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Labour MP Rushanara Ali: 'Rana Plaza was a man-made disaster'

Five years after the Rana Plaza disaster, a panel debate has raised concerns over improved pay, and why unionising would have prevented the death toll

Five years after the Rana Plaza disaster, Labour MP Rushanara Ali has described what happened as “not an accident” but “a man-made disaster”.

Speaking at a panel debate at the Houses of Parliament focused on improvements for women workers in the fashion industry, five years on from Rana Plaza, the Labour MP for Bethnal Green and Bow said that pay had become “the elephant in the room”, and directed the majority of her criticism towards fashion brands using factories and buildings such as Rana Plaza. “Considering the profits these companies are making, they are paying workers a pittance” she said. “We have to pay more, and brands have to pay more.” Despite “improvements”, workers in Bangladesh are paid less than $68 (£48) a month, less than half their counterparts in Vietnam.

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