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.
The company is aware that it is taking time for the clothing industry to put together the mechanism for long-term compensation payments that have been promised by some brands.
As a result the company is announcing the following measures:
First, Primark is to provide short-term financial aid to all workers and / or their families and dependents in the building.
This assistance will be offered for 6 weeks, and should ensure all workers and dependents – including those working in factories that supplied the other 20 or so international brands – are supported financially pending long-term support.
Details of the delivery of this interim assistance will be resolved as a matter of urgency. These ex-gratia payments will be made without any deduction, clearly, to formal compensation that Primark will pay in due course to the employees of its supplier. We hope to start making these payments within seven days.
Second, the company is continuing to work as fast as possible on an appropriate, long-term financial compensation package for the employees who worked in its supplier factory.
A reliable list of those who worked in the factory that supplied Primark at the time of the building collapse is not yet available to the company. This is clearly needed before any long-term compensation can be paid.
Also, long-term support has to be delivered securely so that vulnerable recipients of it are protected and their interests are safeguarded.
The company has engaged specialist advisors in this area to help it implement a suitable scheme. To this end the company is in discussion with officials from the ILO and other expert parties to ensure the right mechanism for the compensation is used.
This is not a simple task, nor is it straightforward. But the company is pressing ahead with it as fast as possible.
Third, the company continues with its food aid programme that is now providing food aid parcels to about 1,000 families a week. This is alleviating immediate hardship where possible.
Finally, the company will provide more information on all these initiatives as soon as it can.
A spokesman said:
“The company was the first brand to acknowledge that its suppliers were housed in the Rana Plaza complex. The company was the first brand to commit to paying compensation to workers and their dependents. And the company was the first UK brand to sign up to the Accord on building and fire safety.
The company is now extending help to workers who made clothing for its competitors. And the company is working as fast as possible to devise a scheme to provide long-term, secure assistance to workers in its supplier factory.
The company has consistently said it will meet its responsibilities in full in this matter.”
Peter McAllister, Director of the Ethical Trading Initiative, said:
“Primark is doing the right thing by offering immediate support for the victims and families of the Rana Plaza disaster. We’re pleased that Primark has also confirmed its commitment to providing long-term compensation and support, which it is developing with credible labour representatives. This is a welcome move, and we encourage the other brands that sourced from Rana Plaza to follow suit.”