Terry Bell Writes

Rana Plaza was the deadliest factory disaster in history. On April 23 last year a shoddily built eight-storey building in the Banglsdeshi capital, Dhaka, collapsed.

Inside at the time were some 3 500 garment workers producing top brand name goods for sale around the world. Nearly 1 000 died instantly and the final toll was 1 134 dead and more than 2 000 injured.

It was the death toll magnified ten times of the Nigerian church guest house collapse earlier this year in which 115 people, 83 of them South Africans, died.  And although Rana Plaza did not receive the publicity in South Africa that it deserved, what happened in Dhaka should have highlighted lessons for South Africa.

However, the tragedy triggered a global response from the labour movement and from human rights groups that resulted in the first ever legally binding fire and building safety accord signed with leading global…

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