Narayanganj District Workers and Employees Unity Council has demanded the formation of a judicial inquiry committee into the fire that killed more than 50 people at the Hashem Foods factory in Rupganj, Narayanganj. It also demanded punishment for those responsible for negligence in duty, including factory owners, and appropriate compensation for dead and injured workers.
The demand was made at a workers’ rally held in front of the factory on Friday morning.
Leaders at the rally said that after the fire at Hashem Foods on July 8, a ‘fact-finding’ committee was formed by the Workers’ Unity Council to find out the real cause of the incident. The committee visited the spot and finalized a report after exchanging views with workers-employees, officials, various labor organizations, experts at different levels, lawyers, civic representatives from different walks of life.
Leaders said serious inconsistencies were found in Hashem Foods ‘observations by the Workers’ Unity Council. The owners, the fire department, the local government administration, the labor department and the factory inspection department cannot avoid the responsibility in any way. The fires were caused by errors in building construction, lack of fire extinguishers, floor locks, child labor, non-compliance with labor laws and regulations, non-performance of labor inspectors, low wages and lack of trade unions in the factories.
The leaders said that in this case, all the accused parties including the owner need to be tried through judicial investigation. According to ILO-121, victims should be compensated for the equivalent of one life’s income. Injured people should be given proper treatment and legal compensation.
Abdul Hai Sharif, President of Narayanganj District Committee of Bangladesh Trade Union Center, one of the leaders of District Workers Employees Unity Council, Shahidullah Chowdhury, President of Central Committee of Trade Union Center, Anwar Hossain, President of National Committee of Nationalist Workers Party, Kamrul Ahsan, President of Central Committee of National Workers Federation Saifuzzaman Badsha, president of the central committee of the workers’ alliance, Ahsan Habib, general secretary of the central committee of the Socialist Workers Front, Feroz Hussain, leader of the central committee of the Labor League, Hafizul Islam, member of the central committee of the trade union center, Selim Mahmud, general secretary of the socialist workers front Narayanganj district committee.