Brands fail victims of Bangladesh disasters

published 09-09-2013 18:30, last modified 09-09-2013 21:50
The Clean Clothes Campaign welcomes the news that 12 brands have agreed to attend meetings in Geneva to discuss the provision of long term compensation to the victims of the Rana Plaza and Tazreen factory diasters in Bangladesh. However it remains shocked at the refusal of over twenty others to take responsibility. It calls on the remaining brands, including Walmart, Benetton and Mango to reconsider and take part in the negotiations.
  • Over twenty brands refuse discuss compensation for dead and injured workers
  • Twelve brands committed to attend meetings
  • Clean Clothes Campaign urges all, including Walmart, Benetton and Mango to attend

 

The meetings have been called by the global union IndustriALL and will be hosted by the International Labour Organisation, who will also act as a neutral chair. The participants will discuss the setting up of a fund to pay out compensation to those families affected by the fire at Tazreen Fashions in November 2012 and the collapse of five garment factories housed at the Rana Plaza building in April 2013. The compensation amounts under discussion should cover payment for pain and suffering, loss of income, educational costs for children who lost parents and medical expenses. It is expected that funds will be contributed by all stakeholders including brands, the industry and the Bangladesh government.

“It is now almost nine months since the fire at Tazreen and five months since the collapse at Rana Plaza,” said Ineke Zeldenrust of the Clean Clothes Campaign. “Those families affected are struggling to cope in the aftermath of these disasters and we are hearing daily of families at risk of losing their homes and struggling to get the medical and psychological treatment they need. The issue of compensation is urgent and pressing and we hope for a constructive meeting and a positive outcome for these workers and their families.”

A number of brands and retailers have, to date, refused to accept responsibility for the fate of the workers killed and injured in the two disasters. Walmart, which was linked to both Tazreen and Rana Plaza, has yet to make any commitment to the payment of compensation in either case. Benetton and Mango, both of whom had orders at factories housed in Rana Plaza have also remained silent on whether they will attend the meeting.

“These workers risked their lives earning a pittance to make clothes for Walmart, Benetton and Mango,” added Zeldenrust.“As a result they have lost their jobs, their health and in the worst cases their lives. The least these brands can do now is commit to paying what is needed for these families to start rebuilding their future. We urge all of them to take responsibility for the lives ruined by these disasters and to attend the meetings this week.”

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