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Rana Plaza Trust Fund to launch worker payments as of 24 March

19 March, 2014The 3,600 workers and families owed compensation from the Rana Plaza collapse a year ago will finally be able to claim payment as of 24 March. An advance payment of 50,000 BDT (US$650) will be made to every beneficiary before the one-year anniversary on 24 April.

On 18 March the Coordination Committee of the Rana Plaza Trust Fund approved the inclusion of Primark as the eighth brand to publically pay into the fund. Primark will cover the cost of full reimbursement of the 581 workers at the New Wave Bottoms factory, one of five factories at Rana Plaza. All payments and support will be conducted under the auspices of the ILO-chaired Trust Fund.

The initial payment of US$650 will be made between 10 and 24 April. This process will include assistance to all claimants in setting up bank accounts. These payments will total US$2 million. The estimated total required funds are USD 40 million to make payments in line with ILO Convention 121. All stakeholders will continue work to communicate and outreach to all claimants to inform and to finalise a comprehensive database of all 3,600 survivors and families of the killed.

IndustriALL Global Union assistant general secretary Monika Kemperle will be relieved to see Rana Plaza workers finally receive their money:

Months of work under the expert stewardship of the ILO has brought us to this point. The Rana Plaza Trust Fund is a true international standard-setter in line with ILO Convention 121. The job is not finished though, many brands are still yet to contribute while further contributions will be expected from the eight brands that have already paid.
But the one-year anniversary of that terrible disaster will not pass with the 3,600 families still waiting.

The Rana Plaza brands that have not yet publically contributed to the fund are: Adler Modemärkte, Auchan, Ascena Retail, Benetton, C&A, Carrefour, Cato Fashions, Children's Place, Grabalok, Gueldenpfennig, Kids for Fashion, KiK, LPP, Manifattura Corona, Matalan, NKD, PWT, Walmart and Yes Zee.

The 3,600 families of dead workers and injured workers have already received 9 months’ salaries since the tragedy; totaling US$ 2 million that was paid out by Primark, Loblaw of Canada last year also paid three months’ salary to all 3,600 claimants.

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Roy Ramesh, general secretary of the IndustriALL Bangladesh Council underlined the importance of moving forward under a coordinated approach:

“Only by working through the ILO-chaired Trust Fund can all stakeholders ensure effective and transparent payments to the victims of Rana Plaza. The Bangladeshi government, unions and employers have all worked together with international unions and brands to lay the solid foundations of the ILO-led scheme. It is the only viable way forward.”