"On Tuesday there was yet another factory fire in Bangladesh, killing at least 28 workers and leaving many more injured. This factory made clothing for Gap, Abercrombie, JC Penney, Phillips-Van Heusen and other brands...
2011 marks the centennial of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire, a pivotal moment in the movement for labor rights. In 1911, 146 garment workers, mostly girls and young women, died in the fire as a result of abusive labor practices.
...Labor rights abuses are still rampant throughout the world. In Bangladesh, garment factories have been ravaged by a series of fires and building collapses that have killed hundreds of workers.
In February 2010, a fire at the Garib & Garib sweater factory killed 21 workers who died of smoke inhalation because of heavily sealed windows and locked exits". (ILRF)
This has gone on long enough. Not only deadly fires but factory collapses. When I worked for Tower Hamlets Council, we use to raise money from the sale of purple Remembrance ribbons on Workers Memorial Day. In 2005 we gave the money raised to support the relatives of the 64 dead and those injured in the Spectrum disaster.
In the UK we have access to very cheap clothes often produced at the expense of other peoples misery. British Retail stores and pension funds needs to take responsibility for not only financial outcomes but for the human inputs.
Check out International Labour Rights Forum and Asia Times. Hat tip Ruby Cox, Chair of London UNISON International Committee.