Sunday, April 28, 2013

Massive worker protests sweep Bangladesh

Riots swept through the two main Bangladeshi cities of Dhaka and Chittagong in angry protests against the Capitalist tolerance for slavish working conditions which caused thousands of victims in the collapse of a factory days ago. At least two factories have been burned in these riots of clear class war nature. 

Quoting from the World's Socialist Web Site (K. Ratnayake):

Labels for the world’s largest retailer, Wal-Mart, the Spanish chain El Corte Inglés and JC Penney have been found in the rubble. Web sites for the factories in the building indicate that they also supplied Germany’s Kik, Belgium’s C&A, Benetton UK, Spain’s Mango, Canada’s Trimark and Premark in Ireland, to name a few.

This illustrates how this is not at all a merely local problem but that those murders, as the Information Minister described them, are caused by global Capitalism and that the same companies, like the infamous El Corte Inglés, which demolish worker rights in the Capitalist Core, do exactly the same in the Capitalist Periphery with the only goal of satisfy their bottomless greed at the expense of workers.

The overriding concern of the government and employers is to ensure that the country’s thousands of garment factories, which account for 80 percent of Bangladesh’s exports, continue operation as usual. They are acutely aware that any improvement in wages (on average $US37 a month), or to the appalling conditions confronting millions of garment workers, could undermine the country’s competitiveness.


The health, well-being and lives of workers are constantly sacrificed to the relentless drive for profit, not only in the sweatshops of Asia, Africa and Latin America, but in the advanced capitalist countries. Just last week, a fertiliser plant in Texas exploded, killing 14 people and injuring another 200. In April 2011, 11 workers died in an explosion on the Deepwater Horizon oil rig in Gulf of Mexico that resulted in the largest environmental disaster in US history.

These tragedies are crimes that are ultimately rooted in the profit system itself. Globalised production, which has the potential to provide everyone on the planet with a decent standard of living, is leading under capitalism to enormous profits for the wealthy few and the deepening immiseration of working people around the world.

The only solution lies in a unified struggle of the international working class to abolish this outmoded and reactionary social order and establish a rationally-planned world socialist economy to meet the pressing social needs of humanity as a whole.


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