Protestors Call for Improved Safety in Bangladesh

Protestors and many worldwide are calling for better conditions in the aftermath of the garment factory building collapse last week.

People worldwide are speaking out against working conditions in Bangladesh, in the aftermath of the collapse of a garment factory building that killed at least 402 people and injured 2,500. The April 24 collapse caused thousands of workers to march through Dhaka, Bangladesh on May 1 demanding safer working conditions and consequences for the owner of the building.

It is common on May 1, or May Day, for workers to protest working conditions in the South Asia county. This year, however, the protests were heightened by the latest tragedy for this industry, which is a vital part of the Bangladeshi economy. Many of the protesters have been vocal about the consequences facing Mohammed Sohel Rana, the owner of the collapsed building, calling for him to face the death penalty.

Rana is currently being held and questioned by the police for charges of negligence, among other things. He was given permission to build a five-story building but illegally added three stories to it. Rana may face up to seven years in prison, and possibly more jail time if additional charges are brought against him.

In addition to the outcry of the Bangladeshi workers, Pope Francis and European Union officials have called for improved safety and higher wages for workers in the garment industry, which rakes in $20 billion a year. Pope Francis called the conditions, where the workers are paid about 38 euros a month, equivalent to slave labor.

As the outpouring of concern continues and many victims of the collapse are being buried, people are still searching through the rubble of the collapsed building for numerous loved ones still missing.

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