In response to the tragic death of workers in the Hashem Foods factory fire, several food, beverage and agricultural trade unions formed the Sajeeb Group Workers Justice Committee and called on the government to “investigate the violation of workers’ rights, including health and safety rights at the Hashem Foods factory as well all factories operated under Sajeeb Group and to take legal action against the culprits.”
The Committee also demanded that the injured workers receive all necessary medical treatment and that compensation be provided to the injured and deceased workers’ families.
[Translation of the July 10, 2021, press release]
The Sajeeb Group Workers Justice Committee condemned the tragic death of workers due to hazardous and unsafe working conditions in Sajeeb Group factory.
Sajeeb Group Workers Justice Committee (SGWJC) has expressed deep concern and condemnation over the death of 52 workers, missing of more than 50 workers and injury of hundred more workers in the fire at the factory of Hashem Foods Ltd. under Sajeeb Group in Rupganj, Narayanganj. The Sajeeb Group Workers’ Justice Committee, formed by representatives of trade unions in the agricultural and food processing industries in Bangladesh, says that the horrific fires occurred due to non-compliance with proper laws, health and safety regulations and the fires become terrible due to storing highly flammable materials and plastics in the Sajeeb Group factory. Survivors reported that more than 50 workers were killed since the roof gates of the factory were locked, the 3rd floor was locked keeping workers inside and there was no point to escape. SGWJC demanded that it is clear the Sajeeb Group authority have violated workers’ basic right to health and safety by maintaining a dangerous and unsafe working environment in the factory. The SGWJC said in their statement that Sajeeb Group, which failed to provide a safe working environment for the workers that led to the tragic deaths of workers, should be held responsible for killing and injuring the workers. In the interest of ensuring justice for the workers of Sajeeb Group, Sajeeb Group Workers Justice Committee made the following demands:
- To investigate the violation of workers’ rights, including health and safety rights at the Hashem Foods factory as well all factories operated under Sajeeb Group and to take legal action against the culprits.
- To provide proper medical treatment to the injured workers in the fire and to provide compensation to the injured and deceased workers’ families in accordance with ILO Convention 121.
Names of Unions and Federations represented in the Sajeeb Group Workers Justice Committee:
- Unilever Employees Union (Reg. No. B-1122)
- Transcom Beverages Ltd. Sramik-Kormochri Union (Reg. No. D-2107)
- Coca-Cola Employees Union (Reg. No. Mymon-47)
- Nestle Employees Union (Reg. No. Dhaka-5270)
- Parfetti Van Mele Bangladesh Pvt. Ltd. Employees Union (Reg. No. Dhaka-5360)
- Jatio Kisani Sramik Samiti (Reg. No. S-13521)
- Bangladesh Agricultural Farm Labour Federation (Reg. No. B-1759)
- Bangladesh Sramajibi Kendra (Reg. No. Ba. Ja. Fe.-36)