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H&M calls for faster factory inspections in Bangladesh

By Mia Shanley STOCKHOLM (Reuters) - Hennes & Mauritz (H&M) <HMb.ST>, the world's second-biggest fashion retailer, said on Thursday Bangladesh needed to speed up inspections of its garment industry, almost a year after the collapse of a factory that killed more than 1,100 people. The disaster at the Rana Plaza complex a year ago prompted the Swedish budget fashion chain and other Western brands to pledge to cooperate to improve working conditions.

Inspections highlight safety risks at Bangladesh factories

By Emma Thomasson BERLIN (Reuters) - Initial inspections of Bangladesh garment factories organized after the collapse of the Rana Plaza complex have found safety problems including overloaded ceilings, exposed cables and locked fire escapes, an industry-backed group said on Monday. Working conditions in the $22 billion industry have been under scrutiny since the April, 2013 collapse of Rana Plaza in which more than 1,100 workers were killed. A November 2012 fire at another factory also resulted in 112 deaths.

Bangladesh garment factories failing to pay minimum wage

Nearly 40 percent of garment factories in the Bangladesh capital were failing to pay a new minimum wage announced last year for workers stitching clothes for Western retailers, an industry head said Thursday. Bangladesh's government agreed last November to raise the minimum monthly wage for the country's four million garment workers to $68, an increase of 77 percent, after protests and strikes in the crisis-hit industry.

Bangladesh official panel recommends 76% garment worker wage hike

A Bangladesh official panel recommended Monday that the government raises minimum wages for garment workers by 76 percent following a string of disasters and protests over pay and conditions, an official said. The board of government officials, garment manufacturers and union leaders said the minimum monthly wage for the nation's four million garment workers should rise from 3,000 taka ($38) to 5,300 taka ($67).

Bangladesh orphans vent grief, six months after garment factory tragedy

"We lost our parents for your work: Walmart, Carrefour, Benetton ...," read a banner held by a group of orphans, listing some of the retailers whose clothing was made at Rana Plaza before it collapsed.

Bangladesh poised to hike garment wages, but may not end strikes

By Shyamantha Asokan DHAKA (Reuters) - Bangladesh's garment factory owners are penciling in a minimum wage increase of about 50 to 80 percent and will ask retailers to pay more to defray the cost, as the government tries to end a wave of strikes that hit nearly a fifth of workshops last month. The world's second largest clothing exporter hopes to announce a new minimum wage early next month, bowing to international pressure after a string of fatal factory accidents that thrust poor working conditions and pay into the spotlight.

Top retailers, unions to inspect Bangladesh factories

Seventy top retailers have pledged to improve worker safety and allow inspection of all of their garment factories in Bangladesh within nine months under a pact signed with unions after a deadly factory collapse, a statement said Monday. Repairs and renovations resulting from the inspections will also be carried out, the retailers pledged as part of the legally binding agreement signed in the wake of the April collapse of the Rana Plaza complex, which killed 1,129 people.

Top retailers, unions to inspect Bangladesh factories

Seventy top retailers have pledged to improve worker safety and allow inspection of all of their garment factories in Bangladesh within nine months under a pact signed with unions after a deadly factory collapse, a statement said Monday. Repairs and renovations resulting from the inspections will also be carried out, the retailers pledged as part of the legally binding agreement signed in the wake of the April collapse of the Rana Plaza complex, which killed 1,129 people.

U.S. suspends trade preferences program for Bangladesh

The U.S. government suspended the General System of Preferences for Bangladesh early Friday over concerns about prevailing labor rights and worker safety that intensified after hundreds died there in the global garment industry's worst accident in April. "I have determined that it is appropriate to suspend Bangladesh's designation as a beneficiary developing country under the GSP program because it is not taking steps to afford internationally recognized worker rights," President Barack Obama said in a message to the U.S. Congress

Bangladesh Rana Plaza compensation for survivors not enough, workers say

Shahnaj Begum struggles to suppress her rage as she thumbs through banknotes given in compensation after she was left injured and jobless from the collapse of her nine-story workplace.
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