Friday, June 7, 2013

Industrial fire in China

Here a family in Dehui City, China grieves outside a burning poultry processing plant that had a single open exit, no functioning emergency exits, & a shoddy record of safety violations. Over 300 workers were trapped inside. So far 120 people have burned to death & 77 are reported injured. These kinds of scenes are becoming more & more frequent at work sites around the world as safety standards are flouted in the most reckless & criminal way. They are reminiscent of the early industrial age before workers fought ferocious battles for safe conditions of labor. Massive attacks on safety are constant & relentless under capitalism but this is in China which calls itself communist!

China’s safety officials are full of the usual tonnage of mea culpas & pledges to hold someone to account. Scapegoating will be their method rather than acknowledgement of their own complete criminal culpability. The local police have detained a couple company officials, its assets have been frozen & its licenses revoked. The official in charge also called for safety checks in other dangerous industries like mining, transportation, & chemical manufacturing.

Officials will carry on like that until the furor appears to exhaust itself. But a day of reckoning is coming & it is safe to say, based on the thousands of environmental protests in China, it will make the early industrial battles look like scuffles.

(Photo by Jin Liwang/Xinhua)

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