On April 24th 2013, the Rana Plaza building in Savar, near Dhaka, in Bangladesh collapsed. The building contained several factories which manufactured garments for some 28 brands. One of these factories was supplying Primark. Our thoughts remain with the victims of this disaster, and their families.
Primark has worked with local partners in Bangladesh on a programme of support and compensation for victims. We would like to thank our partners for their expertise and commitment in helping Primark to develop and deliver this programme. The company has also participated fully in the industry's response to begin steps to make garment manufacturing safer in future.
Immediately after the collapse of the building we set up helpdesks near the factory site so that we could identify victims and assess the immediate needs of workers and their families.
We gave emergency food parcels to over 1265 households for five weeks in partnership with a local NGO. Each package contained enough dry food for a family of four for one week, and included rice, dal, potatoes, biscuits, tea, oil, sugar, and salt.
We provided short-term financial assistance equivalent to nine months' salary for 3639 workers and their families - not just the 580 that worked in the factory that supplied Primark. We called on other brands that were using the factories in Rana Plaza to come forward and make similar donations.
To ensure that any funds we gave workers would be safe, each worker was able to open a bank account at one of several worker registration events that we held in Bangladesh. We also visited workers in hospital to open accounts for them there.
We worked with international organisations and local experts to provide long-term financial compensation to the 580 workers and their families who were working in the factory that produced garments for Primark. In March 2014, just less than one year since the building collapse, we began paying compensation payments. We have also contributed to a wider fund called the Rana Plaza Donors Trust Fund, which is chaired by the ILO.
Our scheme was devised with assistance from external experts, and involved medical and vulnerability assessments. The assessments were carried out with the support of Dhaka University Department of Vulnerability Studies and Disaster management, Dhaka University medical faculty, independent doctors, along with support from trade union and our NGO implementation partners.
We provided support for workers who remained in hospital or were receiving medical treatment, working with the United Federation of Garment Workers, a trade union body.
The support provided medicines and medical check-ups for patients; and food and accommodation for patients and their relatives.
We conducted structural surveys in Bangladesh on buildings that contained factories producing Primark clothing. The surveys were conducted to the highest international standards by an expert team of structural and civil engineers.
None of the buildings surveyed were found to present a risk to the lives of workers. Where surveys did show issues, these are now being addressed.
We were the first UK retailer to sign the Accord on Fire & Building Safety in Bangladesh. The Accord is a pioneering contract between more than 150 apparel brands and retailers, international and local trade unions and NGOs to ensure sustainable improvements to working conditions in the Bangladesh Garment Industry.
We began making long-term payments to the 580 workers (or their dependents) of our supplier, New Wave Bottoms in March 2014. New Wave Bottoms occupied the second floor of the Rana Plaza building which collapsed on 24 April 2014. The payments will go to workers or their dependents, who died, or were injured as a result of the building collapse.
We also announced that we would contribute a further payment of $1 million to workers who produced garments for other retailers. This money was paid into the Rana Plaza Donors Trust Fund. This is in addition to the $2 million which we have already distributed to these workers or their families through our short-term financial assistance programme.
Together, this brings our total aid payments to $12 million.
Our film shows Primark's programme immediately following the collapse of the Rana Plaza building to provide urgently needed food aid and short-term financial assistance, working in close cooperation with international and local NGOs and trade unions.
Full details of all our work in Bangladesh can be found on the Primark Bangladesh website.
Primark is today announcing that it will begin making long-term payments to the 580 workers (or their dependents) of Primark supplier, New Wave Bottoms, which occupied the second floor of the eight storey building, who died, or were injured as a result of the Rana Plaza building collapse in Bangladesh.
Primark began its programme of structural building surveys in June 2013, following the collapse of the Rana Plaza building.Read more
Primark is working on a comprehensive support package for workers affected by the disaster in Bangladesh.Read more
Primark is pleased to have registered 2,395 workers and relatives of the deceased for short-term financial support today in an event organised with IndustriALL.Read more
Six months after the Rana Plaza building collapse in Bangladesh, Primark is announcing today that it will take further unilateral steps to deliver long-term compensation to victims, or their dependents, of the disaster.Read more
Primark is pleased to have registered 801 workers and relatives of the deceased for short-term financial support in the third and final event organised with IndustriALL.Read more
Primark will offer short-term financial assistance to Rana Plaza victims. Primark is announcing today that it is taking unilateral action to try to alleviate the immediate suffering of the victims of the Rana Plaza building collapse.Read more
Primark has committed today to signing the Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh, initiated by the IndustriALL and UNI Global Unions.Read more
Following the Rana Plaza disaster, Primark, announced on 5 June it had begun its own inspections of buildings housing its suppliers in Bangladesh.Read more
Primark has recently begun a programme of building surveys in Bangladesh in order to assess the structural integrity of factories from which it sources garments.Read more
Primark has recently begun working with the United Federation of Garments Workers, a trade union body, to provide essential support for workers who remain in hospital or receiving medical treatment.Read more
The company is shocked and deeply saddened by this appalling incident at Savar, near Dhaka, and expresses its condolences to all of those involved.Read more