Mustafizur Rahman, executive director of Bangladesh’s leading independent think tank, said there is “hypocrisy” among buyers who “talk about ethical buying and ethical sourcing, but when it comes to price they refuse to offer a good rate. They often go to less compliant factories for cheaper rate. Being compliant is not cheap.”
At the same time, Rahman said Saturday’s fire “highlights inner weaknesses of a giant industry very essential for the country’s survival.”
“This has come as a strong warning,” he said. “But it was too costly.”
Phil Robertson, deputy director of Human Rights Watch’s Asia division, blames a “nexus of influence” between senior government officials and factory owners that “allows impunity to flourish.” Until that changes, he said, government vows to improve safety should be treated with skepticism.
“Six months or eight months down the road, if history is any indication, we will have another factory fire, and more workers will be killed,” he said.
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