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Dhaka Tribune

More funds sought for Rana Plaza victims

Update : 10 Apr 2014, 04:03 AM

Campaigners demanded the Western brands to pay into a compensation fund for victims of Rana Plaza collapse.

Global trade unions IndustriALL and UNI and labour rights network Clean Clothes Campaign in a joint statement said a fund for victims of Rana Plaza had raised only a third of its target of $40m to date, reports Reuters.

The garment factory collapse killed more than 1,100 people and injured over 2,000 people a year ago.

They said only half of the 29 brands that sourced goods from factories in the Rana Plaza complex have contributed to the fund run by the International Labour Organisation (ILO), and want the rest to pay by the first anniversary of the April 24 disaster.

"The workers who survived this catastrophe and the families of those who did not are in desperate need. The last year has seen medical expenses, lack of income and the horrors of that day relived," said Jyrki Raina of IndustriALL.

Some of the brands supplied from the Rana Plaza complex say they will not contribute as their production was outsourced to the factory without their knowledge, or ended some time ago, while others prefer to pursue their own compensation plans.

Ineke Zeldenrust of Clean Clothes Campaign said the 29 brands have combined profits of more than $22bn a year.

"They are being asked to contribute less than 0.2% of these profits to go some way towards compensating the people their profits are built on," she said.

British clothes retailer Primark said last month it would pay an extra $10m in long-term compensation - $9m directly to the 580 workers of its supplier in Rana Plaza or their dependants, and another $1m to the fund.

Other brands to contribute include Canada's Loblaw, Britain's Bon Marche and Premier Clothing, Mascot of Denmark and Spanish chains El Corte Ingles, Mango and Zara-owner Inditex.

Rock-bottom wages and trade deals have made Bangladesh's garments sector a $22bn industry that accounts for four-fifths of its exports, with around 60 percent of garment exports going to Europe and 23% to the United States.

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