Big brands still failing to contribute to Rana recoveryNovember 2014
The compensation fund for victims’ families and survivors of the Rana Plaza disaster in Bangladesh is still about $20m (£12.4m, €15.7m) short 18 months after the event.
The fund, known as the Rana Plaza Arrangement, has reached nearly $20m, with a $1.5m commitment from the French brand Auchan, but it requires $40m.
Contributions are coming from companies that sourced textiles and garments from factories occupying Rana Plaza, which collapsed in April 2013 killing 1,138 workers and injuring more than 2,000.
However, the Amsterdam-based Clean Clothes Campaign, which works for better conditions in the garment industry, was “dismayed that the industry has failed to pay up sufficiently”.
Ineke Zeldenrust, the campaign’s international co-ordinator, said: “What are brands waiting for? They all say they support the Rana Plaza Arrangement and that the calculations, overseen by the International Labour Organisation, are fair and just.
“But unless all brands up the amounts they’ve paid in so far, the arrangement can’t pay the claims in full.”
To date the Italian fashion brand Benetton and the French supermarket chain Carrefour have contributed nothing.
Zeldenrust commented: “It is unacceptable that a brand the size of Carrefour have not paid a single cent … They say the evidence linking them to the site is insufficient.”
The campaign is also highlighting the fact that survivors are also finding it hard to find jobs.
“Factory owners are turning people who worked in Rana Plaza away as they are deemed too ‘damaged’ and too much of a risk,” says Samantha Maher, of Clean Clothes Campaign, who returned to Bangladesh last month,
The fact that the Rana Plaza Donor Trust Fund has only been able to provide 40% of the compensation payments due to survivors means that being able to make long term plans are impossible.
“In many cases the fact that full compensation cannot be made is having a serious impact on the usefulness of these partial payments,” added Maher.
“Receiving money in small amounts means that for people already living in dire financial straits they have no choice but to use it for daily life, instead of saving it or investing in a new business or land to ensure they will manage in the long run.”
Further information here.
Picture credit: © Bayazidakter  | Dreamstime com  - Aftermath Rana Plaza In Bangladesh (File Photo) Photo
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