Canadian retailer Loblaw Cos. Ltd. outlined plans to provide long- and short-term compensation to injured survivors and victims’ families linked to one of the factories producing its apparel at the Rana Plaza building complex, as several rallies and protests in the U.S. and in Bangladesh marked the six-month anniversary Thursday of the collapse of the structure, which killed 1,132 people.
British retailer Primark also announced Thursday that it has set a timetable to begin providing long-term compensation payments to workers and their dependents of New Wave Bottoms, the factory producing its apparel in the Rana Plaza complex, and is considering extending another short-term round of payments to the estimated 3,600 victims of the disaster for another three months.
As part of its longer-term plan, Loblaw said it will begin providing direct financial compensation in 2014 to workers and victims’ families who were employed at the New Wave Style factory in Rana Plaza that produced apparel for Loblaw.
Primark had been the only retailer so far to provide compensation to all of the 3,600 Rana Plaza victims and it said Thursday it will consider paying another three months of wages to all of the victims if the other 27 brands who sourced apparel in the complex fail to step forward and make a contribution. Loblaw echoed Primark, saying it will also immediately provide three months of wages to about 3,600 individuals and their dependents, “regardless of the brand apparel that was being produced in their workplace,” if other companies fail to come forward. RELATED STORY: Report Critical of Bangladesh Victim Compensation >>
Worker’s rights and labor groups estimate that 1,132 worker died in the Rana Plaza collapse and another 2,500 were injured.
“Within a week of the collapse of Rana Plaza, Primark committed to paying long-term compensation to the victims of the disaster as quickly as possible,” a spokesman said. “Since then, the company has been working consistently to create a framework that can be adopted by other retail brands.”
Primark and now Loblaw have made the payments to Rana Plaza victims unilaterally and have also joined forces with two other companies — Benetton and El Corte Inglés — in calling on other brands and retailers to contribute. The companies are part of the Rana Plaza compensation coordination committee that is working to develop a large common compensation fund and pressing other companies to join. The Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association, IndustriALL Global Union and the Clean Clothes Campaign are also on the committee. Marking the six-month anniversary of the Rana Plaza collapse, several organizations held rallies and protests in the U.S. and in Bangladesh.
Kalpona Akter, executive director of the Bangladesh Center for Worker Solidarity, joined the NYU Students Labor Action Movement, an affiliate of United Students Against Sweatshops, at a rally outside of the site of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire in New York City to press companies to sign the Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh and pay into the victim compensation fund. USAS also held demonstrations at more than 30 colleges and universities across the country as part of an “International Week of Action to End Deathtraps” in commemoration of the anniversary. Students and workers are pressing university administrators to require that brands making apparel for U.S. universitiesto sign onto the legally binding accord, which 100 companies have signed.
Meanwhile, the National Garment Workers Federation held a sit-in in Dhaka on Thursday in front of the Rana Plaza site. It served as a memoriam and call for compensation, as family members of the dead and dozens of orphaned children, along with the injured congregated at the site, which was once home to five garment factories.
The need for this focus on action was underlined by a study released on Wednesday by ActionAid, which surveyed 2,297 people, nearly two thirds of the survivors and families of those who died in the Rana Plaza collapse. The report noted that 94 percent of the respondents surveyed had not received compensation and were still suffering from physical and psychological injuries.
“It is indefensible that for six months, multimillion-dollar companies have left the victims to fend for themselves,” said Farah Kabir, ActionAid country director for Bangladesh. “The victims of the Rana Plaza disaster are in urgent need of medical and psychological support, as well as the financial means to feed and care for their families.”
Supermodel @helenachristensen teamed up with longtime friend and designer @camillastaerk on a joint @paredeyewear collaboration. The lineup features three styles and 11 offerings, all of which embody a vintage feel. Get all the details on how they celebrated the collab on WWD.com. #wwdaccessories #wwdeye (📷: @slovekinpics)
“It’s a hard industry to keep motivated, as well, so finding different subjects and people is what makes it worth it – when you’re like, oh, I’ve met great people, I feel like I’ve done something good, and I feel proud of having done this,” said French actress Stacy Martin on being grateful for the variety of roles she’s take on. Read @ktauer’s full interview with Martin on her her latest film “Godard Mon Amour.” #wwdeye (📷: @danieldorsa)
After showing in front of the Eiffel Tower for his last two women’s ready-to-wear collection, it looks like @anthonyvaccarello may be heading to the Big Apple. Sources say the designer will stage his next @ysl show in NYC on June 6. Get all the details on WWD.com. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @aitorrosasphoto)
EXCLUSIVE: Two and half months after John Targon, cofounder and codesigner of Baja East, was hired as creative director of the contemporary division at Marc Jacobs, he has left the company, WWD has learned. Marc Jacobs International, which is owned by LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, confirmed Targon’s departure in a statement: “John Targon is a talented designer and we appreciate the work he has done here. Ultimately working together did not make sense for the brand and we wish him the best.” Read the story by @jessiredale, link in bio. #wwdnews
@theluxurycollection is officially launching a collection, tapping Sofia Sanchez de Betak for the capsule. Over 30 styles will be featured in the Chufy x The Luxury Collection, debuting next month at Bergdorf Goodman, The Webster, FiveStory and more. De Betak, known as “@chufy,” drew inspiration for the collection from her trips to Japan in the past year #wwdfashion
@lhd, founder and CEO of @thewebster, has teamed up with @lebonmarcherivegauche for the European launch of her ready-to-wear line, LHD. The launch will come with an exclusive pop-up opening today that’s set to run through May 20. Located on the second floor, it carries her debut Miami-themed resort collection, launched in November as see-now-buy-now. #wwdfashion