Friday 17 January 2020

Pope condemns 'slave labour' in Dhaka

Dean Nelson New Delhi David Bergman Dhaka

Pope Francis made a passionate attack yesterday on the "slave labour" conditions endured by workers inside the eight-storey building in Bangladesh that collapsed last week, claiming at least 384 lives.

Up to 900 people remain missing presumed dead in the ruins of Rana Plaza, which contained four garment factories, including one supplying the British retailers Primark and Bonmarche.

The building's proprietor and some of the factory owners have been arrested.

Survivors said they had been ordered to return to work despite cracks appearing in the structure of the building the previous day.

An estimated 3,500 workers were employed in the Rana Plaza's factories in Dhaka, the Bangladeshi capital. Many earned only €38 per month.

The new Pope has now voiced his outrage over the treatment of the workers, making his strongest public statement since his election in March. According to Vatican Radio, he condemned the "selfish profit" motive of firms whose search for low prices meant "slave conditions" for workers.

"Today in the world this slavery is being committed against something beautiful that God has given us – the capacity to create, to work, to have dignity," he was quoted as saying in a private Mass to mark May Day, the global celebration of labour rights. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Irish Independent

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