“The Stench of Death Is Everywhere”: Please Donate Now to Help Victims of Bangladesh Factory Collapse
May 7, 2013 | Share
More than ten years ago, when we first partnered with workers' rights advocates in Bangladesh, we at the Institute for Global Labour and Human Rights knew that their work for safer and fairer conditions was vital ─ and that many needless deaths would result from corporate greed before the system improved. In our worst imaginings, however, we did not envision the devastation wrought this week. As of Monday morning, May 7, 717 workers are confirmed dead in the collapse of the illegally constructed Rana Plaza building, which housed five factories that produced garments for the U.S., Canada and Europe.
"The stench of death is everywhere," we are told by our friend and colleague Rafiqul Islam Sujan, president of the Garment and Industrial Workers' Federation. The death toll could reach 1,000 or more, given that only about half of the rubble has been removed. Sujan knows these workers well, as his office is one block from Rana Plaza. For years, his team of brave activists has fought to help workers there who were paid just 12 to 26 cents an hour, while toiling 90 to 100 hours a week.
Of course, corporations who abuse like this every day will fight tooth and nail to avoid compensating victims of their criminal greed. I am writing to you today because hundreds of workers and families need help ─ NOW.
Sujan and other union leaders describe the urgent plight of workers who were seriously injured in the collapse but are being sent home to make room for those even more severely injured.
These workers are in need of care, but are being sent home with nothing ─ no medical care, no medicines, no rehabilitation, no money for food or rent. These workers and their families are in desperate need of help.
The Institute and our staff do not have a lot of money. But we are committed to raising $50,000 for workers who will likely never see a cent from their criminal employers. The Institute is giving $1,000 and our staff is giving $2,050 for this urgent campaign.
Please click here to join us in giving. Every dollar will go to helping the injured workers in Bangladesh.
No relief agency knows these workers, their community and the details of the disaster as well as the Institute's local partners. The Garment and Industrial Workers' Federation has taken responsibility for assembling a comprehensive list of the workers who escaped or were rescued from Rana Plaza, the injured and hospitalized, those missing and those confirmed dead. They are working around the clock and have done an amazing job. They have assisted nearly a thousand families, who raced to Savar in search of their children who worked in the factories at Rana Plaza.
We are all rededicating ourselves to fighting for workplace justice in Bangladesh, and you will continue to hear from the Institute about the work to prevent such atrocities. But here and now ─ today ─ the simple human need must be answered. We will share updates and photos documenting the lives of these workers and how your donations help in the long recovery ahead. And the action you take today will tell Bangladesh workers that they are not alone; we stand in solidarity with them even from afar.
Give. Today. For those who paid an unforgivable price for their jobs.
* The Institute for Global Labour and Human Rights is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization. Your contributions are tax deductible. Every cent will be sent to Bangladesh to help workers injured in the Rana Plaza collapse and their families.
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