As a global campaign launches to persuade corporates sourcing from Bangladesh to compensate the Rana Plaza factory disaster survivors and victims' families, TUC General Secretary Frances O'Grady has written to the Chairman of Benetton asking the company to make an appropriate donation to the Rana Plaza Arrangement fund, managed by the ILO.
Dear Mr Benetton,
As the first anniversary of the appalling disaster at Rana Plaza approaches, I am contacting you to urge your company to pay compensation to the thousands of families that lost a family member and to the workers who continue to suffer pain and injury as a result of the collapse.
On 24 April 2013, 1138 people were killed and over 2000 people injured, when the Rana Plaza building collapsed. Of course, nothing can be done to bring back those killed, or to reverse the psychological and physical scars that survivors will carry with them for the rest of their lives. However something can and should be done to alleviate the financial and health impacts.
Since September 2013, the Rana Plaza Coordination Committee, chaired by the International Labour Organisation and bringing together the Bangladeshi Government, the local and global garment industry, international and local trade unions and civil society, has been developing a scheme to ensure all the Rana Plaza victims, their families and dependents will receive payments to cover the losses they suffered as a result of the disaster.
The scheme is now ready and all those involved are confident that it will provide a credible, independent and transparent process for ensuring all those affected will finally get the compensation they deserve.
The Rana Plaza Donor Trust Fund, which will make the payments so desperately needed by the survivors of Rana Plaza, is now open and awaiting donations.
A minimum of $40 million is needed to enable all those affected to receive the support they need. It is vital that this money is donated prior to 24 April. As the survivors approach this terrible anniversary we want to make sure that they know they no longer have to suffer the financial hardship inflicted on them by this tragedy.
Benetton was one of the companies with a relationship with at least one of the factories housed in the Rana Plaza building. As such your company has a responsibility for ensuring those families affected receive the compensation they need.
On behalf of the British trade union movement and its 6 million members, I urge Benetton to make a significant contribution to the Fund and publicly declare that such a contribution has been made. Given the $40 million needed, your donation should be sufficient to ensure that this total will be reached, reflect the size of your company and take into account the direct relationship your company had with at least one of the factories in the building.
Details of the Fund and how to donate are at www.ranaplaza-arrangement.org
I look forward to hearing soon that Benetton has taken positive action to support the Rana Plaza families.
General Secretary, TUC