Safety lax in Pakistan's textile industry

Exclusive Al Jazeera investigation into textile factories exposes poor safety conditions within industry.

    Recent fatalities of more than 300 people at Pakistan garment factories, many which are producers for well-known international brands, has cast a spotlight on lax labour laws in the country's garment sector.

    A factory fire which killed 289 people on September 12 was followed by another fatal fire at an illegal shoe factory in Lahore.

    In a weeks long investigation, Al Jazeera secretly visited six other garment factories represented by various associations and found that none of them had adequate safety measures in place.

    Al Jazeera found that at one factory the conditions were so dire that emergency exit doors were blocked with cement bricks and that fire extinguishers were either missing or not being used.

    Workspaces in the factory, owned by Shadman Electronic Industries, were also surrounded by exposed electrical wiring.

    But, in an exclusive interview, the owner, Kashif Khan, told Al Jazeera that he was aware of the lack of safety at his factory but that he was now committed to improving its safety standards.

    While Shadman Electronic Industries, like many other of the country's factories, remains unsafe until its owners improve the safety, factory workers risk being injured.

    For many of them, this is the only work they can get and they are dependent on the employment for their livelihood.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera


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