Family members of those killed or injured in the Rana Plaza disaster staged demonstrations in front of the building’s site in Savar yesterday, demanding further compensations for those affected and calling for the publication of an official list consisting of the names of the workers who remain missing 16 months after the collapse.
Bangladesh Garment Worker Solidarity organised a rally and a procession, which was joined by hundreds of relatives of the Rana Plaza disaster victims. Workers’ leaders also announced holding a protest rally in front of the BGMEA building on August 28 to press home their demands.
Saboti Das, mother of deceased garment worker Bobita Das, said her daughter’s untimely death in the Rana Plaza disaster had pushed the family into a life of poverty and hunger. Talking to the Dhaka Tribune at yesterday’s programme, Saboti claimed that despite pleading to different sources she had received only Tk1 lakh as compensation for her daughter’s death.
Speaking at the rally, Taslima Akhter, coordinator of Bangladesh Garment Worker Solidarity, demanded immediate compensation for the families of the workers killed or injured in the Rana Plaza disaster. Alleging that garment owners were showing indifference to paying damages to the victims’ families, she added that the government has also failed to take any effective measure so far to ensure compensation. As a result, many families were now struggling to make a living, Taslima added.
She also alleged that garment workers were still being denied proper wages or bonuses, while factory owners continued torturing the workers and terminating their employment at will.
Speakers at the programme also claimed that Tk105 crore still remained untouched in the prime minister’s fund. They added that although an expert committee had proposed a compensation scheme based on a High Court directive, the court is yet to pass an order directing what the rate of compensation should be. The role of BGMEA and the government remains unclear even after 16 months of the disaster, the speakers claimed.