More than 100 workers were recently killed in a fire at the Tazreen Fashions garment factory in Bangladesh. At least 200 more were hospitalized for burns and smoke inhalation.
Bangladesh’s garment industry, the second-largest clothing exporter after China, is notorious for poor fire safety. According to the Clean Clothes Campaign, an anti-sweatshop advocacy group in Amsterdam, more than 500 Bangladeshi workers have died in factory fires since 2006. Experts say many of the fires could have easily been avoided if the factories had taken the right precautions.
The Bangladesh garment industry employs more than three million people, mostly women. The workers are among the lowest paid workers in the world, with entry-level employees making about $37 a month.
Tazreen Fashions produces T-shirts, polo shirts and fleece jackets for large clothing brands including Wal-Mart. The International Labor Rights Forum provides a complete list of companies here.