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Brands told to honour commitments to Rana Plaza victims
26
Mar '15
With just one month left for the second anniversary of the Rana Plaza disaster, several organisations negotiating compensation for its victims are reminding brands to stick to their commitments of donating to the victims of the garment industry's deadliest disaster.

Organisations like UNI Global Union, IndustriALL Global Union and the Clean Clothes Campaign are ramping up demands on global brands linked to the disaster to fill an $8.5 million gap in the funding needed to deliver full and fair compensation to each of the over 5,000 individuals with eligible claims.

Side-by-side, the Business Social Compliance Initiative (BSCI), the Ethical Trading Initiative (ETI) and Social Accountability International (SAI) also urged Bangladeshi public and private partners to urgently make a contribution in order to complete the existing funding gap and fully compensate the victims.

According to Clean Clothes Campaign, so far $21.5 million has been paid into the Rana Plaza Donors Trust Fund through contributions from buyers, the Bangladesh Prime Ministers Fund and other private donors.

It said all contributions are used exclusively to make payments to Rana Plaza victims and their families and that at least $30 million is needed to cover compensation claims and that to date claimants have only received a maximum of 70 per cent of what they are owed.

“Further payments have been delayed as a result of the failure of brands to pay the $8.5 million needed to complete the scheme,” Clean Clothes Campaign informed in a press release.

ETI director, Peter McAllister, said, “It is unacceptable that nearly two years after the Rana Plaza disaster, some victims are still waiting for the compensation they are due. We hope this joint call sends a strong signal to companies that sourced from Rana Plaza and have not yet made payments.

“We also hope this spurs donations from others that source from Bangladesh, so that victims and their families can get on with living their lives,” he added by saying.

In its press release, Clean Clothes Campaign named Benetton among the worst offenders which it said is yet to pay a penny into the Fund. Others including Walmart, Mango and The Children's Place are being singled out for making donations that fall far short of expectations.

Other companies still to pay the required amount include Lee Cooper, JC Penny, Matalan and Kik.

“A promise by Benetton, made in February, to pay a contribution to the Fund has so far not been honoured and rumours that the Bangladesh Alliance were planning to make a significant donation have to date proven unfounded,” Clean Clothes Campaign noted.

IndustriALL Global Union General Secretary Jyrki Raina said, “For an industry that is all about image, the garment brands are taking shockingly long to do the right thing and close one of the most shameful chapters in the history book of the global clothing industry. (AR)

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India

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