On April 24th 2013, the Rana Plaza building in Savar, near Dhaka, in Bangladesh collapsed. The building had several factories which manufactured garments for around 28 brands. One of these factories was supplying Primark. Our thoughts remain with the victims of this disaster, and their families.
Immediately after the disaster Primark worked with local partners in Bangladesh to give financial support and food aid to the victims and their families. At the time, we also committed to providing long-term compensation. In total Primark has paid $14m in aid and in both short and long-term compensation to the victims and their families of Primark supplier, New Wave Bottoms.
In 2015, we launched the Pashe Achi project. The project aims to improve the capabilities and self-confidence of the most vulnerable recipients so that they are able to retain access to, and control of, their financial compensation in order to support their well-being. We have also been part of the industry's response to begin steps to make garment manufacturing in Bangladesh safer in future. Primark has a dedicated team of experts based in Dhaka to work with the factories on safety, providing in-depth training for factory management and workers to ensure safety requirements are met.
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 672 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 ensure they received assistance.
Primark has paid $14 million in aid and compensation in support of the victims of the Rana Plaza building collapse. Long-term compensation payments to victims and their families, totaling $11 million, are now completed.
Primark continues to support the most vulnerable who need our help through the Pashe Achi (meaning ‘by your side’ in Bengali) project. The project aims to improve the capabilities and self-confidence of recipients so that they are able to retain access to, and control of, their financial compensation in order to support their well-being.The project is being carried out in conjunction with the University of Dhaka’s Institute of Disaster Management and Vulnerability Studies, and with the Bangladesh National Women’s Lawyers Association.
The scheme has already assisted 494 beneficiaries located across Bangladesh, and has a particular focus on empowering women and ensuring they understand their rights. Support has included assistance with business start-ups, helping beneficiaries open bank accounts, advice around banking and financial planning, assisting with land purchases and linking teenagers in the 16-18 year age group (children of those who died in the New Wave Bottoms’ factory), to vocational skills training opportunities such as tailoring, computing and mobile phone repairs.
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.
Following the tragedy, we commenced our programme of structural surveys in Bangladesh, to assess the structural integrity of factories from which we source garments. All the factories in Bangladesh that supply Primark have been assessed, and any new factory seeking to supply Primark is assessed before the commencement of trade. To date the assessments have been conducted to the highest international standards by expert teams of structural and civil engineers from specialists engineering and architectural firms. Primark has also employed its own expert structural engineer to manage our Structural Integrity Programme.
In addition to this work Primark is also a signatory to the Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh, an agreement between over 200 apparel brands and retailers, international and local trade unions and NGOs working towards sustainable improvements to working conditions in the Bangladesh Garment Industry. The Accord introduced a common standard and an implementation framework that is being supported and enforced by all the Accord signatories.
We have a team of experts on the ground in Dhaka, who are part of our dedicated Ethical Trade Team. We hold regular updates with each factory where we hold a ‘lead’ role in respect to the Accord. Beyond this, we are in frequent contact with all other factories that supply Primark on all aspects of social compliance and fire and building safety.
This short film shows Primark’s work with local organisations to support the workers and families of New Wave Bottoms, the factory making garments for Primark in the collapsed Rana Plaza building following the payment of long-term compensation.
Primark announced today that it has completed more than 95% of long-term compensation (LTC) payments to the 668 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 on 24 April 2013.
Total payments now stand at $14 million, of which long-term payments amount to $11 million and have been made in full, in cash, directly by Primark. Payments have been delivered to victims through BRAC Bank and bKash.Read more
This short film tells the story of Primark’s work to date with international experts and local organisations in Bangladesh to support workers and families of New Wave Bottoms, the factory making Primark garments in the collapsed Rana Plaza building.
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
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 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
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
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 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
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 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
Primark is working on a comprehensive support package for workers affected by the disaster in Bangladesh.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