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1 July 2014 | Will Green
The UK government and six others have called on retailers to pay into a compensation fund for the victims of the Rana Plaza garment factory disaster.
A joint statement issued at the Global Forum on Responsible Business at the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), said that while “several international companies that sourced in Rana Plaza, and even companies that did not source in Rana Plaza, donated generously to the trust fund”, there was “regret that other companies, some of which have been sourcing at Rana Plaza, didn’t contribute at all or not enough”.
The statement, agreed by UK minister of state for international development Alan Duncan, said the fund needed $40 million (£23.4 million) in order to fully compensate the victims, but only $17 million (£9.9 million) has been donated so far. The other countries backing the statement were France, Italy, Denmark, Spain, Germany and the Netherlands.
The TUC said it was the “responsibility of every company sourcing high-street fashion from Bangladesh to donate an appropriate sum so that the surviving workers and the families of those who died can start to rebuild their lives”.
TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady said: “More than 12 months on from the tragedy it’s disgraceful that stores who sourced clothes from the factory still haven’t paid a penny into the fund, while others have donated only a minimal amount.
“Millions of pounds more are needed so that victims of the collapse and their families can start to get on with their lives.
“It’s encouraging to see governments from across Europe joining unions and other campaigners to put pressure on those companies who still seem reluctant to contribute to the Rana Plaza fund.”
The Rana Plaza factory collapse in April 2013 claimed the lives of 1,135 people.