in the news on-line, 28 April 2013

01:15:11 local time map of korea_n NORTH KOREA

* Seoul to withdraw all workers from Kaesong:

South Korea will withdraw all remaining workers from a jointly run industrial zone in North Korea, it said on Friday, after Pyongyang rejected a call for formal talks to end a standoff that led to operations being suspended.

The decision to remove about 170 people from the Kaesong factory park located just north of the armed border deepens a conflict between the two Koreas and puts at risk their last remaining channel of exchange that resulted from their breakthrough summit in 2000 and a bid to improve ties.

The two Koreas are technically at war under a mere truce that ended hostilities in their 1950-53 conflict and North Korea, angry at UN sanctions and joint South Korean-US military drills, has threatened both countries with nuclear attacks in recent weeks.  read more. & read more. & read more.
  BSS  DAILY NK

* S. Korea starts pulling workers from Gaeseong:

South Korean workers at a jointly run industrial complex in North Korea returned home Saturday, Seoul officials said, a day after the government here decided to withdraw them following Pyongyang’s rejection of an offer for dialogue.

According to officials, 11 workers came home from the Gaeseong industrial complex Saturday afternoon with 116 more scheduled to follow later in the day.
As of Friday, there were 175 South Koreans at the factory zone. 
read more.

23:15:11 local time map of viet_nam VIET NAM

* Minimum wage ‘not enough’ to survive on:

Kieu, 20, lives next to pig cages in a room with a bed and gas cooker that costs her VND700,000 (US$33) a month, one-fifth of her basic wage. All other appliances are on or under the bed or hung on the walls.

Kieu says she left for northern Bac Ninh Province two years ago for a job in a mobile phone factory after her mother was hospitalised.
“I had no idea of the job in an assembly line but hoped that I could lead my own life and save for my mother’s treatment.”
However, on a wage of VND3.5 million ($167) per month she only has enough to live, though she’s luckier than others whose basic wages are equal to the State minimum of VND1.65-2.35 million ($78.5-$111) for enterprises.
Kieu is among more than 15 million workers working in enterprises around the country who are suffering on the minimum wage.  read more.
VNNet

23:15:11 local time map of thailand THAILAND

* Companies urged to issue yearly CSR reports:

The Corporate Social Responsibility Institute (CSRI), under the Stock Exchange of Thailand (SET), is hosting seminars and other training events, to boost sustainability among Thai organisations, underscoring SET’s long-term capital market development plan.

Set executive vice president and CSRI director Bordin Unakul said enhancing CSR reports was the institute’s target to help Thai-listed companies disclose their CSR information and activities.
This disclosure is essential, as investors are increasingly valuing companies operating with social and environmental responsibility under good corporate governance as an investment selection criteria. Therefore, a CSR report is key for organisations to evaluate themselves in order to improve business efficiency and grow with sustainability. read more.
The Nation

23:15:11 local time map of cambodia CAMBODIA

* Workers not allowed to march on Labor Day:

Around 20,000 workers from the garment, construction, tourism, banking, service and agriculture sectors want to march to present a petition to the National Assembly on International Labor Day, May 1, but Phnom Penh City Hall did not approve the rally.

City hall asked them to wait for the approval from Ministry of Interior before they do anything further.
Rong Chhun, President of the Cambodian Confederation of Unions, said Saturday, even though City Hall didn’t grant the congregation at Olympic Stadium or Wat Phnom for the march to the National Assembly, we will still continue as planned.
read more.
CAMHERALD

 * Cambodia’s garment exports up 17 pct in Q1:

Cambodia exported garment and textile products in equivalent to 1.34 billion U.S. dollars in the first quarter of 2013, up 17 percent from 1.14 billion U.S. dollars at the same period last year, the Commerce Ministry’s report showed Friday.

Kong Putheara, chief of the ministry’s statistics and planning department, attributed the growth to economic recovery in Europe and the United States, which are the main buyers of Cambodia-made apparels.
Besides, Cambodian garment products are sold to Canada, Japan, South Korea, China and some other countries in Asia.
Garment industry is the country’s largest income earner, representing more than 80 percent of the country’s exports.
The sector consists of more than 300 factories, employing about 350,000 workers.
The whole year of 2012, the country exported garment products in equivalent to 4.6 billion U.S. dollars, up 8 percent year-on- year.  to read.

00:15:11 local time map of indonesia INDONESIA

* Most factories have no clear safety work policies:

Most factories in Indonesia have no clear policies with regard to occupational health and safety, according to the International Labor Organization (ILO) in a press release here on Saturday.

The ILO said in its press statement that through its Better Work Indonesia program, it was giving attention to the prevention of fire as part of the occupational health and safety at the factories of its partners.
The organization made the press statement in connection with the occasion
of commemorating the Occupational Health and Safety Day on April 28.
read more.
antara

* Police Brace for May Day Riots as Fuel Hikes Loom:

The National Police will remain on high alert this May Day as scores of workers take to the streets in protest of planned fuel subsidy cuts, a top police official said on Sunday.

Hundreds of thousands of workers are expected to take to the streets this May 1 in celebration of May Day. The demonstrations are mostly peaceful, but with unpopular fuel subsidy cuts looming, police are concerned this year’s celebrations could turn violent.
“We will pay attention to some big cities like Jakarta, especially [the protest] in front of the State Palace,” Operational Assistant Insp. Gen. Badrodin Haiti said, “and then in Surabaya, Medan, Makassar and smaller cities like Batam.”  read more.
The Jakarta Globe

22:15:11 local time map of bangla_desh BANGLA DESH

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* 2 RMG factories torched in Gazipur:

Workers of several garments factories on Friday morning set fire to two factories in Gazipur to protest the Savar building collapse that killed at least 278 people.

The blaze continued to spread till filing of this report at noon as the firefighting units could not reach the spot due to a blockade put by the agitating workers on Chandana intersection, said Abu Zafar, station officer at Gazipur Fire Service.
The workers also blocked the Dhaka-Mymensingh highway for the second consecutive day Friday demanding death penalty to owners of the collapsed building and the garments factories it housed, said Iqbal Hossain, sergeant of Naojore Highway Police Station. read more. & read more.
daily star bd 

* RMG workers agitate in capital, vandalize vehicles:

Workers of many garment factories in different parts of the capital staged demonstration in the morning in protest of the deaths of their fellow colleagues in Savar building collapse.

Police said the aggrieved workers came on the streets with  procession instead of joining their workplaces and vandalized  several vehicles including bus and CNG-run auto-rickshaws at  different parts of the city including Mirpur, Pallabi, Kazipara,
Shewrapara, Malibag, Rampura and Gulshan.  read more.
BSS

* Angry RMG workers demand death for Rana Plaza owner:

Angry ready-made garment workers took to the streets in the capital on Friday protesting against the Savar tragedy demanding arrest of the owners of Rana Plaza and the five garment units housed inside the collapsed building.

Traffic through the capital was stalled when the protests turned violent, police said.
The Workers were protesting at Pallabi, Mirpur-1, Mirpur-10, Mirpur-11, Mirpur-14, Tejgaon industrial area, Kawran Bazar, Mohakhali, Gulshan, Rampura Badda and Malibagh areas, bdnews24.com Correspondents reported.  read more.
wf-escenic-times

* Tragedy shows urgency of worker protections: HRW:

The collapse of Rana Plaza in Savar shows the urgent need to improve Bangladesh’s protections for worker health and safety, Human Rights Watch (HRW) said today.

Reforms should include a drastic overhaul of the government’s system of labour inspections and an end to government efforts to thwart the right of workers to unionise, said the international rights watchdog.
“Given the long record of worker deaths in factories, this tragedy was predictable,” said Brad Adams, Asia director at Human Rights Watch.
read more. & read more.
daily star bd  banglanews24 Logo

* A shock for RMG sector: Muhith:

On the third day of 8-storied Rana Plaza collapse, Finance Minister Abul Maal Abdul Muhith visited the spot on Friday morning.

During his visit Muhith said, “Along with hartal, these types of incidents are also terrible shock for the garments sector.”
He added, “This incident is devastating for us as we haven’t recovered from the shock of Tazreen Fashion fire yet.”
Muhith praised the engagement of general public in the rescue operation.
He further said that government will consider rehabilitation of the victims.
read more.
banglanews24 Logo

* Workers protest in Dhaka over factory deaths:

Thousands of garment factory workers have protested in the capital, Dhaka, over the death of more than 200 workers in building collapse, as rescuers continued to hunt for survivors, local media have reported.

Al Jazeera’s special correspondent, whom we are not naming because of reporting restrictions, said on Thursday that thousands of protesters took to the streets of Dhaka with sticks in their hands chanting slogans such as “we want execution of the garment factory owners”.
The Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association building office has been attacked, our correspondent said.
Workers have blocked a road and indulged in vandalism at some places, the Daily Star newspaper reported. Read & see more (video).
aljazeera

* Garments holiday on Saturday:

BGMEA has declared holiday at all readymade garment factories across the country for Saturday to express their shock at the death of workers in the Savar building collapse.

The announcement came amid street agitation by garment workers protesting the deaths of 292 of their fellow workers at the tragedy.
Atiqul Islam, president of Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA), confirmed the garment holiday to The Daily Star.
Angry over the deaths in the building collapse, thousand of garment workers vandalised over 100 vehicles in different parts of the city disrupting vehicular movement on several city streets for long time on Friday.
While many splinter groups demonstrated in many parts of the city, the main vandalism took place at Gabtoli, Kalyanpur, Shyamoli, Mirpur, Pallabi, Gulshan, Badda, Rampura and Malibagh.  to read. & read more.read more.
daily star bd  wf-escenic-times banglanews24 Logo

* RMG sector on boil; 8 orgs calls strike in all factories for Sunday:

Eight organisations of the garment workers on Friday called a daylong strike in all RMG factories across the country for Sunday in support of their seven-point demand, including the arrest of Rana Plaza and its factory owners.

Prior to the work abstention, the organisations working on garment workers’ rights, will hold black-flag processions across the country on Saturday apart from observing the dawn-to-dusk strike.   read more.read more.
   banglanews24 Logo

* Sweater factory shut in Narayanganj fearing disaster:

A sweater factory in Narayanganj was shut after cracks developed on the walls of the factory building on Thursday afternoon.

The cracks on the walls of Udayan Sweater Factory would be examined on Friday, said Aktar Hossain, officer-in-charge (OC) of Fatullah Model Police Station.
read more.
daily star bd

* Building beside Rana Plaza also risky:

At least 30 people were injured when they heard sound of cracking in the building beside wrecked Rana Plaza and ran to and fro for safety.

Witnesses said that rescuers, volunteers and journalists were busy in rescue mission in the morning. At 9:30am, they heard sound of cracking from the RS Tower, building beside Rana Plaza. They started running for safety, leaving at least 30 of them injured.  read more.
banglanews24 Logo

* RMG unrest flares up in Gazipur, authorities shut factories for today:

Labour flare-up erupted again in Gazipur readymade garments belt on Friday as several hundred workers staged demonstration demanding punishment of the owner of Rana Plaza that collapsed on Wednesday causing 282 so far reported deaths.

Traffic on the Dhaka-Mymensingh-Tangail highways came to a halt due to the demonstration of the RMG workers.
Sources said several hundred garment workers from Konabari, Bhogra, Borobari, Targanj, Chandona and other places took to the streets wielding sticks and staged demonstration demanding arrest and exemplary punishment of the owner of Rana Plaza.  read more.
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* Tight security in RMG factories:

Additional security measures have been taken in the readymade garments in the capital to avert any sabotage as workers went berserk demanding compensation to the victims of Savar Tragedy and punishment of the guilty persons.

Deputy Commisioner of Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) Syed Anwar Hossain confirmed the matter to banglanews on Friday morning.
He said additional law enforcers have been deployed in the factories apprehending untoward situation.  read more.
banglanews24 Logo

* Inu appreciates rescuers for rescuing 2000 people:

Appreciating the rescuers for their ceaseless efforts to rescue people from the collapse building in Savar, Information Minister Hasanul Haq Inu said rescuers have set a rare example by rescuing over 2000 people from the debris.

