RENGO Statements and Views

Statement on the Plant Fire Accident in Narayanganj, Bangladesh

21 July 2021

1. Prompt establishment of an investigative body to prevent a recurrence of similar accidents

A massive fire broke out at the Hashem Foods and Beverage Company’s factory in Narayanganj, near Dhaka, capital of Bangladesh, on July 8. As of July 14, the International Trade Union Confederation - Asia Pacific (ITUC-AP) reported that 52 people died and 30 or more were injured in the fire. These numbers include children who were working as child laborers. As the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) has urged, the government should establish an investigative body as soon as possible to prevent a recurrence of similar accidents.

2. Strengthening occupational safety and health measures is essential

In 2013, at least 1,000 people died in the collapse of the Rana Plaza building in Bangladesh, after workers were ordered to report to work despite their claims that the building was in danger of collapse. The same thing has been repeated again this time, and the lessons of the bitter experiences of the past have not been learned. It is essential to strengthen occupational safety and health awareness and systems in Bangladesh.

3. RENGO will cooperate with ITUC and ITUC-AP in responding to this accident

Providing an environment in which working people can work safely and with peace of mind with due regard for their health and safety is a minimum requirement for workplaces. To prevent such accidents from ever occurring again, RENGO, in cooperation with ITUC and ITUC-AP, will push forward with efforts toward the eradication of child labor and strengthening of occupational safety and health.

Yasunobu AIHARA
General Secretary
Japanese Trade Union Confederation