2013-05-08 / Front Page

Weprin Speaks On Bangladesh Building Collapse

Assemblymember David I. Weprin’s (D-Fresh Meadows) organized a remembrance tribute to commemorate all the fallen victims who tragically lost their lives from the collapsed factory building on April 24, 2013 in Bangladesh. The building collapse occurred at Rana Plaza near Dhaka, Bangladesh. Congresswoman Grace Meng (D-Queens), Assemblyman William Scarborough (D-Jamaica), Councilman Mark Weprin (D-Oakland Gardens), District Leader Martha Taylor (D-Fresh Meadows), District Leader Uma Sengupta (D,WF-Fresh Meadows), District Leader Dr. Taj Rajkumar (D-Southern Queens) were among the elected officials who attended the Press Conference. Public Advocate Candidate Reshma Saujani also attended the vigil.
“Our hearts goes out to all of the families and friends who have lost their loved ones in this tragedy. We would like to express our deepest sympathies to the people of Bangladesh and to the South Asian community in New York.” said Assemblyman Weprin. There were about 3,000 people inside the building, and 2,500 people have been rescued. The Bangladesh factory building collapse is the worst industrial incident in the nation’s history, with a death toll that exceeds over 500 workers. “We deeply appreciate the first responders, emergency workers and organizations who are working on the emergency and the relief efforts to save lives. Let us recognize all of the people who bravely put their lives on the line to rescue more than 2,500 people from the debris.”
Assembly Member Weprin provided information about the organizations engaged in relief and support efforts for the families and victims who were impacted by the disaster. The organizations announced by the Assembly Member were the American Red Cross, Desis Rising Up & Moving (DRUM), a local South Asian organization in New York City and Save The Children.
The factory collapse marks the nation’s third deadly labor incident in the last six months. In the wake of a series of labor tragedies in Bangladesh, the most recent disaster demonstrates the need to improve working conditions and establish effective safety regulations. About 3.6 million people work in the Bangladesh garment industry. It is the second largest clothing exporter in the world behind China. The garment industry employs mostly women, some of whom earn as little $50 a month.
“As New Yorkers, we have a long history of supporting fair and ethical labor standards. The Triangle Factory Fire of 1911 in New York, sparked outrage, labor reform and new safety measures in the United States. As New Yorkers, we cannot support any company based in United States that does not adhere to safe and ethical working conditions abroad. It is time for all United States based businesses abroad to take a leading role in protecting the rights of the workers in Bangladesh and all of their facilities.” Assemblyman Weprin stated.

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