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Saturday, April 25, 2015

When workers die, no company can walk away - Al Jazeera English

When workers die, no company can walk away - Al Jazeera English


Opinion




When workers die, no company can walk away

Two years after the Rana Plaza disaster, customers demand that companies take responsibility for their workers.


Relative of a victim cries in front of a monument erected in memory of the Rana Plaza building collapse [AP]

http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/2015/04/workers-die-company-walk-150424105247874.html



About the Author

Dalia Hashad

Dalia Hashad is an attorney and a campaign director at the global advocacy group Avaaz.org
Two years ago, the eight-story Rana Plaza fashion building crashed to the ground in just 90 seconds, 1,134 people died, some sawed through their limbs to escape; it was a record-breaking disaster. But out of its painful legacy, a new model has emerged that brings responsibility for worker health and safety to the doorstep of global brands.
Often, desperately poor people work in dangerous sprawling factories to produce cheap products for a suite of famous corporations. But when disaster strikes, those same familiar names distance themselves from the source, leaving the people that power their businesses behind.
The Rana Plaza Donor Trust fund, set up by the UN's International Labor Organization, changes that. It independently assesses the money owed to victims and their families to cover lost income and critical medical support.

Some companies that made their clothes in Rana Plaza stepped in to pay their share straight away. For others, it's been a two year battle.

Benetton compensation

Last week, Benetton's CEO Marco Airoldi announced his company will contribute $1.1m to the Rana Plaza victims in Bangladesh.
For two years Benetton had refused to pay any compensation at all. After two months of pressure by more than one million Avaaz.org members, the company was convinced it had to step forward.
Benetton's contribution is not nearly enough to ease the death and suffering of people who made clothes for the fashion giant. But the huge public outcry and Benetton's announcement sends a crystal clear message: When workers die, no company can walk away.

Every major global brand with direct links to the factory has now contributed to the Rana Plaza fund and citizens have the stragglers in their sites. A generation ago, this would have been unthinkable.
In 1984, when a huge pesticide plant in Bhopal, India, exploded, the American company Union Carbide walked away from the disaster, leaving chemicals on the ground that continue to poison families to this day.

Responsibility

Now customers expect, and demand loudly, that companies take responsibility for all of the workers who touch their products, from those in the front offices and retails stores to the people on the factory floor.

Our work is not done. After every claim has been assessed, the fund has determined it is still $6m short of fulfilling the needs of those so deeply impacted by this disaster.
And there are large national companies still refusing to pay their fair share. The US' JCPenney; France's Carrefour; Germany's NKD and Adler Modemarkte; and the UK's Lee Cooper have not paid a cent.

As we remember those who died two years ago, there's one powerful way to honour them: Our pressure can make sure all the companies involved with the Rana Plaza disaster pay into the groundbreaking fund for victims.

Together we can send a clear signal that customers don't just want high quality products - we demand high quality companies.
Dalia Hashad is a campaign director of the advocacy group Avaaz.org.

COMMENT:

THE ARTICLE IS A REMINDER TO THE NATION OF THE CARELESSNESS OF THE TOP TO BOTTOM PEOPLE RESPONSIBLE TO TAKE STIFF ACTION AGAINST THE PEOPLE RESPONSIBLE FOR SUCH A MURDER OF THE GARMENT WORKERS INTENTIONALLY.

BUT ALAS! WHAT A COUNTRY that has ALLOWED the EVENT was allowed to flow on OWNER'S interest not on legal interest to award Justice to the aggrieved not even compensating them even as promised immediately after the incident.

But the most unfortunate thing happened when Prime minister’s office seems to be involved in controversial mater with regard to huge fund fraud that might necessitate criminal investigation .  

It is reported that concerning officials are in a turmoil to solve the issue inclusive of a minister issuing  statement on the fund earlier contradict the recent statement made by a very senior official that there is no fund in the name of Rana plaza in Prime minister’s office over TV.

However, the matter seems it is a dead subject as per their consideration but would be taken up with the change of the Government in future as is expected as sufficient hard documentary evidence to prove such denial statement is there  with those who all contest such statement of the prime minister’s  office staff.

The other thing is people wants the government to stop corruption and purchase earth quake evacuation equipments for each divisions separately and after recovering the finance looted by the people in collusion of the bankers during the watch of the government. 

This they want and demands because they don’t want to see another delay as was seen on such RANA calamities RECOVERY OF THE DEAD. The subject is strengthened by the recent Earth Quake occurring in Nepal affecting Bangladesh and other surrounding countries.  

The people if not arrested then they should be found and brought back to the country and publicly hanged amending  legislating  new law with the provision of death punishment particularly for this case.   


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