“It was a very difficult job to rescue over 2000 people from the debris . . . it is a rare example,” the information minister said while talking to journalists before joining a meeting of the management committee of Kushtia General Hospital here today.
He said the garment factories were kept open ignoring restrictions imposed by the authorities after the detecting cracks on Rana Plaza.

Reiterating the Prime Minister’s announcement to take legal action against those responsible for the incident, he said “it is not an accident, it is a killing incident”.
read more.
BSS

* It’s murder: Inu:

Information Minister Hasanul Haque Inu on Friday called the Savar tragedy that killed at least 304 people as a murderous act.

“I wouldn’t call it an accident. I would say it’s a murder,” Inu said while talking to journalists after a meeting with the officials of Kushtia General Hospital at Kushtia Circuit House in the morning.
The death toll from the building collapse has risen to 304 till afternoon as the frantic search for the trapped people under the rubble is still going on.
The ministers said it is a serious offence to keep the factories running and showing disregard to all sorts of safety measures and regulations only for earning profits.
He said the owners of the factories are involved in the murder. read more.
daily star bd

* Arrest Rana, 4 factory owners: PM:

This April 24 photo shows, locals gather at the tragic sight in Savar where at least eighty people were killed in a building collapse.
This April 24 photo shows, locals gather at the tragic sight in Savar where at least eighty people were killed in a building collapse.

Two days into the Savar tragedy, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has ordered the arrest of Rana Plaza owner and four proprietors of the garment factories housed in the building.

Prime minister’s Press Secretary Abul Kalam Azad confirmed it to The Daily Star on Friday afternoon.
Mahbubul Hoque Shakil, special assistant (Media) to the prime minister, told The Daily Star that the order has already been sent to all agencies concerned.
Sources at the PMO said the agencies have already started operations to execute the prime minister’s order to arrest the people responsible for the tragedy.
Hours before the prime minister’s arrest order, two relatives of Sohel Rana, owner of the Rana Plaza, have been picked up from their native village in Manikganj.
read more. & read more. & read more.  & read more. & read more.
daily star bd    wf-escenic-times  banglanews24 Logo   logo

* Rana Plaza Collapse: 72 more rescued alive; death toll hits 304:

Seventy-two more people were rescued alive from the debris of the collapsed Rana Plaza on Friday as the death toll continues to go up taking it to 304 till this (Friday) afternoon.

Of the bodies, 281 were handed over to their families, Shahinur Islam, director of the Inter-Services Public Relation (ISPR), said while briefing journalists at the spot around 4:30pm.
He also said a total of 2,348 people have so far been pulled out alive of the collapsed building.
Those rescued on Friday included two members of Industrial Police — ASI Mukul and constable Rafiqul Islam. They got trapped inside the building when they had been there on Wednesday morning to inspect it.
Two days after the disastrous collapse of the eight-storey building here, the hope for the rescue of the trapped people is fading fast due to the slow pace in rescue operation.  read more. & read more.
  banglanews24 Logo

* RMG units to remain closed Saturday, Sunday: BGMEA, BKMEA:

The country’s trade bodies of the apparel sector on Friday decided to keep the production in all readymade garment (RMG) factories closed on Saturday and Sunday for, what they said, ensuring proper treatment and completion of rescue operation successfully.

The leaders of Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) and Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BKMEA) announced the decision at a joint press conference at the BGMEA Bhaban in the evening.
BGMEA President M Atiqul Islam, BKMEA President AKM Selim Osman, former BGMEA president Annisul Huq, former FBCCI President AK Azad, and leaders of the BKMEA were present.
read more. & read more. & read more. & read more. & read more.
  wf-escenic-times  banglanews24 Logo  logo daily star bd

* Rana Plaza Collapse: 10-man body to coordinate rescue operation:

The government has formed a 10-member high-powered committee to coordinate the rescue operation in the collapsed Rana Plaza in Savar on the outskirts of the capital.

The committee, formed with the GOC of Ninth Infantry Division of Savar Cantonment as its head, includes representatives from the Disaster Management and Relief Ministry, Department of Disaster Management, Home Ministry, Information Ministry, Directorate of Health, Fire Service and Civil Defence and Dhaka North City Corporation, and the deputy commissioner and police super of Dhaka, said PID handout.  read  more. & read more.
  BSS

* BNP seeks judicial probe in Savar tragedy:

 The opposition BNP on Friday demanded judicial probe into the loss of lives in the Rana Plaza collapse, alleging the workers were ‘murdered’ by forcing them to join their work in the risky building for ‘political reasons’.

Standing Committee member MK Anwar also castigated Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina for the claim that building owner Sohel Rana was not an activist of the Juba League, the youth font of the ruling Awami League.  read more. & read more.
wf-escenic-times  logo

* Buyers say sorry! :

At least four international companies who used to purchase garment clothes from garments at Rana plaza -New Wave Bottoms, Phantom Apparels, Phantom Tack and Ethar Textile Ltd– have expressed their deep sympathy to the Savar building collapse victims.

The buyers include- major European and American brands, like the Children’s Place, Benetton, Cato Fashions, Mango and others.
Ethar claims to produce clothes for Walmart, but this has been challenged by the US giant. Other firms have also distanced themselves from the disaster. Only Britain’s Primark freely admitted that it was using a factory in Rana Plaza.
Times, an international daily, published a report on this issue on Friday.

In the article, officials say the building showed cracks on Tuesday, but the owner, Sohel Rana, a local leader of the ruling Awami League party’s youth wing, allegedly dismissed them as “nothing serious.”

Activists claim the tragedy could have been avoided had staff in Rana Plaza been unionized and thus in a position to defy the order to ignore the danger.

Brad Adams, Asia director at Human Rights Watch, said in a statement on the organization’s website that the Rana Plaza tragedy was predictable given the long record of worker deaths in factories in Bangladesh.   read more.
banglanews24 Logo

* Slow rescue operation to save lives: ISPR:

Heavy machineries are not being used in the rescue operation at Rana Plaza in Savar as it may further put to risk the lives under the debris, says the Director of Inter Service Public Relations Directorate (ISPR).

Md Shaheenul Islam in a press brief on Friday refuted claims that suggested that the government machinery was conducting the operation too slow, saying, “The rescue operation is being carried out on directions from the government. All heavy machineries required for rescue is at their disposal, but those heavy equipment are not being use as their use may further endanger the lives of those who are trapped inside.”
The ISPR Director held a press briefing on the rescue operation in Monsur Market near Rana Plaza on Friday.
The rescue operation would continue until the recovery or the rescue of the very last victim, he said.  read more.
wf-escenic-times

* RMG workers erupt into protest over deaths:

8 bodies call strike for tomorrow

Garment workers took to streets in the capital as well as in Gazipur and Narayanganj for the second straight day Friday following the Savar factory tragedy that so far claimed more than 300 lives.

Later eight organisations of the workers called a dawn-to-dusk strike for tomorrow (Sunday) in all apparel factories in the country to realise their seven-point demand, including immediate arrest of the Rana Plaza owner and also the owners of the factories housed there.
The strike programme will be preceded by black flag processions across the country Saturday.
The worst ever tragedy in the apparel sector occurred, as the Rana Plaza housing some ready-made garments (RMG) factories at Savar in Dhaka collapsed Wednesday with thousands of workers inside.  read more.

* Garment workers stage violent protests:

Thousands of garment workers staged angry protests in the capital and in Savar, Ashulia, Gazipur and Narayanganj on Friday blocking highways and attacking vehicles to press for immediate arrest of the owners of Rana Plaza at Savar that had collapsed on Wednesday killing more than 300 workers.Apparel workers damage an auto-rickshaw on Pragati Sarani at Badda in Dhaka on Friday during their protests demanding work place safety and punishment of the people responsible for the Rana Plaza collapse. � Ali Hossain Mintu

 

 

In the face of the widespread protests, Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association has announced closure of all factories in Dhaka, Savar, Gazipur and Narayanganj for Saturday.
Eight organisations of apparel workers have called a daylong shutdown for Sunday to press their seven-point demand, including arrest of the owners of the building and the factories housed in it.  read more.

* RMG Unrest: BGMEA sits in fresh meeting with ministers, labour leaders:

Leaders of the Bangladesh Garment Manufactures and Exporters Association (BGMEA) sat in a fresh meeting with a number of ministers and labour leaders on Friday night to discuss the next course of actions hours after holding a press conference.

“The leaders are already in a meeting again. A number of ministers and all labour leaders are there in the meeting,” a BGMEA official told UNB over phone preferring anonymity.
He said Home Minister Dr Muhiuddin Khan Alamgir, Industries Minister Dilip Barua, LGRD and Cooperatives Minister Syed Ashraful Islam, State Minister for Labour and Employment Begum Monnujan Sufian, head of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Labour Ministry M Israfil Alam are already in the meeting.
read more.  & read more. & read more.
  wf-escenic-times 

* 659 people still missing in Savar tragedy:

Rescuers have come up with a list of 659 people who are still missing in the worst building collapse in the country.

The list has been made as per information given by the relatives of those who used to work inside the Rana Plaza, Savar Model Police Station Inspector (Investigation) Aminur Rahman told bdnews24.com.

”We have put the names on the list checking the identity cards and photos of those missing until 7pm on Friday,” he said.
The high-rise commercial building came crushing down on Wednesday morning. According to local people, around 3,500 employees were working in the five garment factories inside when the tragedy struck.  read nore.
wf-escenic-times

* 30 hurt as building beside Rana Plaza ‘shakes’:

At least 30 people were injured on Friday morning when people hurried out of a building situated next to Rana Plaza, which collapsed claiming over 275 lives.
A large number of anxious people tried to move out of the five-story RF Tower, located behind Rana Plaza, after news spread that it was ‘shaking’.
Rescuers, including the Bangladesh Army men, were conducting salvage operations at the RF Tower, Savar Police Station Officer in-Charge Asaduzzaman told bdnews24.com.
It seemed to them that the building quivered at around 8:45am, he said. “At least 30 people were injured while hurrying out of the building.”  read more.
wf-escenic-times

* Savar tragedy toll hits 314:

2361 rescued alive: Locals, rescuers clash

Some 314 bodies were recovered from the debris of the collapsed Rana Plaza as of Friday evening as the death toll from the human tragedy continues to go up, reports UNB.

A total of 85 more people were also pulled out alive from 1.30am to 8.30pm Friday from the building that crashed on Wednesday, taking the number of the people rescued so far to 2,361.
Of the bodies, 287 were handed over to their families, said officer-in-charge (Investigation) Aminur Rahman. Besides, 26 unidentified ones were sent to Dhaka Medical College Hospital morgue.

Those rescued on Friday included two members of Industrial Police — ASI Mukul and constable Rafiqul Islam. They got trapped inside the building as they had been there on Wednesday morning to inspect it.
Meanwhile, rescuers traced over 100 people alive on the ground floor of the crashed building. The victims were provided with dry food and drinking water. The rescuers hoped that they will be able to pull them out by early Saturday.
read more.
  & read more. & read more. & read more. & read more.
newstodayBD  BSS  logo 

* Arrest warrants issued against Rana, factory owners: Home Minister:

Home Minister Dr Muhiuddin Khan Alamgir on Friday night said the government has issued arrest warrants against the owners of Rana Plaza (Sohel Rana) and the RMG factories housed in the collapsed eight-storey complex.

“We’ve directed the officials concerned to keep vigil so that they can’t flee the country,” he said after a meeting with the Bangladesh Garment Manufactures and Exporters Association (BGMEA) and BKMEA leaders at the BGMEA Bhaban.
“We discussed the arrest of the owners at any cost. All have agreed to put in all-out efforts to that end,” Industries Minister Dilip Barua told UNB over phone after the meeting.

