fire.jpgFire raging in a clothing factory. Doors locked. Burning bodies flying out of windows. Scores of workers dead.

trianglefire2bodies.gifNo, I’m not talking about the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire 100 years ago today that killed 146 garment workers; I’m talking about a factory in Dhaka, Bangladesh, where nearly 30 workers lost their lives last year in an eerily similar tragedy.

This was just one example of the deplorable conditions workers around the world still endure to produce products for us. The workers at this particular facility made clothing for JCPenney and Gap.

According to the BBC, Bangladesh alone has 4,000 factories that supply billions of dollars worth of goods to the United States and Europe.

And here’s a run down of how those workers are treated at the Hameem factory where the fire broke out from Institute for Global Labour and Human Rights:

The workers toil 12 to 14 hours a day, seven days a week, with just a single day off a month. The highest wage at Hameem is 28 cents an hour - less than one-tenth of what the Triangle workers earned 100 years ago! (Adjusted for inflation, the 14 cents an hour they earned in 1911 is worth $3.18 an hour today.)

“We’re deeply saddened by the tragic fire in the Hameem factory in Dhaka, Bangladesh,” Gap Inc. said in a statement after the tragedy.

Should we as consumers also be deeply saddened that we keep feeding this machine?

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