From the TUC

$9 million still owed to Rana Plaza victims, two years on: Tell firms to #payup  

01 Apr 2015, By

In 23 days time it will be two years since the Rana Plaza factory collapsed in Savar district, Bangladesh killing 1138 workers, injuring thousands more and leaving 500 children orphaned.

Shamefully companies have paid so little into the Rana Plaza Trust Fund established by the ILO that, two years on, the victims of this disaster are still waiting for full compensation. $9 million is still missing from the fund which means workers have been left unable to cover medical costs and the families of those who died have not been able to rebuild their lives.

The global unions IndustriALL and UNI global have named Benetton, Walmart, Mango and US company Children’s Place as key targets.  These brands have been identified as sourcing from the Rana Plaza factory yet have paid very little into the fund.  Wal-mart alone has a worldwide turnover of $485.651 billion and yet has made an estimated contribution to the compensation fund of just $1 million.

While these are standout examples, the need to raise the missing funds for the victims is so great that the TUC has long been calling for ALL companies that source from Bangladesh to pay into the fund.

The TUC believes that governments have an important role to play in compelling companies to meet this responsibility. The TUC General Secretary has previously written to DFID to urge the UK government to encourage companies to pay into the fund.

Last week, at a meeting with trade union representatives including the TUC in Berlin, Chancellor Angela Merkel said that it was inexplicable and ‘embarrassing’ that companies hadn’t paid into the Rana Plaza fund almost two years after the factory collapse.

Trade unions at this meeting called on the Chancellor to encourage the other G7 countries to make a coordinated call to companies to contribute the remaining $9 million to the fund.

However, the responsibility for providing compensation for the victims lies too with the government of Bangladesh that also must take steps to establish a permanent social security system for workplace injuries in accordance with ILO Convention 121. This would mean future victims of industrial disasters do not have to rely on piecemeal voluntary processes for compensation as there has been with Rana Plaza.

Please support the campaign for compensation for the victims of Rana Plaza by sharing the campaign photos updated daily in the run up to the April 24th anniversary on the IndustriALL site and tweeting UNI-global’s countdown to the anniversary using the hashtags #payup for #Ranaplaza.