Industryweek 6358 Bangladesh Unions Rap Primarks Compensation Move

Bangladesh Unions Rap Primark's Compensation Move

March 18, 2014
Bangladesh unions criticize British retailer Primark for offering compensation to fewer than a quarter of the victims of the country's worst textile disaster.

DHAKA, Bangladesh -- Bangladesh unions today criticized British retailer Primark for offering compensation to fewer than a quarter of the victims of the country's worst textile disaster.

Primark was one of more than two dozen Western retailers who had orders at the Rana Plaza factory complex that collapsed on the outskirts of the capital Dhaka in April last year, killing 1,135 workers and injuring more than 1,500.

Primark announced Monday it would start paying out $9 million this week to the families of 580 dead or injured workers who worked for its supplier New Wave Bottoms, one of the five factories based at the Plaza.

The payments being arranged through Primark's local partners "will be met in full, in cash," the retailer said, adding that it would contribute another $1 million to an U.N.-backed fund which aims to raise $40 million to compensate all the families of dead and injured workers.

While the Rana Plaza tragedy shed unprecedented light on the poor safety conditions and wages in the world's second-largest garment industry after China, Bangladesh authorities and Western retailers have yet to come up with a formula to compensate the victims.

Since the disaster nearly 200 Western retailers from Europe and America have formed two umbrella groups to launch safety inspections in the country's 3,500 garment factories, but only a few have committed to compensate the workers.

Last week local and international labour and rights groups urged the 27 brands linked to the doomed Rana Plaza factories to contribute to the ILO-backed fund before the first anniversary of the tragedy on April 24.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2014

Sponsored Recommendations

Voice your opinion!

To join the conversation, and become an exclusive member of IndustryWeek, create an account today!