Firms urged to pay into fund for Bangladesh factory victims

Mon Feb 24, 2014 5:52am EST
 
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* $40 million fund sought for injured, families of dead

* Only five brands commit to pay up so far

* Bangladesh is second biggest garment producer after China

BERLIN, Feb 24 (Reuters) - Campaigners are urging all 27 clothing brands linked to a collapsed Bangladeshi factory that killed more than 1,100 people to pay into a compensation fund by the anniversary of the disaster in April.

The disaster has galvanised most of the clothing industry's big names to work together to improve safety standards but many brands have shunned a fund that is trying to raise $40 million for families of the dead and over 2,000 injured.

The Clean Clothes Campaign (CCC), an Amsterdam-based group lobbying for better conditions in the garment industry, on Monday demanded that all 27 brands linked to factories in the Rana Plaza complex should contribute by the first anniversary of the collapse.

"Compensation efforts to date have been completely haphazard, unequal, unpredictable and non-transparent, and have left large groups of victims with nothing," Ineke Zeldenrust of the CCC said in a statement.

Discount fashion retailer Primark, owned by Associated British Foods, and Canadian grocer Loblaw have already paid short-term support to Rana Plaza workers, but have expressed frustration at slow progress in setting up a fund.

The CCC said the only brands to have committed to pay into the fund so far are Loblaw, Mascot of Denmark and Spanish chains El Corte Ingles, Mango and Zara-owner Inditex.   Continued...