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TUC letter to DFID on fund for Rana Plaza victims

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Research and reports
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The TUC General Secretary has written to Justine Greening, Secretary of State for the International Development calling on DFID to use the meetings at the OECD on Responsible Business Conduct June 23 – 27 to publicly call companies to pay an adequate amount into the Rana Plaza Trust Fund.  $23 million (£13 million) is still outstanding.  The majority of the victims will have their claims processed in the coming weeks. If the funding gap is not filled, it will not be possible to make payments beyond the first instalment.

 

Dear Justine

Bangladesh compensation

It is six months since the ILO-administered Rana Plaza Donors Trust Fund was established to support the victims of the Rana Plaza collapse.  $23 million is still outstanding.  This means families that have been severely affected by this disaster will be left without the income or medical payments they deserve and require to start rebuilding their lives. The majority of the victims will have their claims processed in the coming weeks. If the funding gap is not filled, it will not be possible to make payments beyond the first instalment.

I urge you to use the occasion of the OECD Ministerial on June 26 to call publicly on companies in the UK sourcing from Bangladesh to pay an adequate amount into the fund.

The Foreign Minister of the Netherlands has already made this appeal publicly to international companies.  I encourage you to collaborate with them and to seek to involve other governments in this effort. 

From 23-27 June the OECD is hosting several meetings on Responsible Business Conduct, including the biannual meeting of the National Contact Points of the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises, a Ministerial meeting, and the OECD Global Forum. Stakeholders will be present to discuss the aftermath of Rana Plaza and will be expecting to be informed about the progress made on this vital issue of the compensation fund.  We trust that commitments will be made and reflected in the outcomes of these meetings. 

It is also important that pressure is applied to the Bangladesh Government to meet its commitment outlined in the National Action Plan to establish a permanent social security system for workplace injuries in accordance with ILO Convention 121. This has been a long-standing request from the corporate community. The systems that have been set up for the Rana Plaza victims under the chairmanship of the ILO can serve as basis for such more permanent solution, provided that sufficient funds are collected to pay all the victims the full awards that they are entitled to. The evaluation of the Global Sustainability Compact for the Garment Industry, signed by the European Commission and the Government of Bangladesh in July 2013, provides a key opportunity in this regard.

I look forward to hearing from you about how you are raising the issue of compensation with companies and the Bangladesh government.

Yours sincerely

FRANCES O’GRADY

General Secretary