MOSCOW, May 1 (RIA Novosti) - The European Union voiced its concern on Wednesday over labor safety regulations in Bangladesh following the recent collapse of an industrial building that killed hundreds of people.
At least 3,000 people were working in garment factories in the nine-storey Rana Plaza building in Savar, an industrial suburb of Dhaka, when it caved in last Wednesday killing 380 people.
“As Bangladesh’s largest trade partner, the European Union is very concerned about the labor conditions, including health and safety provisions, established for workers in factories across the country,” EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs Catherine Ashton and EU Commissioner for Trade Karel de Gucht said in a joint statement.
“In light of all these events, the European Union calls upon the Bangladeshi authorities to act immediately to ensure that factories across the country comply with international labor standards including International Labor Organization (ILO) conventions,” the statement added.
The building reportedly housed at least five garment factories and some 300 shops that employed nearly 6,000 people in total. Survivors of the tragedy said earlier they were afraid to enter the building when cracks appeared in supporting structures last week on Tuesday. Shops and banks were reportedly closed for safety reasons on the same day, but garment factory workers were forced to return to their workplaces.
The owner of the Rana Plaza building was arrested on charges of using second-rate materials in the construction of the facility that was put in operation in 2006. Three owners and top executives of garment factories housed in the Rana Plaza were also arrested on charges of negligence.