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British brands pressured over Rana Plaza compensation

BRITISH big business came under pressure from MPs yesterday after failing to cough-up compensation to victims of the 2013 Rana Plaza disaster in Bangladesh.

The inquest held by the all-party parliamentary group on ethics and sustainability was supported by the TUC and ethical trading organisation Labour Behind the Label.

Shadow international development minister Alison McGovern told the Star that it was shocking that many of the injured workers and the families of the dead were still awaiting full compensation payments.

The collapse of the Bangladeshi clothing factory, which catered to international labels, took place over 15 months ago. 

Some British brands working on the site such as Matalan are yet to contribute to the official Rana Plaza Donors Trust Fund.

Labour Behind the Label campaigns coordinator Anna McMullen said her organisation welcomed the help of government into pressuring big companies to pay into the fund.

“What message do we send to the world about how UK companies do business if, when disasters happen, UK brands fail to act responsibly?,” she added.

Matalan has insisted that it has done its bit by donating to the poverty relief group Building Relationships Across Communities.

Yet it was reported earlier this year that the American branch of the charity had only made £1.3 million available to the Rana Plaza Donors Trust Fund — compared to Primark’s individual donation of £600,000.

According to the United Nations International Labour Organisation, which supervises the fund, £13 million are still owed. 

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