Massacre of Ashulia, The: Walmart's Human Incinerator
On November 24, 2012, a garment factory fire killed an estimated 120 people in Ashulia, Bangladesh. This zine includes an account of the fire and its context, "Death-trapped in a burning cage - the Ashulia inferno," by Red Marriott, originally published on libcom.org: http://libcom.org/news/death-trapped-burning-cage-ashulia-inferno-271120...
"Another fire in a Bangladeshi garment factory, over 120 lives lost and more than a hundred injured - the only difference this time from the many other factory fires in the past thirty years is the scale of the deaths and human suffering. It is this that makes it ‘worthy’ of comment, for a brief moment, in the international media. But fire is an occupational hazard for both bosses and workers in this industry.2 For employers—and their foreign buyers whose brand names are on the labels—it is merely part of a cost and profitability equation and an element of Corporate Image management. This particular death-trap factory was operated by Tazreen Fashion Ltd in the Dhaka industrial suburb of Ashulia and supplied, among other major brands, C&A in Europe and Walmart in the US.
"That factory fires have for decades been such a common occurrence in the ready made garment (RMG) industry means that fire risk is, in effect, factored in as an influence on decisions on how production is organized. With fast turnaround times demanded by buyers for foreign orders in the highly competitive global fashion retail markets, time is always tight and any production stoppages edge businesses ever-closer to invoking contractual financial penalty clauses for late delivery. Inevitably, corners are cut and workers’ health & safety is a low priority...
The postscript includes a poem about the 1911 Triangle Fire.