Responding to a question, Barua said they also requested the labour leaders to withdraw the strike called by workers organisations for Sunday and not to call further strike. read more. & read more. & read more.
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* Savar tragedy a crime against humanity: Suranjit:

Minister without portfolio Suranjit Sengupta on Friday said that the owners of the garment factories at Rana Plaza committed crimes against humanity by killing the workers after calling them to join work in the cracked building.

At a discussion organised by Dhaka divisional unit of Bangabandhu Sangskritik Jote at Dhaka Reporters’ Unity, he, however, urged opposition leaders to shun politics with the Savar disaster, saying that this was not the time for politics.
Requesting the opposition leaders to behave more responsibly and sensibly, Suranjit said that the culprits involved in the Savar tragedy would be punished after rescuing all the victims trapped in Rana Plaza that collapsed on April 24.  read  more.

* Savar building collapse sparks workers’ agitation:

Thousands of readymade garments (RMG) workers from different factories in Dhaka, Gazipur, Savar and Narayanganj vandalised more than 150 vehicles and set fire on several factories on Friday.

This has left 50 workers injured. The workers took to the streets, demanding exemplary punishment for Sohel Rana, owner of Rana Plaza in Savar, and resignation of the home minister, Mohiuddin Khan Alamgir.
The agitated workers carried out vandalism in Shewrapara, Kazipara, Mirpur, Pallabi, Shyamoli, Kolyanpur, Gabtoli, Gulshan, Badda, Rampura and Malibagh.
read more.
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* 90 % of buildings in Dhaka’s outskirts unauthorised:

Nearly 90 per cent of the buildings in the outskirts of the capital, including Savar, have been built illegally or without authorization from the Rajdhani Unnayan Kartripakkhya (RAJUK), said sources in the country’s capital development authority.

The collapse of the eight-storied Rana Plaza in Savar on Wednesday, which claimed over 200 lives and injured around 2,000, has rung alarm bells. All unauthorized buildings should be identified immediately, the authorities feel, before any further mishap occurs.
“Eighty to 90 per cent of the buildings outside the Dhaka City Corporation (DCC) area have been constructed without authorization from RAJUK,” said Sk Abdul Mannan, member (planning) of RAJUK.
read more.  & read more. & read more.
logo  Logo  daily star bd

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* 25 RMG workers from Mirzapur missing since Savar tragedy:

At least 25 garments workers of seven villages under Mirzapur Upazila of Tangail district are missing since the Savar Rana Plaza tragedy.

The relatives of the missing workers have been wailing containing the photos of the missing workers. The air of the seven villages has become heavy by their wailing. Tragic scene was observed at the house of missing Abu Hanif. His parents have become speechless.
Abu Hanif came home on Pahela Boishakh.
A bride was selected for his marriage. He was the only earning member of the family.
The wailing of his parents made the air heavy. Nothing could console them. The same picture was observed in other missing families of the Upazila. When contacted, Upazila Nirbahi Officer of Mirzapur Afroj Akhter Chowdhury said that they are preparing list of the dead and missing workers. Their families will be provided help by the government.  to read. & read more.logo  daily star bd

* Frantic search for the missing:

The clock ticked away as relatives of those missing under the rubble of Rana Plaza ran around frantically looking for their loved ones – dead or alive.

They moved back and forth between the scene of the building collapse to the hospitals and morgues in Savar, Ashulia and Dhaka.
Defying scorching heat, Nepal Moni Lal was looking for his 26-year-old daughter Kajalie Rani, a helper at the sewing section of Phantom Tac Ltd on the fourth floor of the nine-storey building.
At around 10:00am yesterday, diminishing hope and exhaustion overcame him. He fainted and was admitted to Savar Sadar Hospital.
With Nepal were his 15 relatives, friends and neighbours, all of who have been looking for Kajali since Wednesday.
They have been to every clinics and hospitals in Savar and Ashulia. They also went to Dhaka Medical College Hospital, morgue, and Pongu Hospital, but in vain.
read more.
daily star bd

* Fight for life on under debris:

Even with the stench of degrading corps becoming unbearable, the hope for finding survivors of the Rana Plaza collapse is still high.

At least 73 people were brought out of the rubble alive yesterday, three days after the building came crashing down.
The rescuers’ efforts seem relentless and people are surviving by what could only be described as a miracle. More are believed to be trapped alive under the rubble.
However, the death toll of the country’s worst building collapse is 304 and climbing.
The rescue teams are providing water, saline and oxygen cylinders whenever they find a survivor inside. “We have supplied saline, torchlight and oxygen to a spot where around 24 people are still alive,” said Jashim Uddin, a rescuer.
read more.
daily star bd

* Rescued after 45 hrs under rubble:

Time was running out for Rikta.
She was hungry and thirsty and drained.
Two days had passed since she was trapped inside Rana Plaza.
Nobody came.

So when somebody came yesterday morning, about 45 hours after the collapse, she first thought: “Am I still alive?”
But to remain alive she would have to suffer more: It was a group of civil rescuers who found her around 5:30am yesterday under the rubble on the third floor of the nine-storey building. Her right hand was trapped under a sewing machine.
The rescuers tried all means they could think of to pull her out. All attempts failed. So they had to improvise.
They brought a hand saw, tied both her legs and hands, held her tightly so that she could not move and then cut off her hand from above the elbow.
“I somehow managed to bear the pain when they were cutting my flesh. But when it reached my bone … I don’t know how to describe the pain,” she told The Daily Star at Enam Medical College Hospital in Savar, and then fainted.  read more.
daily star bd

* Help pours in for rescuers:

Mass participation shows selfless love for humanity

They are no relative of the victims. They don’t know the names. Yet all they want is to be of any help to the hapless people.

After the nine-storey Rana Plaza collapsed on Wednesday, people, mostly youths, and different organisations, thronged the place to stand beside the victims and their relatives.
All along the route from the disaster site to Enam Medical College and Hospital and beyond, people were handing out food, water and other relief materials they were able to bring. Some joined hands in the rescue operation.
“Have water”, “Take this biriyani packet,” “Water and biscuit are free”– the area is resounded with these words.
Just in front of the collapsed building, from a makeshift shed, social organisation Work for Life, distribute bread, biscuit, juice, cucumber, banana, mineral water, saline, packets of biriyani and khicchuri among the rescuers and people whoever need those.  read more.
daily star bd

* Brave souls in Savar:

No safety gear, no training, no proper equipment.
But they have brave hearts to help the workers trapped in a mangled mess of concrete and rods.

As the Rana Plaza tragedy unfolded, many ordinary people joined the rescue effort. A large number of students, street vendors, garment workers and religious leaders joined hands with fire fighters, army and police.
In some cases, the unequipped civilians were seen leading the desperate operation putting their lives at risk.
They entered the building by breaking the walls, and pulled out people — dead or alive, while law enforcers were just busy controlling the crowd.
One of the brave men managed to rescue a pregnant woman alive. Another rescuer, without any medical knowledge, untangled a garment worker from the debris by cutting her leg.  read more.
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* A daunting task:

Mostly untrained, unequipped locals help firefighters in rescue operations

It has been mainly the firefighters and locals who have been conducting the rescue operation at Rana Plaza site in Savar since Wednesday, the day the nine-storey building collapsed.

During spot visits, it was seen that personnel of army, Rapid Action Battalion (Rab), police and Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) were mostly handling the crowd and making way for their vehicles and other vehicles carrying food and medicine to and out of the spot.
The locals and firefighters using shovels, handsaw, hammers and other handy tools have been cutting the fallen walls, grills and roofs to get the victims out of the debris.
However, after recovery of any victim, personnel of other agencies are seen active to take the victim to hospital.
Against such backdrop, families of the victims and locals yesterday morning staged an angry demonstration in front of the collapsed building alleging that the government machineries were not putting sincere efforts in the rescue; rather the army, Rab, BGB and police were playing the role of onlookers.  read more.
daily star bd

* RMGs for Primark, Lablaw were made in factories at Rana Plaza:

Global buyers Primark and Lablaw have stated that apparel products for the companies were made in the factories at Rana Plaza that collapsed Wednesday while some others including C&A denied any contractual agreement with any of those garment units.

The collapse of a multi-storeyed building at Savar that so far left more than 300 people, most of them garment workers, dead and several hundred others injured, drew extensive international media attention.
The buyers have also expressed their condolences to the family members of the victims.

Irish clothing retailer Primark confirmed that one of its suppliers occupied the second floor of the eight- storey building, which housed several suppliers to the garment industry making clothing for a number of brands.
In a statement published in its website it said the company is shocked and deeply saddened by this appalling incident at Savar, near Dhaka, and expressed its condolences to all of those involved.  read more.

* Savar building tragedy and beyond:

It was indeed distressing to see a total break-down of the chain of command and failure in enforcement in our economy, politics and the country. A reporter from abroad contacted me to comment on the Savar building collapse, which took away so many human lives.

It was really embarrassing to hear the comments from our honourable Home Minister, pointing fingers at the opposition for having caused collapse of the multi-storey building Rana Plaza during hartal, which in turn might have led this tragedy to happen.
(…)
The reporter asked what did the BGMEA, industry, labour or home ministries do to make sure an episode like Spectrum or Tazreen did not happen in the country? This question is all the more relevant now after the incident at Savar. Will this not recur in future? There is no answer as these episodes are sure to happen. The government, whichever is in power, will try to `pass the bucks’ to the opposition; our nationalist or socialist friends will keep on commenting to media to give all the `large jobs or contracts’ to local builders and the culprits will go scot free.  read more.

* Rights groups urge govt to improve safety steps, allow TU formation:


A woman wailing for her missing relative near the site of building collapse at Savar Friday. — FE Photo

Leading global rights groups, including the New York-based Human Rights Watch (HRW), are expressing deep concern at the death of hundreds of workers in the latest building collapse at Savar, calling upon the authorities concerned to improve safety measures immediately in the country’s industrial sector.

The rights groups have also urged the international companies that purchase ready-made garments (RMG) and other products from Bangladesh to ensure that workers’ safety is maintained throughout their supply chains.

The collapse of an eight-storey factory building at Savar near Dhaka shows the urgent need to improve Bangladesh’s protections for workers’ health and safety, the HRW said Thursday.

The disaster is another black mark on Bangladesh’s industrial safety record, said Washington-based advocacy group – the International Labour Rights Forum (ILRF).
read more.

* Rana Plaza collapse: Death toll hits 335; many more traced alive:

News - Rana Plaza collapse: Death toll hits 335; many more traced alive

At least 335 bodies were recovered from the debris of the collapsed Rana Plaza as of Saturday morning as the death toll from the tragedy continues to go up.

Of the bodies, 318 were handed over to the victim’s families, said Officer-in-charge (Investigation) of Savar Police Station Aminur Rahman.
Besides, 26 unidentified ones were sent to Dhaka Medical College Hospital morgue.
Meanwhile, Detective Branch (DB) of Dhaka district police arrested two garment factory owners from the city’s Ramna area early Saturday in connection with the disastrous building collapse.

At the same time, police detained Rana Plaza owner Sohel Rana’s wife Mitu Akter from Shahibagh area of Savar municipality for interrogation.
Earlier, police also detained four relatives of Rana for quizzing.
read more. & read more.

* Rana’s wife, 2 garment factory owners in custody:

Mitu Akhter, wife of Sohel Rana, the owner of the collapsed Rana Plaza, was detained while two garment factory owners were arrested early Saturday in connection with the disastrous building collapse.

Officer-in-charge (OC) of Savar Police Station Asaduzzaman said they detained Mitu Akhter, 25, from her father’s house at Shahibagh around 1.00am for interrogation.  read more.
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* Two RMG factory owners & 2 engineers held over Savar tragedy:

Detective Branch (DB) of Dhaka district police arrested two garment factory owners from the city’s Ramna area early Saturday in connection with the disastrous building collapse in Savar.

