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More Bangladeshi Factory Workers Perish, Compensation for Past Victims Stalled

Even after two international consortia of retailers formed to supervise and finance the renovation of its garment factories, Bangladesh continues to suffer one set back after another. This Sunday morning, two worked died after inhaling a toxic gas at a textile mill in Narayanganj.

Both workers arrived at the factory early in the morning to clean it. The Effluent Treatment Plant is used for the dyeing and printing of garments. More precise details regarding either the nature of the toxic gas or the deaths has not yet been released by authorities.

And efforts to kickstart the much needed improvements to Bangladesh’s woefully unsafe factories continues to stall. Global union IndustriALL postponed a highly anticipated meeting scheduled for this week until September.  The purpose of the meeting was to determine compensation for the victims of the Rana Plaza collapse and Tazreen factory fire. Jyrki Raina, IndustriALL General Secretary, said, “We thought it was a better solution to do this in Europe in September. The problem is Rana Plaza workers and families aren’t receiving money, so it’s not as it should be.”

IndustriALL has been pushing for a one-time lump sum payment to the victims of the two tragedies, which together killed nearly 1,300 workers. The union estimates that punitive damages associated with the Rana Plaza catastrophe will reach $71 million while compensation for the Tazreen factory will top $5.7 million.