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Demanding change after tragedy: Bangladeshis protest deaths of 112 factory workers in fire

Activists of Magic Movement lie on the ground wearing traditional Muslim death robes as they stage a protest in front of Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) building in Dhaka. Picture: AP

Activists of Magic Movement lie on the ground wearing traditional Muslim death robes as they stage a protest in front of Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) building in Dhaka. Picture: AP

Hundreds of garment workers protested yesterday outside a Bangladeshi factory where 112 people were killed by a fire, demanding compensation for lost wages.

About 300 workers rallied in front of the closed Tazreen Fashions factory in a Dhaka suburb. It was making clothes for Disney and other major global retailers, though the companies said they did not know their clothes were being made there.

The factory, which was guarded by police, has been closed since the fatal fire last weekend.

Police have arrested three factory officials suspected of locking in the workers during the blaze. Fire officials said the factory had no emergency exits and workers said yarn and clothes blocked part of a stairway.

However, in a sign of how important jobs are impoverished Bangladesh, the protesters yesterday said they wanted the factory to reopen so they could get back to work.

The Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association said it would pay 100,000 takas (£810) in initial compensation to the families of the dead and would then give them their deceased relative’s monthly salary for at least 10 years.

 
 
 

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