The arrested were identified as Bazlus Samad Adnan,45, chairman of New Weave Bottoms and New Weave Style, and Mahmudur Rahman Tapas, managing director of the two garment units.
read more. & read more. & read more. & read more. & read more.
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* Rana Plaza collapse: Owner’s wife detained:

Police detained wife of Sohel Rana, owner of the collapsed building Rana Plaza in Savar, from Shahibagh area of Savar municipality for interrogation on Saturday.The arrestee was identified as Mitu Akter, 25.
Officer-in-charge (OC) Asaduzzaman of Savar Police Station said they arrested Mitu from her father’s house at Shahibagh at about 1.00am for interrogation.
read more. & read more.
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* Garment workers block road in Mirpur:

Angry over the deaths in Savar building collapse, hundreds of garment workers staged demonstration and blockaded a road in the city’s Mirpur Saturday morning.

The workers gathered at Mirpur-10 roundabout around 8:30am and kept the intersection blockaded for half an hour.
Vehicular movement on the adjacent thoroughfares was disrupted following the blockade, said Kazi Wazed Ali, officer-in-charge of Kafrul Police Station.
Police negotiated with the workers and freed the road around 9:00am, he added.
Thousands of garment workers on Friday vented their anger on vehicles in and around the capital leaving the public transport system on the brink of a collapse.
They vandalised at least 160 vehicles in Dhaka, Gazipur and Narayanganj.
to read.
daily star bd

* 5 injured as cops fire shots on RMG workers at Rana Plaza:

Five people suffered bullet wounds as police fired shots on agitating garment workers near Rana Plaza here on Saturday morning.

Police said the trouble started at Bank Town near Rana Plaza around 9.30 am when a group of RGM workers, angered by slow rescue operation in the collapsed building, tried to break the police cordon.
Later, the law enforcers fired some 50 rounds of rubber bullets and lobbed 20 teargas canisters to disperse them, leaving the five injured.  read more.

* 50 hurt as RMG workers clash with cops in Savar:

At least 50 garment workers were injured in a clash with police at Ulail and Phulbari in Savar Saturday morning.

The workers vandalised at least five vehicles on Dhaka-Aricha highway during the clash, halting vehicular movement since 9:00am, said Shyamol Kumar Mukharjee, additional superintendent of police.
Police fired several gunshots, rubber bullets and teargas shells to quell the agitation workers.
Angered by the deaths of their fellow workers, several thousands of garment workers took to the streets in Ulail area demanding capital punishment to those responsible for the Savar building collapse.  read more.
daily star bd

* RMG workers, police clash near Savar:

Hundreds of readymade garment (RMG) factory workers are fighting pitched battles with the police at Savar’s Ulail in an apparent outrage over the deaths following the collapse of a multi-storied building at Savar.

Police say scores of workers came out on the Dhaka-Aricha Highway’s Ulail Bus Stand area, just miles away from the site of the nine-storey building, on Saturday morning.
read more.
wf-escenic-times

* 18-party meeting at 9pm:

The BNP-led 18-party alliance will hold a meeting on Saturday night to set their next course of action following current situation of the country.

The meeting will be held at BNP chairperson’s Gulshan office at 9:00pm with Khaleda Zia in the chair.
The ongoing political situation, next course of action and Savar tragedy will also come up for their discussion, said Dr. Mostafizur Rahman Iran, chairman of Labor Party, an ally of the 18-party alliance.  to read.
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* Govt to change law for stringent punishment:

The government will bring amendment, if necessary, in the existing law to stop recurrence of deadly incident like Savar tragedy, said Law Minister Shafique Ahmed on Saturday.

“The government will also formulate a new law, if necessary after scrutinising the present one,” the minister told reporters during a press briefing at Jatiya Press Club in the capital over National Legal Aid Day on April 28.
Shafique made the comment when asked about the steps taken by the government following the Savar tragedy. read more.
daily star bd

* Rescuers revise plan for massive interventions:

The rescuers today revised their massive salvage campaign using heavy equipment as more survivors are trapped under tones of concrete rubbles even on the fourth day of the eight-storey building collapse here.

Commander of the salvage campaign Major General Hassan Sarwardy today said that they would not use heavy equipment to remove the debris as they expect rescuing more people alive.
The decision came when seven survivors were retrieved alive today and one of the rescued women said her brother awaits under the debris for helps of the rescuers.
read more.
BSS

* Major Retailers Rejected Bangladesh Factory Safety Plan:

As Bangladesh reels from the deaths of hundreds of garment workers in a building collapse, the refusal of global retailers to pay for strict nationwide factory inspections is bringing renewed scrutiny to an industry that has profited from a country notorious for its hazardous workplaces and subsistence-level wages.

After a factory fire killed 112 garment workers in November, clothing brands and retailers continued to reject a union-sponsored proposal to improve safety throughout Bangladesh’s $20 billion garment industry. Instead, companies expanded a patchwork system of private audits and training that labor groups say improves very little in a country where official inspections are lax and factory owners have close relations with the government.  read more.
huffpost

* Bangladesh Disaster: Who Pays the Real Price of Your Shirt? :

Seven hundred workers have died in factory fires in Bangladesh since 2005, including the 112 who burned to death or jumped to their deaths at the Tazreen factory on November 24th. Now hundreds more bodies are being pulled from the rubble of the Rana Plaza building, in an industrial district 18 miles from Dhaka.

At Tazreen the owners didn’t build fire escapes. They’d locked the doors on the upper floors “to prevent theft,” trapping workers in the flames.
At Rana Plaza, factory owners refused to evacuate the building after huge cracks appeared in the walls, even after safety engineers told them not to let workers inside.

Workers told IndustriALL union federation representatives they’d be docked three days pay for each day of an absence, and so went inside despite their worries. As a result, the death toll is already over 250 and more are still trapped under debris.
read more.
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* Rain hampers rescue operation:

Rain-hurdles-rescue

The sudden downpour badly hampered the rescue and search efforts at the site of Savar building collapse on Saturday. 

The rescue operation is going on in full swing since morning with 14 people rescued alive.
But the rescuers have been facing difficulties to continue their operation till 1:30pm when this report was filed, reported our correspondent from the spot.
The rain started around 12:45pm.
Rescue workers, who were inside the sandwiched building, went out fearing another collapse as deluge stared to pouring inside the collapsed building.
The workers were seen working only on the ninth-floor which is the top floor of the building.  to read.
daily star bd

 * Signs of life linger in the ruins:

As heavy rain poured down from Saturday noon, it cast doubts over further rescue of people trapped inside the ill-fated nine-storey Rana Plaza. But rescuers surprisingly managed to bring out one more survivor from the deepest part of the wreckage.

In this April 25 photo, rescuers are seen searching people trapped inside the ill-fated nine-storey building that collapsed on Wednesday at Savar.

“There are a number of people still alive at the third floor of the wreckage,” said volunteer rescuer Miraz who, along with other rescuers brought out a woman alive around 1:00pm.
“I have talked to them standing close to a tunnel that took us to a broken pillar. They gathered on the other side of the pillar. When I talked to them, they called my name and said that they don’t want to come out. I don’t know what’s wrong,” Miraz said.
read more.
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* Aljazeera report & Arrests over Bangladesh building collapse:

Bangladeshi police say they have made three arrests after a garment factory outside Dhaka collapsed, killing more than 300 people.

The building’s owners and an engineer who was responsible for maintenance were arrested on Saturday after the death toll rose to 324.
“We’ve arrested Bazlus Samad, the chairman of New Wave Buttons and New Wave Style factories, and Mahmudur Rahaman Tapash, a managing director of one of these plants, after midnight,” Shyamal Mukherjee, deputy chief of Dhaka police, told AFP news agency.
One manager for the New Wave Styles company, one of the five manufacturers in the building, said the owner had consulted an engineer but then ignored his warnings.
read & see more (video).
aljazeera

* Bam Morcha demands Rana’s arrest by Sunday or hartal on May 2:

Ganotantrik Bam Morcha, a conglomerate of seven left-leaning parties, on Saturday threatened to enforce a nationwide dawn-to-dusk hartal on May 2 if its 9-point demand, including the arrest of the owners of Rana Plaza and garment factories, are not met by Sunday.

“We demand that owner of the building (Rana Plaza) Sohel Rana be held by April 28. We’re calling for a countrywide dawn-to-dusk hartal for May 2 if the owners of the building and garment factories housed in the building are not arrested within April 28,” said the Marcha coordinator Moshrefa Mishu.
She was speaking at a press conference orgnasied by the Morcha at its Topkhana Road office in protest against the killing of workers in the building collapse.
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* Rescue operation satisfactory, heavy equipment would be used later: Minister:

Rescue operation is satisfactory at the Savar building collapse site where many lives were lost, Disaster Management and Relief Minister Abul Hassan Mahmood Ali said today.

“Heavy equipment would be used later during next course of operation, as many people are still under rubbles of the building,” he said at a press briefing at Press Information Department (PID) conference room here.
The minister said the professional rescue teams including Bangladesh Army, Fire Service and Civil Defence and others are using small equipment aimed at saving lives of those who are still alive inside the collapsed building.  read more.
BSS

* Tragedy Shows Urgency of Worker Protections:

The collapse of an eight-story factory building near Dhaka shows the urgent need to improve Bangladesh’s protections for worker health and safety, Human Rights Watch said today. Reforms should include a drastic overhaul of the government’s system of labor inspections and an end to government efforts to thwart the right of workers to unionize.

In the Savar area outside the Bangladeshi capital, the Rana Plaza building contained five garment factories. The complex collapsed just before 9 a.m. on April 24, 2013. At the time of writing, the death toll from the collapse had reached hundreds, mostly garment factory workers, with large numbers of people still trapped in the rubble.
The building had been evacuated the previous day when large cracks had appeared in the walls. Numerous workers in the building were reluctant to enter the premises on the morning before the collapse, but did so after being told the building was safe or after alleged threats from company officials.
(…)
“Successive Bangladeshi governments have paid lip service to worker safety but in reality it is only the factory owners who have the ear of policymakers,” Adams said.
(…)
“Had one or more of the Rana Plaza factories been unionized, workers could have refused to enter the building the day it collapsed,” Adams said. “This tragedy shows that the right to organize a union in Bangladesh is not just a matter of getting fair wages – it’s a matter of saving lives.”  read more.
HRW

* RMG workers go berserk in Ctg:

Hundreds of RMG workers went on a rampage in different parts of the port city on Saturday demanding punishment to the people responsible for the horrific building collapse at Savar.

Police said several hundred workers of Chittagong Export Processing Zone (CEPZ) put up blockade at CEPZ intersection about 9 am and staged demonstration, halting traffic movement on Airport road for two hours.
The agitated workers also brought out protest procession at city’s Teribazar, Jamalkhan, Sadarghat, Agrabad and Panchlaish areas and vandalized several vehicles.  read more.

* Death toll jumps to 346:

The death toll from the Savar building collapse has risen to 346 as rescue workers recovered 31 more bodies from beneath the rubble of the nine-storey building on Saturday.

At least 30 people were pulled out of the rubble alive on Saturday. So far, 2,429 people have been rescued from the debris since the building caved in on Wednesday morning.
With the new tally, a total of 346 bodies have been recovered till 6:00pm Saturday, said sources in the police control room set up at Savar Adharchandra High School.
Three hundred and thirty five bodies were handed over to their relatives, it said.
The control room sources said they fell short of Oxygen kits needed to help the survivors.
A rescue team of fire fighters found three people alive in the second floor in the morning and rescued them around noon, nearly 75 hours after the building crumbled like a pack of cards, reported our correspondent from the spot.  read more.
daily star bd

* 5 injured as cops fire shots on RMG workers at Rana Plaza:

Five people suffered bullet wounds as police fired shots on agitating garment workers near Rana Plaza here on Saturday morning.

Police said the trouble started at Bank Town near Rana Plaza around 9.30 am when a group of RGM workers, angered by slow rescue operation in the collapsed building, tried to break the police cordon.
Later, the law enforcers fired some 50 rounds of rubber bullets and lobbed 20 teargas canisters to disperse them, leaving the five injured. read more.

* RMG workers run amok in Savar, Gazipur:

Outraged by the deaths of fellow-workers in a deadly building collapse, the ready made garment workers went on a rampage in Savar and Gazipur on Saturday demanding punishment to the owner of the building.

