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Factory collapse in Bangladesh shows true cost of cheap clothes


by Karen Thomson

They hold up pictures of loved ones still lost following the collapse of the textiles factory in Bangladesh that has killed over 400 workers.

More than 2,500 people were injured following the collapse and more than 150 still remain unaccounted for. The hospitals are over capacity with victims suffering crush injuries and the families searching for loved ones.

Mass graves are being dug to cope with the risk of disease from the decomposed bodies in the sweltering sun.

The owner of the building, Mohammed Sohel Rana, is being questioned by police while under arrest. He is expected to be charged with negligence, illegal construction and forcing workers to join work, which is punishable by a maximum of seven years in jail.

Cramped conditions, long working days and terrible pay is the reality for thousands of workers across Bangladesh. For some it may be a world away from the rainy streets of Glasgow but the goods that these workers died to make are the very items being bought every day.

Argyll Street is busy with shoppers looking for bargains. Shops compete for customers in the harsh economic climate. In recent years price wars have forced down the cost of clothing and around the world the effects of our cut price clothing culture is being felt by the poorest.

Primark has acknowledged it was using a factory in Rana Plaza. It said in a statement Monday that it is providing emergency aid and will pay compensation to victims who worked for its supplier.

“Primark notes the fact that its supplier shared the building with those of other retailers. We are fully aware of our responsibility. We urge these other retailers to come forward and offer assistance,” it said.

This has become the true price of cheap high clothes on the shelves. Lives are put at risk and families suffer from the agony of losing loved ones.

Protesters gather outside the company’s flagship store in London


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