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Tyre Industry

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NAME - NISCHAY SAXENA

REGISTRATION NUMBER - 1420023

SECTION – F2

SUBJECT – BUSINESS ETHICS

SUBMITTED TO – PROF. JEEVANANDA S

CASE – FIRE IN A BANGLADESH GARMENT FACTORY

Fire in a Bangladesh garment factory
Introduction
This case talks about fire in a garment factory which was located near capital Dhaka in which 112 people were killed and several hundreds were injured. This happened in November, 2012. The main reason for the fire was an electrical short circuit. The factory did not have required safety equipment’s and other safety measures were not followed by the factory which were mandatory as per the law of the country in order to ensure safety towards your employees due to which employees were not able to evacuate the factory at time of fire and lost their lives. Now the question is that who should be blamed for this mistake i.e. the factory owner, Walmart, or the customers. No one the ethical employer can sacrifice live for the low cost of production or earn more by using unethical measures. This case was also analyzed by “clean clothes campaign“and they also had their view points about various mistakes or unethical measures which these factories are following in order to make huge profits.
Details about factory – The factory was owned by Tazreen Fasions Ltd., a subsidiary of The Tuba Group who is a large Bangladeshi garment exporter with clients like Walmart, Carrefour, Li and Fung. The factory was opened in May, 2010 which used to manufacture T-shirts, Polo Shirts, Fleece Jackets. It had about 1500 workers and sale of $35 million a year.
Why Bangladesh?
There are many reasons why the companies choose Bangladesh as location for setting up industries for the manufacturing process which are as follows: low cost labor, lack of alternatives available for women, low amount of capital required for industry entry & simple technology. Due to these reasons Bangladesh’s garments business has become 2 largest after china and Bangladesh total export earnings comprises of 80% of garment exports.
Summary
Bangladesh has various laws to protect welfare of workers which include laws like 2006 Bangladesh Labor Law and factory Rules of 1979. Both these legal framework stress the welfare of the workers and settlement of disputes between workers and employees.
The Factories Rule say that there should be specific routes of escape in the event of fire and these routes should include at least two separate stairways which should be permanently constructed and should directly provide access to ground floor of any factory. But these are not followed by many of the factories installed/operating in Bangladesh due to which loss is more. Apart from this factories were found to have bars in emergency exit windows to prevent thefts and other don’t even had emergency exits in the premises and if they were there they were locked. Tazreen was given high risk safety rating after the inspection after which The Tuba Group promised to make corrections by June, 2011, but in December, 2011 it was again found that company failed to comply with the necessary requirements for the safety measures of workers and soon in 2012 this accident occurred in factory taking away hundreds of lives. Apart from various issues which are prevailing in Bangladesh like corruption, political instability, high volatility in raw material prices, poor infrastructure still it is main attraction for the various owners only because of cheap labor which results in less costs over revenue and being money minded firms does not care about human resource. They should focus on increasing and protecting labor which will indirectly increase their revenues which is the primary motive.
Conclusion
Human resource should be treated with utmost care as loss of human lives can’t be compensated with money. Companies should not use cheap operations which would fetch them more returns but could result in the loss of the resources whether human or capital in case of any certainties. As seen in the case it can be seen that being aware of the cheap labor in Bangladesh factory was set up near Dhaka and the various laws were not followed by the factory which gave space to accident in the factory. Government should be strict on their laws and should take action against the defaulters otherwise the rate of defaulters will increase and it will result in loss of lives. In the case if Government would have been strict on this company and should have stopped operations in December only when the factory again failed to comply with necessary measures which would have saved those 112 lives. Along with this responsibility should be taken by the owner of the factory not the retailer or the customer as they are their middlemen and consumers and they can’t see what’s happening in the manufacturing process. Customers can only shift them self if the brand is using supply of the unethical supplier/manufacturer which would force the companies to be ethical in their process and provide a better standard of living to the society.…...

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