Multi-million compensation demand to C&A and Kik for Tazreen fire victims
EU supports labour group's call to textile companies to join independent Bangladesh Fire and Building Safety Agreement
Bangladeshi trade unions and international organisations Bangladeshi trade unions and international organizations call on all brands sourcing from the devastated Tazreen Fashions factory, which burnt down 24 November 2012 killing at least 112 workers, to ensure compensation, emergency relief and medical treatment to all those affected by the fire. The brands are also urged, along with other key brands and stakeholders, for an immediate and transparent investigation into the events surrounding the fire and to take steps to prevent future tragedies in the industry.
The Clean Clothes Campaign and Bangladeshi trade unions calculate that at least 3 million Euro compensation should be paid to the families of the deceased for damages and loss of earnings. In addition, brands are expected to provide compensation for injured workers, cover costs of emergency relief and medical treatment and compensate loss of earnings suffered by workers recovering and those left unemployed as a result of the disaster. The full compensation package should cover educational fees for the children of the deceased. Immediate remuneration is vital, as a majority of workers still awaits compensation and is building debts due to medical costs and the loss of their jobs.
“The final compensation should be at least double 3 million Euros when the full impact on injured and unemployed workers is known, and the real loss of families of workers that died is taken into account. The figure is a drop in the ocean for global brands, but means survival for Bangladesh garment workers who can earn as little as 30 Euros per month,” says Tessel Pauli from the Clean Clothes Campaign. “Brands must also take long term preventative steps to prevent future fires. No more workers should burn to death making our clothes.”
All brands sourcing from the factory, the Bangladeshi government, Tazreen’s owner and the Bangladeshi Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association are expected to contribute to the fund.
Tazreen produced for a host of well known brand names, including C&A, KIK, Walmart, Li & Fung, Edinburgh Woollen Mill, Disney, Dickies, Sean Comb (ENYCE) and Kmart/Sears.
To prevent future tragedies, campaigners call on brands to sign on to the Bangladesh Fire and Building Safety Agreement, developed by Bangladeshi and global unions and labour rights organisations. Last week, the European Parliament adopted a resolution calling on all relevant brands to support the agreement. Amongst other actions, the Agreement provides for independent inspections of supplier factories, public reporting, mandatory repairs and renovations, a central role for workers and unions in both oversight and implementation, supplier contracts with sufficient financing and adequate pricing, and a binding contract to make these commitments enforceable.
Companies PvH (Tommy Hilfiger and Calvin Klein) and Tchibo have already signed the Bangladesh Fire and Building Safety Agreement, which becomes effective once four companies sign up. Allowing trade unions to freely operate in workplaces will also play an important role in fire prevention by giving workers a voice in their workplaces.
The Clean Clothes Campaign urges buyers from Tazreen Fashions who have not yet admitted to sourcing from the factory to step forward and take full responsibility.