Primark has agreed to pay compensation to victims of the Rana Plaza building collapse in Bangladesh, just weeks before the on-year anniversary of the disaster in which 1,100 garment workers were killed.
The retailer said it will begin making long-term payments to the 580 workers (or their dependents) of its supplier New Wave Bottoms, which occupied the second floor of the eight-storey building.
The $9 million (£5.4m) in payments will be paid directly by the retailer. It will pay a further $1 million to workers in its competitors’ supply chain. This money will be paid to the Rana Plaza Donors Trust Fund chaired by the International Labour Organisation (ILO) for distribution. This is in addition to the $2 million it has already distributed to these workers or their families.
“We are announcing today that we are paying a total of $12 million as a result of the collapse of the Rana Plaza building in Bangladesh. Within a week of the collapse, Primark committed to paying long-term compensation to the workers of Primark supplier, New Wave Bottoms, as quickly as possible. Since then, we have been working to enable the payments to be made,” a spokesperson for the retailer said.
“With the first anniversary of Rana Plaza fast approaching, we are determined to meet this responsibility to workers in our supply chain. We are therefore pleased to be in a position to now press ahead with payments.
“Primark has also tried to minimise the hardship caused by delay in long term compensation payments reaching all the victims. For that reason we have paid short-term financial assistance equivalent to nine months wages to all 3,600 Rana Plaza workers, most of whom were making clothes for our competitors. We have also announced today a $1m payment to the Rana Plaza Donors Trust Fund.”