Time for brands to pay compensation to Bangladesh victims


IndustriALL Global Union is organising meetings in Dhaka on 11 and 12 August to ensure the correct compensation payments are made to victims and survivors of the Tazreen factory fire and the Rana Plaza building collapse.

It is time for those responsible to dig deep and pay the families who are suffering from these avoidable tragedies. Responsibility is shared between the brands and retailers sourcing from Tazreen and Rana Plaza, the factory owners, the BGMEA employers association, and the Bangladeshi government.

The aim is to employ the industry’s best practice compensation mechanism that was developed after the Spectrum factory collapse in Bangladesh in 2005. That formula is in line with ILO Convention 121 on employment injury benefits.

The formula sets out clear guidelines for payment to families of dead and injured workers and takes into account loss of earnings, pain and suffering, and also medical costs, funeral costs and other important family expenses. The estimated long-term compensation for Rana Plaza will be more than 54 million euros (71 million USD). For Tazreen this is 4.3 million euros (5.7 million USD).

Discussions based on this compensation framework have already begun in relation to the Tazreen victims and survivors. Some of the Tazreen buyers had committed to making compensation payments, but the process was stalled in April as the parties dealt with the fallout from Rana Plaza and establishing the Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh. 

IndustriALL Global Union General Secretary Raina stated:

All brands sourcing from those two factories have been invited to the Dhaka discussions. IndustriALL looks forward to working with the committed companies to bring some justice to the dead and injured and their families. Those brands ignoring this opportunity will face criticism in the strongest terms.

The work around the compensation issue is not part of the Bangladesh Accord on Fire and Building Safety. But the strong spirit of cooperation built by the Accord feeds into the process.

General Secretary Raina added:

It is a clear priority for IndustriALL that international standards are respected on this important issue of compensation in the case of Rana Plaza and Tazreen. We should together concretise the precedent of this formula which has already been used in Bangladesh and Cambodia. What we all want is to make the mechanisms agreed in the Bangladesh Accord quickly a reality so that compensating dead and injured garment workers in Bangladesh becomes a thing of the past.

IndustriALL works with various NGO partners. On this major compensation issue the Clean Clothes Campaign makes a vital contribution.

IndustriALL Global Union: Tom Grinter - tgrinter@industriall-union.org +41796934499
Clean Clothes Campaign: Liz Parker - liz@cleanclothes.org +44 1225571912