(This is a translation of a statement being circulated in Bangladesh).
Hundreds of workers working at Toba Groups’ Tazreen Fashions Limited in Nischintapur, Ashulia in Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh, died at the devastating fire, one of the most horrible in recent times, on Nov 24. Government and mass media have claimed 130 deaths at the incident, however, locals and fellow workers said ‘at least about one and a half thousand were killed’. On the other hand owner of the factory will be withdrawing compensation funds from Karnaphuli Insurance Limited today. It is conspicuously apparent that the incident (fire) was not some random accident- rather a planned, barbarous act of mass murder committed by the rich-class egged on by owners association BGMEA, the state and government.
On the same day, three girders of an under-construction flyover in Chittagong’s Bahaddarhaat killed 14 more workers; injured and crippled at least 50. Few days back; a fire in Bou Bazar slum in Dhaka killed 11 more poor working people.
The workers; victims of – torching, building collapse, girder cave in and leading a browbeaten life because of severe exploitation; turn around and come down to streets in protests – are answered with bullets, disappearances and executions.
Earlier hundreds were killed in similar schemes (fire) in Spectrum, KDS, Garib & Garib, Ha-Meem and several other factories. The government and owners, in all such incidents, formed so-called probes, assured compensations. Till present no such probe reports were placed in front of the people; no-one was acquitted. The government serves interests of the owner class- thwarted all those of the working mass. The current Awami League-led alliance and Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP)-Jamaat-e-Islami led 18 party alliance, whoever was (and is) in power, their characteristics were (and is) always the same- suppressing proletarian movements. They deployed RAB, police, plain clothes and industrial police to ensure such; the only task at hand for the government. How unfortunate: now those political parties serve imperialism and their lackey comprador ruling classes are shedding ‘tears’ for the workers.
Imperialists and their comprador ruling classes have been oppressing the workers and laboring masses of the country- mercilessly exploiting and repressing them. This is why they do not have the leisure of ensuring security (life) of the workers. They (workers) are not safe anywhere today – indoors or outdoors. Each and every factory has turned to ‘devil’s hole’- awaited by death anytime, anywhere.
Imperialists and their comprador ruling classes-led state cannot put an end to the current brutal sufferings of the workers. Therefore, imperialism along with the ruling classes, their brutal exploitative and repressive state has to be smashed today. Only through establishment of a state for the workers-peasants-people, can the people be truly liberated. We, hereby ask of all agitated workers – ‘come’! Let us turn our grievance into power, unite against the exploitation and repression of the propertied classes; let us form a strong class-unity and build on a fight. On the other hand, for the sake of greater struggle, unite with the peasants and laboring masses, oppressed nation and people for liberation.
1. From the government, TK.20 lacks for family of each killed and TK.10 lacks for each injured, to ensure compensation and proper treatments.
2. Immediately arrest and examplary punishment of owner, managers of Tazreen Fashions Limited- responsible for the brutal incineration of some hundreds of workers.
3. Confiscate properties of Tazreen Fashions Limited and all others (owners responsible for similar events).
4. Owners and government must take immediate steps to secure life and health (of workers) at work place and residence. Ensure fire-security and training to workers.
5. Arrest authorities of Chittagong Development Authority (CDA) and responsible contractors for the lives lost at the under-construction flyover collapse in Chittagong’s Bahaddarhaat; bring them to justice and confiscate their properties.
6. To ensure a capable fire service sector providing fire fighters with necessary modern equipments and training.
Organizations Signed the Statement:
1. Nirban Shangskritik Kendra
2. Jagoroner Paathshala.
3.Progotir Poribrajak Dal-Propod,
5. Biplobi Chhatra-Juba Andolon
6. Gonomuktir Gaan er Dol
7. Marx’baader Prothom Paat
8. Biggan Chetona Porishad
10.Chattra oikya forum
11. Sahid Rafiq Smiriti Pathagar
12. Smaj Chinta Forum
13. Project Rscue Bangladesh
14. Shanskritir nayasetu
15. Gono shanskriti Fornt
16. Bibartan Shanskritik Kendra
17. Bangladesh Shadhin chalccitra Andolon
18.Bangladesh Lekhok shibir
19. Bangladesh Chtra Fedration
20. Biplobi chatra Moitri
21. Chatra Andolon Samonnoi parshad
22. Kapot Samajik o Sebamulak Sangathan
23. Unmesh-Sahittay o Shanskriti samsad
24. Biplobi Chatra Moitri
26. Sahid Biplobi o Deshapremik Smriti Samsad
27. Bangladesh Bigyan o juktibadi Sangathan