Rana Plaza fund gets 44pc of estimated $40m compensation money

Staff Correspondent

The Rana Plaza Coordination Committee, a body of representatives of global trade unions, retailers, factory owners and governments, has failed to collect even half of the committed fund of US$ 40 million to pay workers and families of the victims who were killed in the building collapse.
In September 2013, national and international stakeholders came together to form the committee to develop a comprehensive and independent process that would deliver support to the victims, and their families and dependants in a manner consistent with international labour standards.
As a neutral chair of the committee, International Labour Organisation established the Rana Plaza Donors’ Trust Fund in January 2014 to collect contributions from buyers and other private donors.
The committee urged 29 global brands that procured products from the five factories housed in the Rana Plaza to contribute to the Trust Fund, but most of the brands are yet to pay.
In last six months a total of US$ 17.7 million has been deposited into the fund which is only 44.25 per cent of the committed amount.
The eight-storey Rana Plaza at Savar, which housed five apparel factories and a market, collapsed on April 24, 2013, leaving more than 1,100 people, mostly apparel workers, killed and over 1,500 injured.
‘It is frustrating that less than 50 per cent of the expected US$ 40 million is yet to be collected and most of the brands did not contribute,’ IndustriALL Bangladesh Council secretary general Roy Ramesh Chandra told New Age on Friday.
He said if the 29 global
brands that procured products from the five factories housed in the Rana Plaza contributed 0.2 per cent of their profit into the fund the expected US$ 40 million would be available as the brands gained a net profit of over US$ 2 billion in last year.
‘It is a shame and painful that the workers and  the families of the victims who were killed in the building collapse did not get compensation even after one-and-a-half year of the tragic incident.
The coordination committee in March had decided that a total of 3,639 workers, who worked at the five garment factories housed in the collapsed Rana Plaza building at Savar, and their family would get Tk 50,000 each from the Rana Plaza Donors’ Trust Fund.
As per the decision of the coordination committee, payment for 580 workers of New Wave Bottoms, one of the five clothing factories housed in Rana Plaza, had been made by Primark, a British retailer.
Rest of the workers or their family members are yet to receive any compensation.



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