C&A Europe announced numerous support measures following a fire at the garment factory of ‘Tazreen Fashion’ in Dhaka, Bangladesh. During the fire on 24 November, 112 people had died. Among other products, the factory had manufactured garments for C&A. Ever since this terrible event, supporting the victims and improving fire safety measures in Bangladesh has been the main priority for C&A. An overview of measures is described below.
Recipients of financial support are
1. Children who lost a parent at the fire
2. Those injured and unable as yet to return to work
3. Families who lost a relative in the fire
The total funds being donated by C&A via the C&A Foundation in support of the 3 groups of victims as described above are estimated to be more than one million USD. 70 children from 46 families have been named as having lost at least one parent in the fire. An amount of USD 50 (4000 Taka) per month will be made available for each of these children until they reach the age of 18 years old.
The surviving parent or legal guardian of each of these children will receive an amount of USD 15 (1200 Taka) per month towards their education, medical expenses and other costs. The balance funds of USD 35 (2800 Taka) per month will be paid into a savings account registered in the name of each of these children, and to which they will have access on reaching the age of 18.
50 former employees of Tazreen fashions who were injured in the fire and are still unable to work will be supported by C&A via the C&A Foundation. C&A will continue to pay the medical costs for each of these 50 people until such time as they are fully recovered and able to work. In addition C&A will pay for loss of earnings which this group has suffered.
For each of the families who lost a relative in the fire C&A, via the C&A Foundation, has donated 1,200 USD per family which builds on earlier donations from other parts of the industry and organizations from Bangladesh.
“In addition to those measures the tragedy of 24 November has shown that despite C&A’s long tradition of safeguarding work safety in Bangladeshi production plants, additional audits on fire safety are necessary,” said Phil Chamberlain, head of Sustainable Business Development at C&A Europe.
For this reason C&A has started an in depth fire safety audit at all of its listed factories owned by locally based supply partners. The scope of work includes an assessment of the electrical systems, building layout and building construction, and will involve fire safety training also.
If any factory is unwilling or unable to carry out necessary improvements C&A production will be located elsewhere until such time that such factories can comply in full with the recommendations made following the audit. The first audits will have been completed by middle of March. The forecast costs of the in-depth audit financed by the C&A Foundation are estimated to be in the region of 1 million USD.