At least 50 workers were injured in Savar as they clashed with law enforcers.
The marauding workers also vandalised eight factories in Savar and Gazipur.
The traffic movement on Dhaka-Aricha highway came to a halt for four hours during the clash that ensued around 9:00am, said Shyamol Kumar Mukharjee, additional superintendent of police in Dhaka district.
Meanwhile, the death toll from the nine-storey building collapse reached 340 on Saturday, three days into the tragedy.  read more.
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* Work place accidents of workers rising’:

Casualties suffered by workers due to occupational accidents, violence and industrial disputes are on the rise day by day in the country.

According to a survey, carried out by Bangladesh Institute of Labour Studies (BILS), 906 workers were killed due to the incidents in 2012 while it was 301 in 2000. Some 1108 others were also injured in the year 2012.
Citing the survey report at a press conference at BILS office at Dhanmondi in the city on Saturday, BILS officials said the death toll was 869 in 2011 while it was 703 in 2010.
It indicated that the occupational accidents being faced by the workers are increasing, they said.  read more.

* First among hospitalised victims of Rana Plaza ‘dies at DMCH’:

The first among the hospitalised victims of Rana Plaza collapse died while undergoing treatment at Dhaka Medical College Hospital on Saturday.

Health Minister AFM Ruhal Haque said this at a press conference at the National Institute of Traumatology and Orthopedic Rehabilitation (NITOR) while updating reporters about the treatment of the injured admitted to various public and private hospitals.
At present, 670 injured are being treated at public hospitals in Dhaka and Savar, he said, adding that 1,419 others have already been released after the treatment.
read more.

* Govt helped Rana flee: BNP:

BNP standing committee member Khandaker Mosharraf Hossain on Saturday accused the government of abetting the owner of collapsed Rana Plaza at Savar to flee the scene on the fateful day.

“You (govt) helped the Rana Plaza owner, Sohel Rana, to flee. He isn’t found now. His relatives have been arrested as part of an eye-wash,” he said.
The BNP leader came up with the allegation while addressing a protest rally at the National Press Club.  read more. & read more. & read more.
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* Tarpaulin scarcity may hamper rescue mission:

Rescue workers at the site of the country’s worst ever industrial disaster at Savar continued their mission despite heavy shower on Saturday putting up some hardship for them in the absence of adequate tarpaulin and relevant materials.

Despite heavy rain that lasted for around 15 minutes, the rescuers though continued their job as usual in the noon, but they feared they might need more tarpaulin to carry on with their mission if it further rains.
”Rain can’t stop our work,” Fire Service Director Major Mohammad Mahbub, one of the rescuers, told bdnews24.com.
He also urged everyone to bring tarpaulin and thick polythene sheets to the site as their stocks running thin.  read more.
wf-escenic-times

* Savar Tragedy: BGMEA yet to form probe body:

Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) is yet to form an investigation committee over the Savar building collapse even after fourth day of the tragic incident.

But, any responsible person of the organization is not taking responsibility of dillydally.
The authorities concerned said they would not form any investigation committee until the rescue work is finished.
Experts opined that there is no relation between the completion of rescue work and forming an investigation committee.   read more.
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* BGMEA asks factory owners for building designs:

Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) on Saturday asked garments owners to submit building designs of all the RMG factories within July.

BGMEA sources said the initiative is being taken as a part to change the negative attitude of overseas buyers and enhance safety of this industry after the collapse of Rana Plaza in Savar.
The sources said some 5000 RMG factories have been asked to submit their design by July.
Vice President of BGMEA M Shahidullah Azim said, “Collapse of the building in Savar is an accident but we want to ensure that RMG sector is safe from negative impact.”
He added; “We want to show our overseas buyers that proper steps are being taken as safety measures of the RMG workers and this is why we have asked to submit the designs by July.”
read more. & read more.& read more. & read more.& read more.
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* Govt to despatch 4 medical teams to Savar:

Government has decided to despatch four teams of specialist doctors to Savar for providing quick and better medical facilities to the injured.

The teams would be headed by an orthopaedic surgeon and would also comprise experts from other streams like neurology and nephrology, Health Minister AFM Ruhal Haque told bdnews24.com on Saturday.
Haque said the teams would assess the condition of the injured and would provide necessary treatment to them at Savar.
If need be the experts would refer the patients to Dhaka, he added.  read more.
wf-escenic-times

* PM’s Relief Fund receives Tk 5mn for Savar victims:

Exporters’ Association on Saturday donated Tk 5 million to the Prime Minister’s Relief Fund for the Savar building collapse victims.

Association President Syed Nasim Monjur handed over a cheque for the amount to the Prime Minister at her official residence Ganobhaban in the evening, PM’s press secretary Abul kalam Azad said.
Awami League general secretary Syed Ashraful Islam was, among others, present.
to read.  & read more.
  BSS

* Arrest Sohel Rana, Murad Jong in 24 hrs: BNP:

Accusing the Prime Minister of helping Rana Plaza owner to escape by defending him in Parliament, opposition BNP on Tuesday demanded the arrest of Sohel Rana and ruling party MP Murad Jong within 24 hours over the Savar tragedy.

“Rana wouldn’t have been able to run away had the Prime Minister not defended him in parliament and cooked up a story about him. Now the government is trying to fool people by arresting his relatives,” said BNP senior leader Khandaker Mosharraf.

Addressing a rally in front of BNP’s Nayapaltan central office, the BNP leader also alleged that the government is trying to shift the blame on the opposition for the Savar building collapse only to hush up its wrongdoing in this regard as other incidents in the past. read more.

* Country exercises biggest rescue drill after Savar collapse: experts:

The country has been witnessing the biggest ever rescue drill retrieving alive so far 2426 people as it suffered the worst ever disaster of such type following the collapse of a eight-storey building at suburban Savar four days ago.

“In one line I can tell you, this is the manifestation of a good salvage campaign,” disaster management expert Professor Mehedi Ansary of Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (BUET) told BSS.

Ansary, an earthquake specialist, said this was an incident when largest number of people were rescued from under tonnes of concrete rubbles after such a deadly collapse that until the afternoon saw retrieval of 341 bodies.
read more. & read more.
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* 29 people rescued 72 hours after collapse:

Rescuers have saved 29 more lives on Saturday 80 hours after the collapse of Rana Plaza in Savar.

Heavy machinery and equipments are not used yet as the rescuers are hopeful of finding more survivors.
The death toll has reached to around 350 on Saturday while almost a thousand people are still missing.
Rescue efforts continued amidst rain at noon on Saturday. Those taking part in the rescue said they will need tarpaulin and other relevant materials to carry on their work in case it rains heavily again.
Meanwhile police were given remand on Saturday to question two factory owners and two engineers of the municipality who were arrested in connection with the tragedy.  read more. & read more.
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 * Dark underworld of Bangladesh’s clothes industry:

Bangladesh’s clothes industry has created its own distinctive landscape on the northern edges of the capital Dhaka.

From the sprawl of one-room houses and shacks where workers live, scores of multi-storey factory blocks jut into the sky. Clusters of steel-reinforcing rods poke from their rooftops – in the hope of adding yet another floor of sewing machines. It’s a sign of what critics say is a boom gone too far, in the desperation to feed the West’s appetite for bargain clothes.

The Rana Plaza which collapsed this week was another of these high-rise stitching stations, with the UK’s Primark chain one of its customers. Primark has said that it was “shocked and saddened” by the disaster and that it would work with other retailers to review standards.
But everyone involved in the industry is in the frame now – because it’s had plenty of warnings before.
It’s less than six months since a devastating fire at a plant that was making clothes for Walmart killed over 100 workers – Bangladesh’s last worst industrial accident. There had been some efforts to tighten up.  read  more.
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* Govt can’t ignore responsibility for Savar tragedy: BBC Sanglap:

Two panelists at the BBC Bangladesh Sanglap (dialogue) here on Saturday categorically said the government must shoulder responsibility for the huge casualties in the Savar building collapse.

“The government agencies which approved the construction of the buildings must bear the responsibility for the tragic incident. The ministries looking after the RMG factories also can’t avoid the responsibility. The way the owners of the factories pushed the workers towards death, it can be called as killing,” said Dr Fahmida Khatun, a research director at Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD).

Taking part in the Sanglap, BNP standing committee member MK Anwar said the government and Bangladesh Garment Manufactures and Exporters Association (BGMEA) must take the responsibility for the deaths of people in the building crash.
read more.

* BGMEA fund to help Savar victims:

Leaders of the country’s apex apparel bodies have decided to form a fund to help the victims of Savar building collapse and urged member units to contribute the fund within nest one week.

The decision came after an emergency meeting of the members of both Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) and Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BKMEA) to help rehabilitate the injured workers. “Each of the member units will have to contribute Tk 25,000 to the fund within next seven days which will be spent to help the injured and affected workers of Savar building collapse,” said the BGMEA second vice president SM Mannan Kochi while the briefing the journalist at BGMEA Bhaban on Saturday.
read more.
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* Savar Tragedy: Death toll now 355; 500 believed still missing:

The death toll from the disastrous building collapse here stood at 355 with the recovery of 25 more bodies from the debris of Rana Plaza on Saturday as the rescuers continued their operation.

The rescuers also recovered 26 people alive from the wreckage of the building today, sources at the Control Room opened here said. With the latest ones, they said, some 2426 people have been rescued alive since the complex collapsed on Wednesday.

They said the rescue operation was disrupted for half an hour this noon, causing sufferings to the victims’ relatives who had long been waiting at Adharchandra School ground in search of their near and dear ones.
read more. & read more. & read more.
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* Hopes fade for finding alive the missing:

As the rescue operation continues for more trapped victims of Savar tragedy from the rubble of infamous Rana Plaza, hopes fade for finding them still alive.

Till Saturday – the fourth day since the eight-storey Rana Plaza on the outskirts of Savar collapsed – over 1,000 people were still missing, according to several reports compiled by The Independent.
However, none of the government officials and voluntary organizations who have been working for the last four days at the site of the destroyed plaza in Savar could give an actual number of the missing.
Multiple local sources told The Independent correspondent that some 4,500 people were working at five garment factories housed on different levels of the plaza and other stores when tragedy struck on Wednesday morning.  read more.
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* Survivors recount their date with death:

Teenage girl Aoshi, a worker in a readymade garment factory housed in the collapsed building in Savar, saw seven-eight colleagues dying under the debris close to her.

In fact, having given up all hopes of survival, she had started preparing herself to embrace death, but the luck was on her side, and she survived.
Aoshi still can’t believe that she is alive. Sometimes she thinks her survival is untrue, a dream.

Number of people like Aoshi undergoing treatment at Savar’s Combined Military Hospital is quite large. According to the hospital’s information centre, until Saturday, 382 injured were admitted there. Of them, 21 died, 210 were released and 118 are still undergoing treatment.

Aoshi shared her terrible 36-hour experiences with bdnews24.com on Friday. “It seemed that I was in a hell. My whole body had stink of dead bodies. They were my colleagues only three days back. At one stage I gave up the hope for survival. Only God knows how I survived.”  read more.
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* Irate RMG workers clash in Dhaka, Chittagong:

Thousands of irate readymade garments (RMG) workers went berserk and clashed with law enforcement personnel in the capital, Savar, and in the port city of Chittagong, on Saturday.

Five people sustained bullet injuries and some 20 others were wounded, when police fired shots on agitating garment workers, near Rana Plaza at Savar, in the morning. The police said the trouble started at Bank Town near Rana Plaza around 9.30am, when a group of RMG workers, angered by the slow rescue operations in the building that had collapsed, tried to break through the police cordon.
Later, the law enforcement personnel fired some 50 rounds of rubber bullets and lobbed 20 teargas canisters to disperse them, injuring the five. read more.
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* Despite disasters, Bangladesh works for retailers:

The factory collapse in Bangladesh that killed over 300 people this week is a stark reminder of the risks in the global retail industry’s search for cheap production.

