In March 2016, textile industry workers in the UK suffered a series of devastating industrial accidents that left a massive dent in the fabric of their lives.
The first of these was the devastating accident at the textile factory in Bournemouth that killed at least one worker and injured more than a hundred others.
Three months later, a second devastating accident hit the factory at the port of Dover that left another worker dead and injured at least a hundred more.
Finally, in late June, a third serious accident at a different textile factory, at the same port, killed another worker and seriously injured many more.
The first three tragedies were followed by a series that were horrifically fast becoming routine in the textile industry.
The second disaster was a disaster at the factory in Liverpool where an elderly worker and a young boy were killed when a train rolled into the building and plunged into the street below.
The third tragedy was a fatal accident at Bourn, where a worker died and injured dozens of others.
The accident that occurred on June 25th was caused by an overzealous worker who deliberately hit his boss with his car, leading to the death of the manager and the injuries of other workers.
A total of 27 people have been arrested in connection with the accidents, which are believed to have taken place on June 19th and the following day.
There has been a concerted effort by British authorities to investigate these tragedies as a result of the fact that these were all in the same factory, with all of the same safety protocols, and all of them involving workers on the same shift.
In this case, there was no accident, but a series, which was clearly a systematic, systematic failure by management, of the textile production chain.
Workers were repeatedly told by management to perform unsafe work, that if they didn’t they were going to be sacked.
There was no warning.
In other words, the workers were told that if there was a problem with their job, they were not going to make any noise.
That is a serious failure of management, which I find to be extremely disturbing.
However, there has been no official investigation into the deaths of the three workers at the Bourn factory, or the two workers killed at Dover, or any of the fatalities that have been linked to these accidents.
One of the workers who died in Burdekin died after being taken to hospital in the early hours of the morning, despite the fact he was in a medically induced coma for several days and was on life support.
Two of the people killed were from the same company.
One was a female employee of the firm.
The other was a male worker, but the company did not know his name.
The textile industry has a very strict work and safety protocol that the British authorities have not followed.
It has not been possible for anyone to get a thorough investigation, because the factories that employ these workers are located in areas where there is very little regulation, where workers are allowed to walk out in the middle of the night, and where there are very few monitoring facilities.
I am absolutely disgusted that no-one has been held accountable for these accidents, and I am disgusted that it has been so long since any serious investigation has been carried out into the accidents.
If the government wanted to hold workers accountable, it should have acted immediately to protect the safety of the factory workers and the workers at other textile factories in the country.
In the case of the Dover accident, the government was apparently not doing enough to protect workers, and it has failed to act on the safety recommendations of the Independent Accreditation Agency for the British Textile Industry.
This means that the government has allowed companies like Bourn and Dover to continue to operate with a level of safety and integrity that is appalling.
We need to see this industry held to account, and we need to make sure that the factories are inspected every year, and that they are held to a minimum of scrutiny, not just every five years.
More to come.