Sadichchha Pokharel

Editor (Asia: South)


DHAKA – Budget clothing brand chain Primark has offered to provide long-term compensation to the victims and the families of those who were killed in the Rana Plaza factory collapse in April earlier this year. The disaster killed 1,129 people and injured more than 2, 500.

The move comes after campaigners pressured leading brands to provide arrangements for the victims and to improve their working conditions. Five hundred and fifty workers will be given short-term compensation equal to three months’ wages for now. Long-term arrangements will be finalised based on individuals’ needs. Experts at Dhaka University, doctors and non-governmental organisations will be making medical and vulnerability assessments of the workers in the future.

Rana Plaza factory was supplying 28 brands from around the world before the disaster happened. The rest of the companies are still considering whether or not to follow Primark’s lead.

The minimum wage in Bangladesh is £24 per month and the short-term compensation by Primark will supposedly “alleviate immediate hardship”. Manual workers across South Asia are known to work under poor condition, and often get exploited by big international companies. Primark’s decision to compensate has been allegedly influenced by concerns over UK consumers’ indifference to the disaster. The company has been pressuring other brands to agree to the compensation scheme and help speed up the process.

Image Courtesy: Wikimedia Commons