But there have been few signs that safety issues and other questionable labour conditions are sending shockwaves through the major Western retailers, their shareholders or the people who buy the clothes in the United States, Europe and elsewhere.
Despite a series of accidents that have killed hundreds of people in recent months, dozens of major retailers and apparel makers continue to operate in Bangladesh.

The country ships about $15.6 billion of ready-made garments each year – about 80 percent of its total exports. Sixty percent of Bangladesh’s garment exports go to Europe; the United States takes 23 percent, and Canada takes 5 percent, according to data from Bangladesh’s commerce ministry and industry sources.
read more. & read more.
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* Crack found in Manikganj RMG factory:

Cracks developed on the 4th floor of a newly built RMG factory building at Saturia of the district on Saturday.

Inspecting the building Saturia Upazila Norbahi Officer (UNO) Shahin Akhter sealed off the floor of the building.
Shahin Akhter told banglanews that she has sealed the 4th floor of newly built Tarashima Apparels of Nayadingi area of Saturia upazila as crack developed on the 4th floor.
Owner of the factory is an MP from Mymesingh Awami League.  to read.banglanews24 Logo

* HC verdict overlooked:

Despite a High Court order on Rajuk and municipal corporations to ensure construction of structures in line with approved designs and use of quality materials, they confine their role to approving designs only.

Following a writ petition, the HC on November 3, 2011 asked the government to set up a designated agency within a year to enforce the Bangladesh National Building Code (BNBC), a guideline for construction of buildings.
For the interim period, the HC bench designated the Rajdhani Unnayan Kartripakkha (Rajuk) and municipal corporations to enforce the BNBC and asked them to submit a report to the court every three months.
Three rights bodies — Safety and Rights Society, Bangladesh Legal Aid and Services Trust, and Bangladesh Occupational Safety, Health and Environment Foundation — had filed the writ petition on January 27, 2008 as public interest litigation.
Lawyer for the petitioners Tamim Hossain told The Daily Star that the government was yet to form any agency, while Rajuk or municipal corporations had not submitted any quarterly report to the HC.
Meanwhile, showing the excuse of manpower shortage, Rajuk has shirked its responsibility for ensuring the use of quality materials, leading to the construction of thousands of unsafe structures in many areas.
Union parishads and municipalities have been approving design plans for high-rises without having any qualified team of safety experts, architects, engineers or town planners, leaving scope for serious flaws in structures. read more.
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* Use of substandard building materials main reason: minister:

Disaster management and relief minister Abul Hasan Mahmood Ali on Saturday said use of substandard construction materials was the main reason for the collapse of the nine-storey Rana Plaza at Savar.

He also said the collapsed building might have been constructed in a wetland and the authorities that issued the clearance for constructing the building there must be held responsible.
‘This is a man-made disaster…[Use of] substandard building materials was the main reason for the collapse of the building probably constructed in a wetland,’ the diplomat turned minister said while addressing his first ever press conference on ‘Savar tragedy’ held three days after the incident.  read more.

* Relocate garments industries outside Dhaka:

The garments sector is the most important industry in Bangladesh in terms of earning foreign exchanges and employment generation.

But tragedies, occurring one after another in quick succession, are a sad pointer to the little attention that the government pays to this essentially important sector of the economy.
While garments industries are privately owned, it is the duty of the government to ensure a safe, healthy environment, including the basic infrastructures, of this key sector.  read more.

Rana still at large

The police arrested eight people till Sunday in connection with the deadly building collapse at Savar, but could not hunt down the prime accused Sohel Rana, owner of Rana Plaza and a local leader of Juba League, four days after the tragedy that took a staggering toll on human lives on Wednesday.

The police said they continued the hunt for Sohel Rana who went into hiding after the building collapse.  read more.

* Immediate trial of Rana Plaza owner demanded:

Garment workers demonstrated in the Chittagong EPZ gate for two hours on Saturday morning demanding the highest punishment to the owner of Rana Plaza at Savar.

Police said several hundred agitated workers of different garment factories from CEPZ laid siege to the Airport Road at the entrance of the export processing zone from 9.00 am. Hundreds of transports with commuters and cargo were stranded on both sides till 11.00 am when they left the place after police had talked and could dissuade them.  to read.

* Not over yet:

For four days, Poppy has been waiting with a photo of her mother Sonali Begum who worked in one of the garment factories in Rana Plaza.

At Adhar Chandra High School, she runs towards ambulances every time they bring in a body. Her mother-in-law died in the building collapse and everyone with her has gone to Dinajpur for the funeral but Poppy in tears waits for her mother. Photo: Amran Hossain

As frantic efforts continue to rescue more survivors trapped inside the collapsed building in Savar, unnumbered decomposed corpses remain sandwiched between concrete slabs and strewn in the inaccessible corners of bottom floors.
The rescuers comprising firefighters, untrained local volunteers, army men and others are preparing to remove massive piles of rubbles with heavy machinery once they decide there is no single survivor left.
Strong stench of those ill-fated garment workers has made the air unbearably foul all around the disaster site at Savar Bazar by Dhaka-Aricha highway.  read more.
daily star bd

* Getting ready for death:

All the time, she lived in a cycle of fear, hope and despair and when that seemed an eternity, she waited for death.

Nineteen-year-old Merina Khatun says she passed out several times in 66 hours at the mangled wreckage of Rana Plaza in Savar and cannot recall how she was finally rescued.
Discovering herself in an ambulance, she looked around, bewildered at how she had come into that state but soon relaxed finding her sister in the hospital. Both Merina and her sister Shirina Begum used to work at Phantom Apparels Ltd on the third floor of the building.
“We are lucky to be back from death,” Marina says.
She had seven other companions — four women and three men — in a crammed space with debris all around.  read more.
daily star bd

* A true hero:

Amongst the despair of the tangled concrete slabs that was once Rana Plaza, there are rescuers about whom the description of hero is no exaggeration.

One such person is Didar Hossain.
Didar is an apparel worker employed at the factory Al Muslim next to the eight-floor Rana Plaza which on Wednesday morning at collapsed to the ground.
‘I heard a big noise from outside and we looked out and saw lots of dust,’ he told New Age. ‘We rushed out of the building. Initially, the gatekeeper would not allow us out. So we had to push the man aside.’  read more.

* Savar tragedy is a fresh blow to economy: Atiur:

After a series of shutdowns and incidents of political violence, the Savar tragedy deals yet another blow to the economy, Bangladesh Bank Governor Atiur Rahman said yesterday.

“The irreparable losses to the garment sector caused by some irresponsible and greedy people cannot be accepted,” he said.
Rahman spoke at a function to unveil a bunch of initiatives that the central bank has taken for banking sector automation and financial inclusion in the last four years.
Finance Minister AMA Muhith was also present at the function at Bangabandhu International Conference Centre in Dhaka.  read more. & read more.
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* The Economist terms it outcome of corrupt workplace practices:

The weekly Economist published from London termed the collapse of the Rana Plaza at Savar as the latest manifestation of a flourishing and corrupt system of workplace practices that has the effect of keeping prices low on Western high streets at the cost of putting faraway lives at risk.

The tragedy is the latest in a string of disasters to befall Bangladesh’s $ 20 billion garment sector, which is projected to overtake China’s, said the weekly in an analysis published Thursday.

It said Bangladesh was set to become the world’s largest apparel exporter over the next few years. Only five months earlier at least 112 workers died in a hellish blaze in the Tazreen garment factory. That fire also shocked many onlookers, but it surprised few.

The people who bear those risks live and work in a country where their deaths carry pitifully small consequences for employers or, it would seem, for the state. The government says it will pay the equivalent of $ 250 in compensation to each family who lost a relative in the collapse at Savar, the analysis said.  read more.

* Apparel workers continue protests:

Apparel workers held violent demonstrations in Dhaka, Savar, Ashulia and Chittagong for the fourth day in a row on Saturday demanding punishment to those responsible for Wednesday’s factory building collapse which killed over 300 of their colleagues at Savar.

At Savar, at least 50 workers were injured and eight of them suffered bullet injuries, as the police charged baton, fired rubber bullets and tear shells to disperse the protesters.
The protesters were marching towards the collapsed nine-storey Rana Plaza, which housed five readymade apparel factories.
The protesters vandalized vehicles and put up road blockades, the police said.
Thousands of workers held demonstrations at different parts of Savar including Ulail, Hemayetpur, Fulbaria, Banktown, Bankcolony and in the Savar municipal town in the morning.  read more.

* Garment workers remain restive:

RMG workers yesterday went on the rampage at four different places across the country following the deaths of fellow workers in Savar building collapse.

The angry protesters clashed with police, torched and vandalised vehicles, and put blockades on roads in Savar, Dhaka, Gazipur and Chittagong.
They also damaged various factories and shops, demanding punishment to the owner of Rana Plaza and the owners of RMG units housed in that ill-fated building which collapsed on April 24.
In Savar, at least 20 garment workers were injured as the agitating workers were locked into clashes with police on Dhaka-Aricha highway at Ulail and Phulbari.
read more.
daily star bd

* Owners, govt inaction blamed for accidents in RMG sector:

Speakers at a BBC Sanglap on Saturday blamed the owners of Rana Plaza and the garment factories housed in it as well as government oversight agencies for Wednesday’s tragic incident that left at least 340 people dead as on Saturday evening, with several hundred still feared to be trapped in the rubble.

The panellists of the dialogue held at the city’s BIAM auditorium also blamed what they said were the total lack of governance in the country and successive governments’ reluctance to bring to book the people responsible for previous garment factory mishaps that left hundreds of workers dead.  read more.

* Rana Plaza victims can file cases for damages: Shafique:

Law minister Shafique Ahmed on Saturday said that workers could file cases against collapsed Rana Plaza authorities and owners of five clothing factories seeking damages and the government would provide free legal assistance in such cases.    

The minister also said that the government had already opened a cell to offer free legal assistance to the workers and requested them to contact from May 2 the National Legal Aid Services Organisation on Bailey Road in the capital.
‘Legal aid is necessary in the current situation. The organisation will give free legal assistance to the workers, who will be sacked without reason or deprived of their dues by owners,’ Shafique said at a press conference on the eve of National Legal Aid Day to be  observed  today.  read more.

* Survived at a price-  Their limbs amputated, future blurred out:

Shapla stared at her left hand in disbelief. Her arm below the elbow was gone. Everything looked blurry, including her future.

“I have destroyed my only son’s future,” the 22-year-old moaned in fear of the gloomy days ahead, as she thought of the future looking at her amputated hand.
As she lay on a bed at the Orthopaedic Hospital, the hapless garment worker blamed herself for not heeding her husband and neighbours’ advice not to go to work on Wednesday.
“The purpose of my whole life was only to work and save enough money to provide a good education for my son.”
Shapla and her husband, Mehedi Hasan, were both machine operators on the second floor of the nine-storey Rana Plaza. They were separated when the building started to collapse.  read more.
daily star bd

* Pathetic! :

A number of the trapped people drank their urine only to stay alive under the rubble of the collapsed Rana Plaza at Savar, on the outskirts of the capital.

Having interviewed some of the survivors, the FE found that they even tried to eat one another’s flesh during their confinement for more than 65 hours because of the catastrophe.

“Look at the injury marks on the left side of my waist: one of my colleagues, Kajol Begum, bit here to get rid of her starvation as we remained unfed for about three days,” said Merina, who worked on the fourth floor of the building.

Lying on Free Bed No 501 of Enam Medical College Hospital, she said nine workers, including five females, were trapped at the tiny space under the collapsed structure.

“There was no food, no water and no light. We could not even see one another after the charge of our cell phones finished. We could just listen,” said the 26-year-old sewer, who worked for Phantom Apparels of the building.
She started crying before she could start afresh.  read more.

