HONG KONG — Sourcing giant Li & Fung Limited said it is compensating the families of victims of a deadly fire that took place at a garment factory in Bangladesh over the weekend.
A Saturday night blaze at the Tazreen Fashions plant in Ashulia, Bangladesh, killed more than 115 people. The International Labor Rights Forum has called the fire the deadliest factory fire in the history of the apparel industry in Bangladesh. Li & Fung had outstanding manufacturing orders with the factory when the fire took place.
Meanwhile, thousands of garment workers staged large-scale protests on the streets of Dhaka on Monday, according to international wire reports. Wire images depict violent clashes between protesters — some of them young children — and police.
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Li & Fung said Monday it is matching the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association’s financial assistance by pledging 100,000 Bangladeshi takas, or about $1,200, to each victim’s family. The company also said it is setting up an education fund for the victims’ children.
“Li & Fung confirms the company has placed orders for garments with Tazreen Fashions Ltd in Bangladesh which were being manufactured at the premises where the fire occurred. We are very distressed and saddened by the deaths of workers and wish to express our deepest condolences to the families of the victims,” the company said.
Li & Fung said it is in contact with the factory owner and will carry out its own investigation of what caused the fire.
Dusseldorf-based C&A offered condolences for the incident. It said it had a pending order for 220,000 sweaters from Tazreen Fashions when the fire took place.
“The victims and their familes are in our thoughts and prayers,” Thorsten Rolfes, head of corporate communications for C&A Europe, said in a press release dated Sunday.
The company said it had commissioned the Bangladesh factory to manufacture the sweaters for C&A’s Brazilian operations.