10 February, 202128 workers were killed when a clandestine garment factory in Tangiers, Morocco, was flooded by rainwater. The factory, located in the basement of a residential building, did not meet the necessary health and safety conditions, and unions are calling for those responsible to be held accountable.
According to IndustriALL affiliates in Morocco, more than 130 people were employed in the illegal factory in inhuman conditions, not meeting the minimum requirements for health and safety and decent work.
Moroccan trade union centers Union Marocaine du travail (UMT) and the Confédération démocratique du travail (CDT), are holding authorities and employers responsible for this avoidable tragedy, saying that there is a general acceptance of the exploitation of workers and violations of working conditions in order to accumulate wealth.
Ahmed Hassoun, general secretary of IndustriALL Moroccan affiliate Syndicat National de Textile Habillements et Cuirs - SNTHC-CDT, says:
"This tragedy brings back the memory of the 2008 disaster when a mattress factory burned down, killing 56 workers and wounding 17 more. We deplore the greed of employers and their urge to cover up violations that undermine workers' rights, and we call for accountability."
Moroccan unions are demanding an urgent investigation into this human and social tragedy, clarifying where responsibilities lie, setting up compensation for the victims’ families, as well as taking the necessary decisions to prevent the recurrence of further tragedies and to safeguard the rights, lives and dignity of workers. Those responsible need to be held accountable and brought to justice.
IndustriALL general secretary Valter Sanches says:
“This is an unacceptable tragedy where workers at the bottom of the supply chain yet again pay the prize for cheap production. The garment industry must be made safe for the people who contribute to its enormous output. IndustriALL stands in solidarity with the victims and their families.”
Photo credit: AJ+ on Twitter