* Tragedy exaggerated? :

Garment-makers blame media; want punishment to building owners, engineers; silent over factory owners

The Bangladesh Garment Manufactures and Exporters Association (BGMEA) yesterday demanded punishment of the owners and engineers of Rana Plaza, which collapsed on Wednesday morning.
“The ones involved in construction work should be punished,” SM Mannan Kochi, vice-president of BGMEA, said at a press briefing following an extra-ordinary general meeting (EGM) called by the BGMEA and Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BKMEA).

In the aftermath of the building collapse that have so far killed 346 and injured 2,429, BGMEA and BKMEA asked all factory owners to check their buildings’ structural designs and load capacity immediately and submit a report to the BGMEA, according to Kochi.
“We will cancel the licence should any one fail to submit the report,” he said.
There was, however, no mention of any punishment for the factory owners, who forced the workers back to the production lines despite cracks surfacing on the building the previous day.
A major part of the meeting, it was learnt, involved discussing the role of media, who they blamed for “exaggerating” the Savar tragedy.  read more.

* Different aspects of the ‘Savar’ tragedy : Where do we stand? :

A national calamity of a very serious proportion has befallen Bangladesh. It has been more than a bolt from the blue when a high-rise building at Savar, on the outskirts of the capital, collapsed like a pack of cards the other day.

The death toll has reached several hundreds while the figure has continued to increase with the passage of every day. More alarmingly, hundreds of people are still trapped in the debris even though many have been saved thorough frenetic efforts by different agencies and the people.

The air in the site is still ranting with the cries of the wailing crowd desperately looking for their near and dear ones, missing in the aftermath of the catastrophe. Many dead bodies have been handed over to the relatives while allout efforts are continuing to trace the missing ones, particularly to salvage those trapped in the ruins and debris of the collapsed building, from awfully difficult conditions.
Indeed, this is a Herculean task; all concerned are sparing no efforts in rescue operations.  read more.

* Savar building collapse a man-made disaster:

‘Just I heard a sound and the building collapsed. Allah saved me miraculously. Having been saved, I myself rescued three people alive cutting the grill but many people are still inside the collapsed building’, said a garment worker while he was describing the tragedy losing his one leg.

Another woman claimed that she talked to her son over phone till morning. “My son was imploring me frequently to save him but now he is not responding although his cell phone is active,” she said crying.
The eight-storey Rana Plaza, which is located beside the Savar bus stand, collapsed at 9 am on Wednesday morning. According to the media report, at least more than 300 dead bodies were retrieved from the debris and two thousand were injured in this incident. Moreover, many people are still trapped under the building. The armed forces, the Fire Brigade, the civil defense authority and local people have launched a massive rescue operation.  read more.

* 1 rescued alive –  9 more survivors spotted:

A victim trapped inside the rubble of Savar collapsed building was pulled out alive as 20 more bodies were recovered Sunday morning, 99 hours after the nine-storey building collapse.

The death toll now stands 364.
The survivor was rescued from the third floor of the nine-storey building at 12:10am.Meanwhile, the rescue workers found nine more people alive under the rubble of collapsed Rana Plaza.
The workers were trying to rescue them till filing of this report at 12:20pm.
“We will try to rescue the nine survivors manually at first. If we fail, we will use powerful cranes to lift concrete slabs to pull them out alive,” said Major General Chowdhury Hasan Sarwardi, general officer commanding of Nine Infantry Division.
read more. & read more. & read more. & read more. & read more.
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* Savar tragedy: Heavy equipment to be used for conducting rescue drive:

20130428 BDNEWS24

The Rescue Operation Coordination Committee on Sunday decided to start operation using heavy equipment to rescue those still remained trapped inside the collapsed Rana Plaza at Savar.

‘”We’ve decided to use heavy equipment, including hydrolic cranes to rescue the trapped people,” Major General Hasan Chowdhury Suhrawardi, chairman of the Rescue Operation Coordination Committee and also the GOC of 9 Infantry Division, said while briefing the media in front of the collapsed building.

He said, “We’ve stopped the manual rescue operation and the rescuers have already been removed from inside the collapsed building. We’ll be able to rescue the people who are alive using hydrolic cranes, cutting equipment and different other tools.”  read more. & read more. & read more. & read more. & read more.
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* PM visits Orthopedic Hospital to see victims of Savar tagedy:

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina visited the Orthopedic Hospital here today (Sunday) to enquire about the condition of the Rana Plaza building collapse victims undergoing treatment at the hospital.

She talked to the injured persons and the doctors of the hospital.
Hasina directed the doctors and others concerned to ensure complete treatment of the 48 victims of the Savar Rana Plaza victims.
She donated Tk 10,000 and a saree/lungi to each victim of the Savar tragedy, now under treatment at the Orthopedic Hospital.
read more. & read more.  & read more. & read more.
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* PM reassures treatment costs for injured victims:

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Sunday reassured the family members of injured Savar victims that the government will bear the expenses of their treatment.

At least 365 people were killed and several thousands injured as Rana Plaza, a nine-storey building housing five readymade garment factories on its top floors, caved in on Wednesday. read more. & read more.
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* Building owner held in Benapole:

Sohel Rana, owner of nine-storey Savar building that collapsed on Wednesday, has been arrested at Benapole in Jessore Sunday afternoon.

A team of Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) arrested Rana around 3:05pm Sunday, five days after the deadly collapse of Rana Plaza, that killed at least 369 people so far, reported our Jessore correspondent.
“Sohel Rana was arrested in Benapole five minutes ago,” State Minister for LGRD and Cooperatives Jahangir Kabir Nanak told reporters in Savar, site of the Rana Plaza, around 3:10pm.
read more. & read more. & read more. & read more. & read more.
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* Death toll now 369:

The death toll from the Savar building collapse has risen to 369 as rescue workers recovered 25 more bodies from beneath the rubble of the nine-storey building on Sunday.

Md Zillur Rahman Chowdhury, additional deputy commissioner of Dhaka district, confirmed the death toll.
Of the total, 313 bodies were handed over to their relatives, 54 were sent to Dhaka Medical College Hospital and Mitford Hospital and two others were kept at Savar Adharchandra High School, Zillur said.
The rescue workers have rescued four survivors from the third floor of the shattered building in the afternoon.
So far, total 2,440 people trapped inside the collapsed building have been rescued.
read more. & read more.
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* Rescue at Rana Plaza: Civilians on the forefront:

Though the time is running out fast, the hope for saving lives was still burning bright in the eyes of the rescuers of the Rana Plaza victims. It was about 2:30 am on Sunday.

Many workers were still alive in the debris on the lower floors of the building and the tireless rescuers are determined to save every one of them.
It was the civilians who outdid the men in uniform in courage, going deep down the recently drilled out holes through the top six-floors of Rana Plaza at Savar.
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* BGMEA Bhaban besieged:

Hundreds of agitated readymade garments workers, students and teachers besieged the office of Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) in capital’s Karwanbazar on Sunday noon.

They besieged the building as a part of their pre-declared programme under banner of Students, Teachers, Workers and Professional people and Democratic Garment Forum.  read more.
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* Injured to get TK 10,000 monthly: PM:

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said her government would take steps for rehabilitation of injured and families of the deceased in Savar building collapse.

“When visited to Pangu hospital, I saw many injured who lost their hands and legs in the building collapse. We will take steps to provide them TK 10,000 per month,” she added. read more.
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*   “Stop the killing, act now”:

Clean Clothes Campaign urges brands to sign Safety Agreement

Clean Clothes Campaign is sickened by the preventable collapse of Rana Plaza and condemns  brands for their failure to prevent such heavy loss of life once again. Brands must now must come forward, ensure emergency steps are taken and pay without delay into a compensation fund for the victims and their families. They must also commit to prevent future disasters.

The total compensation figure is likely to be over US$30 million in addition to the cost of emergency treatment. The death toll, already over 300, seems likely to increase dramatically as media reports indicate that 1000 people are still unaccounted for. Our local partners have expressed concern that mismanagement and incorrect accounting by the authorities means that some deaths are not being recorded on the list of deceased.

The CCC is contacting all brands whose names are linked to one of the five factories that were producing in the building  to verify details of their production.
Five brands have confirmed current or recent production: Bon Marche (UK), El Corte Ingles (Spain), Primark (UK/Ireland), Mango (Spain) and Joe Fresh (clothing line at Loblaw’s, Canada’s largest supermarket chain).

A number of other brands are linked to the factory through import data, labels  and other documentation found at the site by local activists of other brands producing in one of the factories, including Benetton (Italy), Cato Fashions (USA), Children’s Place (USA), Carrefour (France).  So far all deny production or failed to respond.

The CCC calls on all buyers to step forward immediately and to make sure that every effort is taken to minimise the pain and suffering of the people involved and prevent further deaths.  read more.

* Make garment factories in Bangladesh safe:

 Nearly 5,000 workers protested in Dhaka on 26 April expressing outrage at the death to hundreds and injury to thousands of garment workers in the Rana Plaza building collapse.
You can join the protest online here.

Join the campaign and add your voice of protest on the LabourStart campaign calling to make garment factories in Bangladesh safe here: http://www.labourstartcampaigns.net/show_campaign.cgi?c=1813

The protest in Dhaka was in response to the worst ever industrial accident in Bangladesh where already more than 300 workers have died, thousands are injured and many more remain trapped and unaccounted for in the rubble of the collapsed 8 story building.
Roy Ramesh, IndustriALL Bangladesh Council (IBC) General Secretary, presiding over the protest in Dhaka, demanded the severest punishment under the law, including the death penalty, to all those responsible for the mass murder and injury of the workers.

“No words can describe the horror of the criminal action of the manufacturers, brands, employers’ groups BGMEA and BKMEA, and the regulatory authorities for their greed for profit, at the cost of precious human lives, injuries and misery to thousands,” said Ramesh.  read more.
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OTHER NEWS: 

* Jute export earning ‘to remain stagnant this fiscal’:

The country’s export earnings from jute are expected to remain almost stagnant this fiscal  compared to that in the last fiscal, as shows the export trend from July 2012 to March 2013.

Statistics also reveal that the value of export of jute goods, except for yarn and twine, over the last nine months of the fiscal has remained much lower than what observed in the previous fiscal. The average values of jute goods exports by jute mills under Bangladesh Jute Mills Corporation (BJMC) and Bangladesh Jute Mills Association (BJMA) have declined by 2.48 per cent and 6.27 per cent respectively in the first nine months of the current fiscal compared to the average value  of the total exports in the previous fiscal.  read more.
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21:45:11 local time map of india INDIA

* Weavers want economic offence wing to solve default cases:

With increase in default cases by fly-by-night operators at textile markets, Federation of Surat Textile Traders Association (FOSTTA) has urged the city police commissioner to set up an economic offence wing at textile market on Ring Road to deal with the defaulters.

Every year, more than Rs 50 to Rs 60 crore worth of defaults are reported from various textile markets located on Ring Road and Salabatpura where the weavers and traders are cheated by fly-by-night operators. In most cases the traders and weavers are finding it difficult to approach the local police station as the process of investigation is quite slow because they (police) are preoccupied in solving crime cases.  read more.
TOInew

21:45:11 local time map of sri_lanka SRI LANKA

* I was born under a sewing machine – My experience of the rag trade in Sri Lanka:

Garment Factory

 

 

 

 

 

I want to share with you my experience of garment factories. I spent my childhood between Italy and Sri Lanka.

I was 12 when I moved to Colombo and have very vivid memories of my parents businesses. Saying I was born under a sewing machine is not an exaggeration as both my parents were in the rag trade.
At one time my father had two factories which employed close to 800 people and my mother had one factory which employed another 100. My mother’s factory produced clothing which she designed and sold directly in her chain of fashion boutiques in Italy. My father mass produced garments for international brands such as GAP, Marks & Spencer’s, Adidas, Victoria Secret and J.C. Penny.  read more.
Dil Wickremasinghe

21:15:11 local time map of pakistan PAKISTAN

* Sweatshop:

Munir Amjad, who works in a metal cutting and sheet rolling factory, wears a dirty bandana around his head. He says his head hurts due to a recent injury at work. “The regular employees in the factory, who are very few in number as compared to us contractual ones, have the facility of the Social Security Hospital but my contractor only gave me a week off to rest and get better. I didn’t even take the week off and was back at work in four days because I have a family to feed. I couldn’t afford to not be paid for a week,” he protested, while explaining that the time given off also means no payment for the days he is not present at work as he is after all a daily wager.

