Factory fire compensation campaign against German retailer KiK escalates

published 28-10-2015 15:35, last modified 02-11-2015 12:03
Campaign for compensation escalates in the face of German retailer’s continual refusal to fulfill obligation towards factory fire victims
Factory fire compensation campaign against German retailer KiK escalates

Rows of taxis in front of a KiK store

Over a month since the third anniversary of world’s worst garment factory fire, in which the Ali Enterprises factory in Pakistan burned to the ground killing over 250 people, and German retailer KiK continues to refuse to engage in good faith negotiations to determine long-term compensation for the victims.

In several of their public statements since the third anniversary, KiK knowingly misrepresented facts about the tragedy and the subsequent agreement reached regarding immediate relief and long-term compensation for the victims.

Following the Ali Enterprises factory disaster in September 2012, on 21 December 2012, KiK signed a legal agreement, committing to make an initial contribution to an immediate relief fund established and managed by the venerable Singh High Court Commission in Pakistan. As per the agreement, KiK paid into the immediate relief fund, but has yet to fulfill the other requirements stipulated by the agreement, notably engaging in good faith negotiations to determine long-term compensation and to pay US$ 250,000 for future labour standard enforcement.

“Not only does KiK have an ethical obligation towards the victims, KiK also maintains a legal obligation to fulfill all the conditions of the agreement they signed”, says Berndt Hinzmann, with the German organisation INKOTA, an affiliate of the Clean Clothes Campaign. “Whatever tactic they employ to try and get out of fulfilling their responsibilities will not change this fact: KiK must negotiate and settle long-term compensation including for loss of income and medical expenses as per the ILO convention C121, as well as for pain and suffering and other compensation. It’s sincerely regrettable that KiK’s various stalling tactics only serve to further cause harm to the victims of this horrific tragedy.”

The Clean Clothes Campaign (CCC) with its German partner and affiliate INKOTA recently launched an advertising campaign in Berlin, where over the next week, velo taxis will host campaign ads throughout Berlin. Action days with the velo taxis and the #MakeKiKPay ads are planned for 28 and 30 October in Berlin.

Press briefings in connection with these action days will be held on:

  • 28. October 2015, 13.00 Uhr/ Aktion KiK-Filiale ­ Grunerstraße 7, 10179 Berlin
  • 30. October 2015, 11.00 Uhr/ Aktion between Kanzleramt, Bundestag and Reichstag

 

The advertising campaign is only the latest action in the global campaign against KiK demanding long-term compensation for the Ali Enterprises factory fire victims. The CCC and INKOTA are also organising an upcoming advocacy tour in Berlin, during which Shahida Parveen, a widow as a result of the disaster and who started an online petition against KiK, along with representatives from international organisations will participate in various events.

The CCC has been working with numerous international partners including global unions, IndustriALL and UNI, in campaigning for compensation for the victims of Ali Enterprises.

“KiK should know that they will eventually be held to account. Without a doubt citizens around the world, especially in Germany, will continue to show their support for this campaign and KiK should finally act and quickly end this stalemate so that Shahida and all the victims families can finally move on with rebuilding their lives,” says Berndt Hinzmann.

 

 

NOTES

  • KiK was the only confirmed buyer at the Ali Enterprises factory. At the time of the fire, the factory’s production was dedicated to making jeans for KiK’s own brand ‘Okay Men’.
  • Shahida Parveen’s online petition has the support of thousands from around the world and is available here: bitly.com/makekikpay
  • The campaign advocacy tour, organised by the CCC and German partners, will take place 23 – 26 November 2015 in Berlin. Media interviews are available upon request with Shahida Parveen, a widower from the tragedy, and Farhat Fatima, representative from Pakistan Institute of Labour Education and Research (PILER).
  • For more information about CCC’s campaign to #makeKiKpay, see: www.cleanclothes.org/ranaplaza/ali-enterprises-fire. The legal agreement reached between KiK and PILER is available for download here.
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