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Primark to pay out 6 million pounds to the victims of Rana Plaza

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Fashion

Value fashion retailer Primark announced today the start of its long-term commitment to pay an additional 10 million dollars, or 6 million pounds, in compensation to the victims of the Rana Plaza factory collapse in Bangladesh. Weeks before the anniversary of the Bangladeshi catastrophe,

Primark revealed plans on making payments equalling 9 million dollars, or 5.4 million pounds, to the 581 workers or their dependent families, working for its supplier New Wave Bottoms, which was situated on the second floor of the building in Dhaka. An additional one million dollars, or 600,000 pounds, is set to go towards a communal compensation pot for the other 3,600 workers who were seriously stricken when the factory complex collapsed last year April.

Primark joins the growing list of companies to announce payment into the ILO compensation scheme

The compensation is set to be paid out in cash, depending on the effect of the injury the worker suffered during the factory collapse, or depending on the family of the victims who lost their lives in the disaster lost wages and to be paid within a year.

Primark

also aims to help workers or their families who may receive large sums of compensation and may be unsure of how to manage large sums of money. The fashion retailer is working alongside with the Bangladesh National Womens Lawyers Association and Naripokkho, who will offer assistance and ongoing financial support to the factory victims and their dependants.

Primark joins the growing list of companies to announce payment into the ILO compensation scheme The payments are set to take place under the influence of a compensation scheme endorsed by the UN agency the International Labour Organisation (ILO), according to a deal made between the two during a meeting which took place in Geneva last week. Other companies which have committed to paying into the compensation fund include Inditex, Mango, Bonmarché, Loblaw, El Corte Inglés, Mascot, KiK, Cropp, Premier Clothing, and C&A, according to the Guardian.

Primark aims to began its payment scheme this week to ensure the New Wave Bottoms workers are paid in full in 12 months time, however the new compensation deal will not be completed until the worker's rectification coordinating committee, which includes the Bangladeshi government, factory delegates, workers unions and right groups such as the Clean Clothes Campaign and IndustriALL Global Union meet on Tuesday.

The value fashion retailer request to begin payments will be held up against the ILO's ongoing struggle to make sure that all workers affected by the disaster receive payment through the communal process and no workers or their families are left empty-handed. In a press statement released today, Primark assure that payments would be delivered to victims "through the BRAC and Bkash banks, the mechanism used for the distribution of short term financial assistance."

A company spokesman for Primark said: "We are announcing today that we are paying a total of 12 million dollars as a result of the collapse of the Rana Plaza building in Bangladesh. Within a week of the collapse, Primark committed to paying long-term compensation to the workers of Primark supplier, New Wave Bottoms, as quickly as possible. Since then, we have been working to enable the payments to be made."

"With the first anniversary of Rana Plaza fast approaching, we are determined to meet this responsibility to workers in our supply chain. We are therefore pleased to be in a position to now press ahead with payments. Primark has also tried to minimize the hardship caused by delay in long term compensation payments reaching all the victims...We support the International Labour Organisation in urging other retailers sourcing from Rana Plaza to donate to the Trust Fund, so that it can pay out in full to the remaining victims."

Nevertheless, despite the value fashion retailer stepping up and keeping to its commitment, there are still ongoing concerns that the differences in the amount or timing of payments given to the separate groups of victims who were working for different retailers during the factory collapse may lead to a renewed feeling discontent in the country, which has witnessed protests over the year concerning the factory collapse and sub sequential treatment of the victims.

Bangladesh Rana Plaza
Clean Clothes Campaign
IndustriALL Global Union
International LabourOrganisation
Primark