Conflict & Justice

Bangladesh Garment Industry: Surviving the Rana Plaza Building Collapse


Rescue workers attempt to find survivors from the rubble of the collapsed Rana Plaza building in Savar, around 30 km (19 miles) outside Dhaka May 4, 2013. Bangladesh urged the European Union not to take tough measures against its economically crucial textile industry in response to the collapse of a garment factory that killed nearly 550 people. REUTERS/Andrew Biraj (BANGLADESH - Tags: DISASTER BUSINESS EMPLOYMENT) - RTXZ9X4



Hundreds of garment factories are up and running again Friday in Bangladesh.

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They'd been closed down by three days of protests over dangerous working conditions.

Those protests were sparked by April's collapse of a building near the capital Dhaka which housed five garment factories.

The collapse killed more than 1,100 workers.

Bangladesh is the world's second-biggest exporter of clothing after China.

And a source for many international brands.

Since the collapse, several Western retailers doing business in Bangladesh have signed on to a pact to improve working conditions there.

But some American companies – including Walmart – are choosing to develop their own plan to address the issue.

We spoke to two survivors of last month's Rana Plaza building collapse.

They are 26-year-old Mohammed Sonayman, who was in a factory on the 6th floor.

And 28-year-old Mili Akhtar, who worked attaching zippers to pants on the 2nd floor.

She told me how the day of the collapse began for her.