In an unprecedented move, discount fashion retailer Primark has promised short- and long-term compensation and food aid for the victims and their families of the Rana Plaza building that collapsed in Savar, close to the Bangladeshi capital of Dhakaon April 24.
Three weeks ago, the company belonging to Associated British Foods had announced that it would pay for immediate aid to the victims and their families – even those working for garment factories not making clothes for Primark but about 20 other international brands. This initial aid was to be paid out over a six-week period.
The second stage of compensation addresses long-term aid and the workers’ employment prospects. Once a list has been finalised of everyone who worked in the five garment factories (Ether Tex, New Wave Bottoms, New Wave Style, Phantom Apparels and Phantom Tex), Primark will look at long-term compensation that takes the workers’ loss of earnings into account, the needs of their families and adequate future employment. Lastly, Primark will provide food aid for around 1,000 families weekly on an ongoing basis.
"The company was the first brand to acknowledge that its suppliers were housed in the Rana Plaza complex. The company was the first brand to commit to paying compensation to workers and their dependents. And the company was the first UL brand to sign up to the Accord on Building and Fire Safety. The company is now extending to help workers who made clothing for its competitors. And the company is working as fast as possible to devise a scheme to provide long-term, secure assistance to workers in its supplier factory," listed Primark its accomplishments in a statement.
Such uncompromising extension of help to even those workers supplying competitors is sure to inspire goodwill in the industry and among customers. “Primark is doing the right thing by offering immediate support for the victims and families of the Rana Plaza disaster. We’re pleased that Primark has also confirmed its commitment to providing long-term compensation and support, which it is developing with credible labour representatives. This is a welcome move, and we encourage the other brands that sourced from Rana Plaza to follow suit,” commented Peter McAllister, director of the Ethical Trading Initiative.
Images: Primark flagship store in Manchester / Gene Hunt / Astley Bridge