Thanksgiving turkey and pumpkin pie

About the time we were eating our Thanksgiving turkey and pumpkin pie, more than 100 workers were killed and many more suffered burns or smoke inhalation in a fire in a garment factory near Dhaka, Bangladesh. According to the “Clean Clothes Campaign,” an anti-sweatshop advocacy organization in Amsterdam, more than 500 Bangladeshi garment workers have died in factory fires since 2006 (Bajaj 2012). Many reports indicate that workers were prevented from leaving the factory after the fire alarm sounded (BBC 2012). And at least one U.S. retailer whose garments were made in that factory is responding (Banjo 2013).

Provide details about the factory fire in Bangladesh in November 2012. Please discuss the role of globalization in this fire and what can be done to prevent future loss of life.

To answer this essay, you may consider the following questions. What was the cause of the fire? Why did so many workers lose their lives in the fire? How did people in Bangladesh react? How large is the garment industry in Bangladesh? What retailers (stores) sell the garments that were made in this factory? Are any of these retailers taking steps to try to ensure that fires and other threats to the health and well-being of workers do not occur in the future? Are there any historical analogies to this fire?

Sources and Strategies
Choose a variety of sources. First, use the library and/or the internet databases to learn more about this subject. Because this is a current event, please look for up-to-date articles in reputable popular media (for example, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Time, Newsweek, BBC, etc.). As well, look for expert analysis and historical background by scholars, participants and journalists. Be sure that your search for expert analysis and opinions includes voices from across the political spectrum, and if possible, from outside the United States as well as inside. I’ve given you a start with three sources, shown below. Wikipedia is NOT an acceptable source. Nor is any other encyclopedia.

Formatting Requirements
Length: The body of your research essay should be 900-1200 words (use “Word Count” to make sure you meet minimum length of 900 words). This is between 2-1/2 and 3 pages using Times New Roman font (12 point), with 1 inch margins all around. Begin your response at the top of the page. Do NOT use a title page.

Works Cited
Bajaj, Vikas, 2012. “Fatal Fire in Bangladesh Highlights the Dangers Facing Garment Workers,” New York Times, Nov. 26, 2012, p. A4; online at
Banjo, Shelly. 2013. “Wal-Mart Toughens Supplier Policies,” Wall Street Journal, Jan. 22, 2013, p. B1; online at
BBC. 2012. “Bangladesh Tazreen factory fire was sabotage – inquiry,” BBC News – Asia, Dec. 17, 2012; online at

You may use these sources, but you are not required to do so. In any case, be sure that you find enough high-quality sources to be able to answer the question clearly, thoroughly, and with sufficient detail. If you choose to use these sources, they’ll give you a pretty good start.


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