Bangladesh: NGOs call upon
Benetton, Auchan and Carrefour to pay compensation
As compensation for victims of Rana Plaza and their families begins to be paid out, NGOs have called upon Benetton, Auchan and Carrefour to share in the cost.
Almost a year after the collapse of the building that housed several textile factories, not all brands that contracted these factories as suppliers have taken part in paying victims’ compensation. There were outpourings of sympathy following the tragedy, which included 1,138 deaths and thousands seriously injured.
The International Labour Organisation (WTO) has set up a compensation fund supposed to reach 30 million euros. As of April 24, victims and families should receive a payment of approximately 450 euros (50,000 taka).
“Today, the only obstacle to this process remains the refusal of brands such as Benetton, Carrefour and Auchan to contribute to the fund”, reads a joint statement from ‘Peuples Solidaires’ and the ‘Collectif Ethique sur l’Etiquette’, two humanitarian associations.
"These companies have already demonstrated how irresponsible they are through purchasing practices that promote outrageous working conditions for factory workers,” says Vanessa Gautier, project manager at Peoples Solidarity. "They must now take responsibility and help these families rebuild their lives. There is no time to lose.”
No less than 80% of Bangladesh's exports last year resulted from textile and garment-related manufacturing. That encompasses 27 billion dollars worth of products from some 4,500 factories. Comprising more than 3 million jobs, the sector is a pillar of the national economy.
By Matthieu Guinebault
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