Saquib Ahmed, 22, is in a slightly better position as he had passed his Matriculation exam before joining a machine tool factory as an apprentice. “Apprentice means ‘trainee worker’ but instead of being taught much, I was straight away made to work hard for hours on end and I was not even paid proper wages in return as I was still under training,” says the young man. read more.
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* Saif Textiles clarifies tax report:

Saif Textile Mills Limited Friday explained that they had fully paid the tax amount of over Rs86 million and no tax liabilities currently remained outstanding against them.

By sharing FBR’s documents with this scribe after publication of a report regarding 143 textile defaulters, spokesman of Saif Textile Mills said that they received a communication from the FBR on April 8, 2013, in which the Board directed to deposit outstanding amount after paying Rs51 million on March 31, 2013.
According to bank’s receipts, the Saif Textile Mills Limited paid the second instalment of Rs43 million on April 15, 2013, so there was no outstanding amount against them.He also said that Kohat Textile Mills also paid its tax liabilities generated through CREST system.  to read.
thenews.com.pk

* Aptma urges govt to let CPPs operate smoothly:

All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (APTMA) has issued policy statement with respect to the captive power to generate in-house electricity, urging policymakers to let the Captive Power Plants (CPPs ) operate smoothly to generate in-house electricity for industry and ensure seven days a week gas supply to industry.

Industry spokesman said that a conspiracy against Punjab-based textile industry is being hatched to sell it expensive electricity (Rs12 per unit) by depriving it of electricity generated by its own ‘efficient’ Captive Power Plants and push it to the failed Wapda system and finally to bankruptcies.
It may be noted that the textile industry has invested billions of dollars on the installation of Captive Power Plants in order to meet energy requirements to safeguard it from electricity shortages.  read more.
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 * APTMA slams campaign against captive power plants:

The All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (APTMA) Saturday issued its policy statement with respect to the captive power to generate in-house electricity alleging the government of hatching a conspiracy against Punjab-based textile industry to sell it expensive electricity (Rs 12 per unit) by depriving it of electricity generated by its own efficient captive power plants (CPPs) and push it to the failed Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA) system and finally to bankruptcies.

APTMA spokesman Anisul Haq said the textile industry has invested billions of dollars on the installation of CPPs in order to meet energy requirements to safeguard it from electricity shortages. read more.
Daily Times

* Captive power plants: APTMA issues policy statement:

All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (APTMA) has issued policy statement with respect to the Captive Power Plants to generate in-house electricity and said that a conspiracy against Punjab-based textile industry is being hatched to sell it expensive electricity (Rs 12 per unit) by depriving it of electricity generated by its own efficient Captive Power Plants and push it to the failed Wapda system and finally to bankruptcies.

It may be noted that the textile industry has invested billions of dollars on the installation of Captive Power Plants in order to meet energy requirements to safeguard it from electricity shortages. He said the industry has installed a total capacity of 3000MW Captive Power Plants on both the SSGC and the SNGPL networks, resulting into achieving record $14 billion exports. read more.

 

* Value-added textile exporters: customs rebate profile to be provided: PHMA:

The customs rebate profile will be provided to the value-added textile exporters, according to Pakistan Hosiery Manufacturers and Exporters Association (PHMA).

Central Chairman PHMA, Muhammad Javed Bilwani held a meeting on Saturday with Federal Tax Ombudsman (FTO), Muhammad Shoaib Suddle, collector model collectorate customs, PACCS, Amir Ahmed and collector exports, Wasif Ali Memon at the FTO office to discuss the rebate profile issue.
The meeting reached an agreement that the concerned office will provide value-added textile exporters with their customs rebate profile. The PHMA says the exporters had demanded for the profile provision. to read .

21:15:11 local time map of uzbekistan UZBEKISTAN

* Uzbekistan threatened with loss of trade preferences in EU:

Today the EU International Trade Committee is expected to assess Uzbekistan’s “progress” in eradicating the use of forced child labour.

Representatives of the International Labour Organisation (ILO) and the Uzbek ambassador to Belgium will take part in the meeting to be held at the EU International Trade Committee (INTA).
With the ILO and the Uzbek ambassador, INTA experts will discuss what progress has been made in Uzbekistan to stop the use of forced child labour during the cotton harvest.“Afterwards INTA will decide on what next steps to take, including reconsidering consent to the textile protocol or inviting the Commission to investigate reducing trade preferences for Uzbekistan,” the committee has reported.

Fewer children – more adults
During the 2012 cotton harvesting, in response to international pressure, Uzbek authorities tried to reduce the use of schoolchildren.  read more.
UZnews

 

map of Asia

HEADLINES:

NORTH KOREA
* Seoul to withdraw all workers from Kaesong
* S. Korea starts pulling workers from Gaeseong

VIET NAM
* Minimum wage ‘not enough’ to survive on

THAILAND
* Companies urged to issue yearly CSR reports

CAMBODIA
* Workers not allowed to march on Labor Day
* Cambodia’s garment exports up 17 pct in Q1

INDONESIA
* Most factories have no clear safety work policies
* Police Brace for May Day Riots as Fuel Hikes Loom

BANGLA DESH

20130426

* 2 RMG factories torched in Gazipur
* RMG workers agitate in capital, vandalize vehicles
* Angry RMG workers demand death for Rana Plaza owner
* Tragedy shows urgency of worker protections: HRW
* A shock for RMG sector: Muhith
* Toll reaches 292
* Workers protest in Dhaka over factory deaths
* Garments holiday on Saturday
* RMG sector on boil; 8 orgs calls strike in all factories for Sunday
* Sweater factory shut in Narayanganj fearing disaster
* Building beside Rana Plaza also risky
* RMG unrest flares up in Gazipur, authorities shut factories for today
* Tight security in RMG factories
* Inu appreciates rescuers for rescuing 2000 people
* It’s murder: Inu
* Arrest Rana, factory owners: PM
* Rana Plaza Collapse: 72 more rescued alive; death toll hits 304
* RMG units to remain closed Saturday, Sunday: BGMEA, BKMEA
* Rana Plaza Collapse: 10-man body to coordinate rescue operation
* BNP seeks judicial probe in Savar tragedy
* Buyers say sorry!
* Slow rescue operation to save lives: ISPR
* RMG workers erupt into protest over deaths
* Garment workers stage violent protests
* RMG Unrest: BGMEA sits in fresh meeting with ministers, labour leaders
* 659 people still missing in Savar tragedy
* 30 hurt as building beside Rana Plaza ‘shakes’
* Savar tragedy toll hits 314
* Arrest warrants issued against Rana, factory owners: Home Minister
* Savar tragedy a crime against humanity: Suranjit
* Savar building collapse sparks workers’ agitation
* 90 % of buildings in Dhaka’s outskirts unauthorised

20130427

* 25 RMG workers from Mirzapur missing since Savar tragedy
* Frantic search for the missing
* Fight for life on under debris
* Rescued after 45 hrs under rubble
* Help pours in for rescuers
* Brave souls in Savar
* A daunting task
* RMGs for Primark, Lablaw were made in factories at Rana Plaza
* Savar building tragedy and beyond
* Rights groups urge govt to improve safety steps, allow TU formation

* Rana Plaza collapse: Death toll hits 335; many more traced alive
* Rana’s wife, 2 garment factory owners in custody
* Two RMG factory owners & 2 engineers held over Savar tragedy:
* Garment workers block road in Mirpur
* 5 injured as cops fire shots on RMG workers at Rana Plaza
* 50 hurt as RMG workers clash with cops in Savar
* RMG workers, police clash near Savar
* 18-party meeting at 9pm
* Govt to change law for stringent punishment
* Rescuers revise plan for massive interventions
* Major Retailers Rejected Bangladesh Factory Safety Plan
* Bangladesh Disaster: Who Pays the Real Price of Your Shirt?
* Rain hampers rescue operation
* Signs of life linger in the ruins
* Aljazeera report & Arrests over Bangladesh building collapse
* Bam Morcha demands Rana’s arrest by Sunday or hartal on May 2
* Rescue operation satisfactory, heavy equipment would be used later: Minister
* Tragedy Shows Urgency of Worker Protections
* RMG workers go berserk in Ctg
* Death toll jumps to 346
* 5 injured as cops fire shots on RMG workers at Rana Plaza
* RMG workers run amok in Savar, Gazipur
* Work place accidents of workers rising’
* First among hospitalised victims of Rana Plaza ‘dies at DMCH’
* Govt helped Rana flee: BNP
* Tarpaulin scarcity may hamper rescue mission
* Savar Tragedy: BGMEA yet to form probe body
* BGMEA asks factory owners for building designs
* Govt to despatch 4 medical teams to Savar
* PM’s Relief Fund receives Tk 5mn for Savar victims
* Arrest Sohel Rana, Murad Jong in 24 hrs: BNP
* Country exercises biggest rescue drill after Savar collapse: experts
* 29 people rescued 72 hours after collapse
* Dark underworld of Bangladesh’s clothes industry
* Govt can’t ignore responsibility for Savar tragedy: BBC Sanglap
* BGMEA fund to help Savar victims

20130428

* Savar Tragedy: Death toll now 355; 500 believed still missing
* Hopes fade for finding alive the missing
* Survivors recount their date with death
* Irate RMG workers clash in Dhaka, Chittagong
* Despite disasters, Bangladesh works for retailers
* Crack found in Manikganj RMG factory
* HC verdict overlooked
* Use of substandard building materials main reason: minister
* Relocate garments industries outside Dhaka
* Rana still at large
* Immediate trial of Rana Plaza owner demanded
* Not over yet
* Getting ready for death
* A true hero
* Savar tragedy is a fresh blow to economy: Atiur
* The Economist terms it outcome of corrupt workplace practices
* Apparel workers continue protests
* Garment workers remain restive
* Owners, govt inaction blamed for accidents in RMG sector
* Rana Plaza victims can file cases for damages: Shafique
* Survived at a price- Their limbs amputated, future blurred out
* Pathetic!
* Tragedy exaggerated?
* Different aspects of the ‘Savar’ tragedy : Where do we stand?
* Savar building collapse a man-made disaster

* 1 rescued alive – 9 more survivors spotted
* Savar tragedy: Heavy equipment to be used for conducting rescue drive
* PM visits Orthopedic Hospital to see victims of Savar tagedy
* PM reassures treatment costs for injured victims

* Building owner held in Benapole
* Death toll now 369
* Rescue at Rana Plaza: Civilians on the forefront
* BGMEA Bhaban besieged
* Injured to get TK 10,000 monthly: PM

* “Stop the killing, act now”
* Make garment factories in Bangladesh safe

INDIA
* Weavers want economic offence wing to solve default cases

SRI LANKA
* I was born under a sewing machine – My experience of the rag trade in Sri Lanka

PAKISTAN
* Sweatshop
* Saif Textiles clarifies tax report
* Aptma urges govt to let CPPs operate smoothly
* APTMA slams campaign against captive power plants
* Captive power plants: APTMA issues policy statement
* Value-added textile exporters: customs rebate profile to be provided: PHMA

UZBEKISTAN
* Uzbekistan threatened with loss of trade preferences in EU

latest tweets (& news)

Convention on the Rights of the Child
Universal Declaration of Human Rights

I wonder who they are
The men who really run this land
And I wonder why they run it
With such a thoughtless hand

What are their names
And on what streets do they live
I'd like to ride right over
This afternoon and give
Them a piece of my mind
About peace for mankind
Peace is not an awful lot to ask
    David Crosby

I wonder who they are
The people who are buying these clothes
I'd like to know what they've paid for it
How much the makers have paid for this
Fairer income is not an awful lot to ask
Better working conditions is not an awful lot to ask
    A. Searcher

For more and other (labour) news you can follow on twitter: @asearcher2