cannot be held responsible for anything?
We would hold everyone involved directly in ensuring the safety of the garment sector responsible for this fire – and leading that group would be the signatories of the Alliance and the Accord. The Gentlemen with their excellent lifestyles must be treated with the same scrutiny (if not 10 times greater scrutiny) for such disasters, as not only are the governments (of poor countries like Bangladesh) or its own public and the workers have given them the privilege to work to ensure the safety of these factories – but also due to the fact that the very PRIVILEGE that they enjoy while living their “high European lives” in our poor country IS SOMETHING THEY HAVE CARVED FOR THEMSELVES IN THE NAME of our poorest workers. Yes sir – The Accord and The Alliance definitely are responsible for not doing more.
We hope – the nightmares don’t come true. The Fire of Tazreen followed soon by the Collapse of Rana Plaza is still too fresh for the workers and for their families and friends to witness yet another tragedy.
Enough money and enough promises has been spilt – is there a solution in sight yet? One Wonders.