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Retailers 'failing victims' a year after Bangladesh disaster

Published on Apr 24, 2014 5:57 AM

DHAKA (AFP) - Western fashion brands faced pressure on Thursday to honour promises to care for Bangladesh's victims of the world's worst garment factory accident, ahead of protests on the first anniversary of the disaster that cost 1,138 lives.

Workers are set to stage demonstrations in front of the site of the now infamous nine-storey Rana Plaza complex in the Bangladeshi capital of Dhaka, which collapsed last April after a catastrophic structural failure.

"Brands are failing workers a second time," Ms Ineke Zeldenrust from the Amsterdam-based Clean Clothes Campaign pressure group said in a statement on Thursday. "First they failed to ensure the factories they bought from were safe, and now they are failing the survivors and the families of those who lost loved ones."

As well as the dead, more than 2,000 were injured in an avoidable tragedy that focused attention on the lax safety standards and often abusive working conditions in the world's second-biggest clothing producer.

Bangladeshi garment workers and activists carry a mock coffin during a protest in front of the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) office in Dhaka yesterday, April 23, 2014. Today is the first anniversary of the Rana Plaza collapse - the worst industrial disaster to hit the garment industry - that killed 1,138 people. -- PHOTO: AFP
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