All brands responsible should compensate the Rana Plaza victims now
Since September the Rana Plaza Compensation Coordination Committee, comprised of the Ministry of Labour, the BGMEA, four international brands, IndustriALL global union, local trade unions and the Clean Clothes Campaign, has been negotiating a process for calculating, funding and delivering compensation to the families of those killed and injured when the Rana Plaza building collapsed in April. The process is being facilitated by the International Labour Organisation.
In the last two months members of the Committee, along with ILO, have been engaged in an intensive programme of work to develop a credible and transparent system which would deliver a single approach to the provision of compensation owed by both local and international stakeholders. This has included several meetings and technical missions to Bangladesh, the involvement of international technical experts on compensation and the collection and analysis of data collected in regard to those killed and injured.
Yesterday the Committee met to discuss final outstanding issues of the proposed “Arrangement”, which lays out practical guidelines for compensation provision. This includes the establishment of a voluntary international fund, which will channel contributions from brands and retailers into the compensation scheme. Negotiations towards this are ongoing with the aim of formalising the Arrangement sometime next week. The groundwork for implementation has already been started and full implementation will begin as soon as the Arrangement has been formally adopted by all stakeholders.
“All brands need to step up – and stop hiding or presenting excuses. No brand can go it alone on compensation – by doing so they will fail the majority of workers and any compensation paid out will be partial, limited and unpredictable.” said Ineke Zeldenrust of the Clean Clothes Campaign. “The Arrangement will ensure that ALL the victims of this terrible disaster finally get the compensation they deserve in a transparent manner with independent oversight” We are urging all brands to commit to signing the Arrangement now and to work with the committee to enable payments to begin.”
The Arrangement has already been signed by Primark, Loblaw, Bonmarche and El Corte Ingles. Other signatories include the Clean Clothes Campaign and industriALL. Other key brands including Mango, Walmart, Auchan, Childrens Place, Carrefour and Kik have so far refused to sign.
"Primark, El Corte Ingles, Loblaw and Bonmarché have led the way and sent a clear signal to consumers everywhere of their sincerity to the accident in their supply chain" said Monika Kemperle of the IndustriALL global union. "We call upon other brands to follow their example, and expect them to continue to lead with full commitment to the Arrangement and implement a joint response under the auspices of the Coordination Commitee chaired by the ILO"