Five years after the Rana Plaza disaster, Bangladesh-born British Labour MP Rushanara Ali has described what happened as “not an accident” but “a man-made disaster”.
She was speaking at a panel debate at the Houses of Parliament focused on improvements for women workers in the fashion industry, five years on from Rana Plaza on Monday, reports The Guardian.
The Labour MP directed the majority of her criticism towards fashion brands using factories and buildings such as Rana Plaza.
“Considering the profits these companies are making, they are paying workers a pittance” she said.
“We have to pay more, and brands have to pay more.” Despite “improvements”, workers in Bangladesh are paid less than $68 (£48) a month, less than half their counterparts in Vietnam, she said.
The Labour MP expressed concerns over companies moving work from one country to another that is yet to be under the spotlight. “Boycotting [things] will make matters worse,” she said.
On April 24, 2013, Rana Plaza, an illegally constructed building at Savar housing five garment factories, came down crashing, killing 1,175 people and injuring over 2,000 others.
It is widely considered to be the deadliest unintended structural failure of modern times.