Brands still failing Rana Plaza survivors & victim’s families
As events take place around the world to remember those who died and were injured in the Rana Plaza building collapse a year ago, campaigners are demanding brands pay up.
According to the Clean Clothes Campaign, the voluntary Donor Trust Fund set up to take the donations, as part of a collaborative compensation programme between brands, unions, governments and NGOs, remains woefully underfunded. A year after the collapse, brands and retailers have contributed or committed only US$15m to the Trust Fund, just one third of the US$40m needed.
“Brands are failing workers a second time,” commented Ineke Zeldenrust from Clean Clothes Campaign. “First they failed to ensure the factories they bought from were safe, and now they are failing the survivors and the families of those who lost loved ones, by not contributing significantly to the Donor Trust Fund. Agreement on the total amount needed to provide compensation according to ILO standards was reached between all the parties involved in the Rana Plaza Coordination Committee, including the brands. But now, failing to adequately contribute, brands are making the workers suffer again.”
Marking the first anniversary of the collapse, organisations including the Asia Floor Wage Alliance, Clean Clothes Campaign, Human Rights Watch, IndustriALL Global Union, International Labor Rights Forum, Maquila Solidarity Network, and UNI Global Union will be holding vigils, rallies and events in over 20 cities worldwide; including demonstrations in front of stores in Toronto, New York, Antwerp and Istanbul, debates on the impact of the disaster on the fashion industry in Melbourne and The Hague; and in Bangladesh workers and union members will be holding memorial events and protests including a human chain at the site of the collapsed building in Dhaka.
Campaigners at all events will be demanding brands who continue to refuse to contribute to the Donor Trust Fund make immediate and significant payments.
Targeted brands include Adler Modermarkte, Ascena Retail, Auchan, Benetton, Carrefour, Cato Fashions, Grabalok, Gueldenpfennig, Iconix (Lee Cooper), J C Penney, Kids for Fashion, Manifattura Corona, Matalan, NKD, PWT (Texman) and Yes Zee.
For the full story see the May issue of Ethical Performance.
Picture credit: © Mohammed Anwarul Kabir Choudhury | Dreamstime.com