News Asia-Pacific

Tuesday 23 September 2014

Bangladesh disaster victims angry at payout delay

Dean Nelson New Delhi and David Bergman Dhaka

Published 13/05/2013 | 05:00

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Bangladeshi rescuers use heavy machinery to clear rubble of a garment factory building that collapsed on April 24

Primark, the clothing retailer, has been accused by trade union leaders in Bangladesh of delaying a compensation deal for relatives of those killed or injured in the collapse of Rana Plaza.

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The death toll from the collapse of the eight-storey building last month stands at 1,120. Many worked for New Wave clothing factory, which supplied Primark and Bonmarche, another British chain.

Primark trades in Ireland under the Penneys label.

Both companies have promised compensation and Primark representatives met trade union leaders in Dhaka, the Bangladeshi capital, on April 27 and 28. The unions want a package based on a formula devised after a disaster in 2005, accounting for years of service and lost earnings.

Applied to Rana Plaza, this would be about €27,200 for the families of each dead worker, with foreign retailers contributing 45pc.

"They said they would come back soon with a specific proposal, but there are no further developments and I'm disappointed and also angry," said Amirul Haque Amin, of the National Garment Workers' Federation.

"It's been two weeks and I expected after the meeting to hear from them within three or four days."

Primark made an operating profit of £238m in the six months to March. A Primark spokesman said it was "working on a comprehensive support package", but said this would take time.

He denied that any undertaking was given to respond within days and said a list of employees had not been established because records were destroyed. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Irish Independent

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