Benetton fails on worker safety in Bangladesh

  • Investigation reveals Benetton fails to disclose full list of suppliers to Bangladesh safety programme
  • Benetton called on to pay $5 million in compensation to Rana Plaza victims.

The Clean Clothes Campaign (CCC) is today calling on Benetton to live up to their promises after an investigation conducted by the journalists of Presa Diretta, in collaboration with Campagna Abiti Puliti (CCC Italy), revealed that Benetton has violated the terms of the Bangladesh Accord, which it signed in the aftermath of the Rana Plaza tragedy, where 1138 people were killed and almost 2000 were injured when the eight story building collapsed. At the same time Benetton continues to deny compensation to workers injured in the disaster and to the families of those killed.

Benetton signed the Accord in May 2013 under pressure from a worldwide campaign which generated over a million signatures. Full disclosure of all supplier factories is a basic principle of the Accord, whose objective is to ensure that all factories used by its members meet international building safety standards. The film taken by the journalists shows that at least two Benetton suppliers had not been disclosed to the Accord and did not show up on the public list of factories that will be inspected by the Accord team. By failing to disclose their suppliers Benetton not only violates this legally binding agreement but continues to put those workers at risk of yet another factory disaster.

This is not the first time Benetton has failed to fulfil its obligations or public commitments in relation to this disaster. Benetton initially denied they were sourcing from one of the Rana Plaza factories last April, but were forced to acknowledge their connection after photos of their products among the rubble were published worldwide. In September 2013 Benetton joined the Rana Plaza Coordination Committee which was set up to establish a process, now known as the Arrangement, to deliver payments to those injured and the families of those killed at Rana Plaza. Despite being part of the Committee that drafting the agreement, Benetton refused to sign the Arrangement, withdrew from the Committee and to date have refused to contribute a penny to the Fund.

As the labour movement worldwide approaches the first anniversary of the Rana Plaza the Campagna Abiti Puliti, along with the rest of the Clean Clothes Campaign network across Europe are demanding that Benetton change their attitude to the victims of the Rana Plaza disaster and make an immediate public donation of $5million to the Rana Plaza Donors Trust Fund.

Deborah Luccetti from the Campagna Abiti Puliti stated:

“The Clean Clothes Campaign has full confidence that the Accord will add these suppliers to the list for inspection, but it is clear that Benetton is still not taking responsibility for the rights of the workers making their clothes”.

She added:

“We call on Benetton to change its attitude toward the right for victims to be fairly compensated by signing the Arrangement and making a contribution of at least 5 milion dollars into the international Trust Fund. We expert Benetton to announce it publicly by the next RP anniversary, this way leading the process to get justice for the victims. We call on the other italian brands sourcing from Rana Plaza, Manifattura Corona and Yes Zee, to do same.”

It’s time to put an end to the unbelivable pain RP victims are still suffering and Campagna Abiti Puliti (CCC Italy) along with other Clean Clothes Campaigns across Europe and the US labour rights group, International Labor Rights Forum, are inviting people to join us in calling on Benetton to Pay Up!