Nearly a year after a Bangladeshi textile factory collapsed, leaving more than 1,100 people dead, fashion discount chain Primark has started its payment of 9 million dollars in damages to the victims.
580 workers and their family
The nearly 6.5 million euro is dedicated to (the families) of 580 workers who were employed by New Wave Bottoms, a Primark supplier, at the time of the disaster. The factory had a work shop on the second of eight floors of the Rana Plaza building.
“Within a week of the collapse, Primark committed to paying long-term compensation to the workers of Primark supplier, New Wave Bottoms, as quickly as possible. Since then, we have been working to enable the payments to be made. With the first anniversary of Rana Plaza fast approaching, we are determined to meet this responsibility to workers in our supply chain”, Primark said.
Rana Plaza Donors Trust Fund seeks more money
Primark will also place one million dollars in the Rana Plaza Donors Trust Fund, a fund for all victims of the disaster, on top of the 2 million dollars it had already donated. All in all, the clothing chain will pay 12 million dollars in damages and aid.
Some parties hope that this will push other chains involved to pay what they had previously promised to pay. The UN International Labour Organization currently manages the Rana Plaza Donors Trust Fund and is tasked with gathering some 40 million dollars.
However, Primark is only the eighth brand that has publicly announced its contribution, following in the footsteps of Bonmarché, El Corte Inglés, Inditex, Mango, Mascot, Premier Clothing and Loblaw. Not even 10 million dollars has been gathered so far, despite the contributions of those eight chains.
C&A said it also contributed half a million dollars, with German KiK and Polish Cropp contributing (unannounced) numbers, but there is no trace (yet) of these contributions on the website of the International Labour Organization.