Two years after the Tazreen disaster that killed more than 120 people trapped in a factory fire in Dhaka, Bangladesh, an agreement has been made between IndustriALL Global Union and their local affiliates, the Clean Clothes Campaign and retailer C&A on delivering compensation to the victims.
On 24 November 2012, more than 120 people burnt to death after becoming trapped behind locked exits at the Tazreen Fashions factory, which supplied clothes to global brands. In addition, 300 people were severely injured in the fire.
Over recent days the parties have been engaged in ongoing negotiations facilitated by the ILO to agree principles for an agreement. Details of the programme will be finalized over coming days, with the hope that compensation will finally be delivered.
As part of this agreement, C&A Foundation has pledged to contribute a significant amount towards full and fair compensation for Tazreen victims, in addition to those funds that have already been committed. The final details of pledge will be worked out and made public once the cost of the package has been finalized.
Jyrki Raina, general secretary of IndustriALL Global Union, said:
“On the second anniversary of Tazreen, we are very pleased to say that compensation for the survivors and the families of victims is finally in sight. The outline agreement between IndustriALL, the Clean Clothes Campaign and C&A provides the principles for a compensation process to give much-needed financial assistance and allow survivors to get essential medical care.”
Tazreen Fashions customers included Walmart, Disney, El Corte Ingles, Edinburgh Woollen Mill, Sears, Dickies, Delat Apparel and Sean John amongst others. Two years on, none of these brands have paid compensation.
Only Hong Kong based Li & Fung, the world’s largest sourcing agent, and C&A Foundation have made some payments through the Bangladesh government. El Corte Ingles and Kik have made informal promises to compensate victims, but these remain to be translated into public pledges.
Jyrki Raina added:
“Now the agreement for a compensation scheme has been reached, we are calling on all the brands that sourced from Tazreen Fashions to pay into the fund. We welcome the lead taken by C&A and other brands must follow. The victims of this terrible tragedy have suffered long enough.”
Walmart was Tazreen Fashion’s biggest customer and workers had just completed a shipment to the US retail giant before the fire. Walmart has yet to compensate victims.
Philip Jennings, general secretary at UNI Global Union, which represents Walmart workers in stores, said:
“We congratulate C&A for taking this important step and call on other brands to follow. We ask that companies such as Walmart, Benetton and Gap do the right thing for the victims of both Tazreen and Rana Plaza, the survivors and their families, and pay into the compensation funds, an adequate and just amount.”
For more information, please contact:
Leonie Guguen, Communications Officer, IndustriALL Global Union
Tel: +41 (0)22 308 50 24
Mobile: +41 (0)79 137 54 36