Monday, 29 April 2013

Galloway launches campaign on factory conditions in Bangladesh



George Galloway today launched a campaign for western governments to penalise multinational companies which produce directly or buy from companies in developing countries if they don't take due precautions to ensure workers are producing in safe conditions. This follows the disaster in Bangladesh where more than 350 workers are now known to have died in a garment factory just outside Dhaka which was supplying western multinationals.

“This a terrible disaster,” said George Galloway this morning. “It has been caused by political corruption and negligence in Bangladesh and by the relentless drive by western multinationals for cheap sources of clothing. The western multinationals that bought their clothes from this factory owe compensation to the bereaved families and to the injured.

“However, quite understandably workers in Bangladesh are petrified that these foreign multinationals will take their business elsewhere to other low price, low wage economies. I've discussed this matter with people of Bangladeshi heritage in Bradford, Newham and Tower Hamlets.

“As a result I’m calling for western governments to bring in legislation which will mean western companies will face stiff penalties if they fail to take appropriate measures to ensure the workers in the factories from which they are buying are working in safe conditions. If this were the case, there would be no advantage in a company switching to lower cost producers, unless of course they were able to guarantee safer conditions for their workers.

“I also want the British government to work with the Bangladesh government to end the corruption that lies behind this disaster. Western governments and multinationals must take their share of responsibility for this disaster as must the government of Bangladesh.”