INTERNATIONAL trade unions and anti-poverty campaigners have welcomed news of compensation for the victims of Bangladesh’s Rana Plaza disaster.
The Rana Plaza Co-ordination Committee announced on Monday that it had raised sufficient funds to make full payments to all remaining victims or their relatives over the next few weeks.
Some 1,129 people died when the shoddily built shopping, office and garment factory complex collapsed in 2013. Its owner and dozens of business owners and government officials have been charged with murder.
The committee, which represents industry stakeholders, said that it had reached its £20 million target after a significant sum was paid in last week.
Some 70 per cent of the awards to 2,800 claimants had already been paid by April this year.
International Labour Organisation director-general Guy Ryder, whose organisation founded and chaired the committee, welcomed the action by the Bangladeshi government, the country’s employers, workers, international brands, trade unions and NGOs on the committee.
“We must now work together to ensure that accidents can be prevented in the future and that a robust national employment injury insurance scheme is established, so that victims of any future accidents will be swiftly and justly compensated and cared for,” he said.
But War on Want sweatshops campaigner Owen Espley cautioned: “We will not rest until the exploitative global garment industry is held accountable and the people who make our clothes are paid a living wage, enjoy safe conditions and are free to join a trade union.”