When I posted a blog about the KTS factory fire in Chittagong of 23rd February, 54 people had died. Now the figure stands at 84. Most of them women, and as young as 12 and 13. The National Labour Committee in the US have identified several Los Angeles based companies which purchased garments from KTS. They are asking concerned people to write to the LA based companies highlighting the moderate and reasonable demands of the injured workers and the families of the dead, and also to ask for compensaiton for those affected. Here is an extract from the letter:

These workers did not have to die. They died because main emergency exit was illegally locked, stairways were cluttered with boxes of garments, there was no fire safety equipment, and there had never once been a fire drill at the KTS Textiles factory.There were also numerous other violations at KTS Textiles. Workers reporting forced overtime, including 19-hour all-night shifts and seven-day work weeks; payment of below-subsistence level wages of just seven to 14 cents an hour; denial of legal maternity rights; physical abuse and beatings, and total suppression of the internationally recognized worker rights to freedom of association, the right to organize and bargain collectively.