The global business industry has made use of many employees from different countries. It is not uncommon when a country of lower economic development produces goods for a nation that is well established and the economy is high.
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This is the case with Bangladesh made products that are shipped all over the world, including Canada, United Kingdom, Germany, Spain and Ireland. The garment industry is particularly a developing field that has seen a great demand in the past decades. The unfortunate part is that the conditions of work are gruesome, unequal and unsafe.
The two episodes that took place in Bangladesh, a fire in 2012 and a factory collapse in 2013 are an example of atrocious work conditions, which are below any standard. The reason for these situations is that the government and the industry focuses too much on the financial gain and the end result, without taking proper care of the people that make all the difference in the success of the businesses.
The fire of 2012 was one that could have been avoided, and the proper procedures of fire safety and evacuation were not followed. During the meeting, after work, the fire started and was first said to be an electrical problem but was later thought to be purposefully started, and could be considered arson.
The fire broke out on the ground floor and was spreading very fast because of many garments that were around the factory. It was later said that the fire exits were too narrow, the amount of fire escape routes was insufficient for proper evacuation, and the location of stairs was such that people would have to go through the ground floor engulfed with fire.
All these factors led to the inability of escape or proper fire fighting procedures, and it was only after 17 hours of battling the flames that firefighters could put the flames out. It was estimated that 117 people lost their lives and almost 200 people were injured in the fire. Because of poor emergency procedures and building layout people had to jump from windows and some climbed the roof, which has saved their lives (Fatal Fire in Bangladesh Highlights the Dangers Facing Garment Workers, 2012).
The response from the Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina was very active, as she was shocked and could not believe that this really took place. Even though the fire could have been avoided, the fact that proper safety procedures were not in place proved disastrous.
Mostly, it was poor building planning and no updates to fire safety procedure, which led to many people losing their lives. One of the major companies involved in the industry is Wal-Mart and so, it has been making strict policies about the safety of employees, as well as it had cut several ties to companies that were made partners through improper activities.
The people at the location of the fire were protesting and it is possible to see why, as the working conditions are very poor. It is understandable that the economics, market value and differences between products and services all play a role in who gets employment and what sort of company becomes the partner.
When looking at economics, there are few things to have in mind. Different countries and nations have different economies. The system of trade and relations between businesses are guided by culture and society (Paci, 2008). Some places have better economies, with governments giving support and being one of the major clients. The market is also different.
There are certain things that people need, so the demand on the market is special for every country. Globalization has majorly impacted business and the differences can be seen as well. Some countries are becoming over developed with abundant food supply and thus, they are starting to open business in garments and other products that are not necessarily needed for survival and basic human needs.
But in Bangladesh, there are many people who are struggling, as the government is unable to look after the proper working conditions. This leads to people wanting to make more money with the lower cost, thus building factories that are cheap and not equipped with proper instruments for times of emergency.
The two catastrophic events that took place show that the government’s regulations are not followed. The outrage of the population that followed, shows how fed up people are with the matter of things. For as long as there has been human civilization, there was been a division between people according to their status. AIt is a significant problem that nations with more resources and wealth were involved in such cases, yet nothing has been previously done to make sure that such cases do not take place.
The social class separation where one part of the population struggles, another has all the luxuries and the rest are in the middle is very evident in Bangladesh. People are separated according to the amount of money they make, their education and the ability to generate resources. The reality shows that there are many people who possess much more than is needed for the necessities of life.
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In Bangladesh, there are always people who are much more successful than a large portion of the population, which is because the western world heavily relies on the manufacturing business that is run by the select few. There is no denying that the working population of Bangladesh is the moving force in the nation. The division between the working class and those who get rich of the large of society is distinctly visible.
The factory collapse of 2013 became another tragic event that ended in 1000 employees losing their life. It is thought to be one of the major disasters that took place on such a scale. The primary cause was cited as improper construction technique and faulty materials. It has been said that the upper floors of the building were constructed well below standard and the whole structure was very unreliable.
Because there are thousands of people working on the upper floors, the generator to produce power had to be placed there. While these generators were at work, they would vibrate and cause cracks in the building materials, especially on the higher floors. When this took place, an engineer was called to inspect the building and stated that the building was unsafe.
Despite this fact, Mr. Rana and other bosses have ordered people to go to work and the disaster took place as soon as one of the generators started working. Criminal negligence and homicide are the offered charges, as people are outraged at such behavior. There are also suggestions that Mr. Rana has been bribing local authorities, so that permission for improper construction is given (Report on Deadly Factory Collapse in Bangladesh Finds Widespread Blame, 2013).
This case is another clear example of the working and social conditions in Bangladesh. The international business has made its way to many countries and companies such as Cedarwood State and Atmosphere get involved. Primark, the owner of the two organizations has been an active supporter of the proper conditions required for the employees.
The intertwined connection between the suppliers in a country that has poor working conditions and the superpowers or other well developed regions of the world show that the struggle for power and money is very active. Since the pressures for local responsiveness are low, this will guarantee stable income and product or service flow for the specific group of people. Companies such as Gap, Sears and JC Penney are the retails that have taken direct steps to implement changes to the safety of working conditions.
Also, Inditex and H&M have taken direct responsibility of the safety conditions at the factories. Bangladesh is one of the biggest arteries in the garment industry and the West has been an active buyer. It is obvious that with such organization, countries that are more developed will continue receiving their products, as the need is always present, while the conditions oversees are still very poor (Paci, 2008).
The business world is a developing and ever-growing aspect of everyday life, influencing the general public, as well as individuals. It is a unique place with its own set of rules and laws, which unfortunately sometimes differentiate from those set by the government. In case of Bangladesh, many authorities have allowed for the improper work conditions to exist. Many people became victims due to negligence of owners and country’s laws.
Corruption of law enforcing agencies and greed of employers caused the loss of life and injuries to people. Even though business ethics and morals dictate that proper procedures are followed, people are being selfish and want to gain more and more. This leads to employees working in extremely harsh and poor conditions, which ends in disasters and accidents. These situations can very well be prevented and so, it has become an international concern.
Presently, there is a higher level of cooperation and interdependence between companies and the government, as well as retailers in the West. The social factors play a significant role in how Bangladesh and people were able to get out of a troubled situations and aftermath of the disasters.
The social factors in relation to business and governments are made obvious and the role that each has in the economy. From the analysis it is possible to conclude that the laws are meant to regulate and control the actions of businesses, representing the interests of society in order to keep it from harm both physical and mental. But very often, there are loopholes that could be found and thus, the law is avoided allowing for the continuance of the damage to the structure of society.
Personal gains of business and corporations are given little attention but sometimes, their influence on society is enormous. The goal of law makers or government and society is to make the laws as comprehensive as possible, so that events that took place in Bangladesh are not repeated.
Bajaj, V. (2012). Fatal Fire in Bangladesh Highlights the Dangers Facing Garment Workers. Retrieved from https://www.nytimes.com/2012/11/26/world/asia/bangladesh-fire-kills-more-than-100-and-injures-many.html
Paci, P. (2008). Making Work Pay in Bangladesh: Employment, Growth, and Poverty Reduction. New York, United States: World Bank Publications.
Yardley, J. (2013). Report on Deadly Factory Collapse in Bangladesh Finds Widespread Blame. Retrieved from https://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/23/world/asia/report-on-bangladesh-building-collapse-finds-widespread-blame.html