C&A agrees deal to aid Tazreen fire victims

Dutch retailer C&A has agreed to pay compensation to victims of the Tazreen disaster two years after a fire at the Bangladeshi clothing factory killed more than 120 people.

C&A Foundation, a charitable group linked to the retailer, pledged to contribute a “significant amount” towards full compensation for those injured in the fire and the families of the dead in a deal with global union IndustriALL and the garment workers’ pressure group Clean Clothes Campaign.

RMGSabinaOnly C&A and Hong Kong-based group Li & Fung have so far put up funds to support former workers at the factory.

Jykri Raina, general secretary of IndustriALL, said: “Now the agreement for a compensation scheme has been reached, we are calling on all the brands that sourced from Tazreen Fashions to pay into the fund.

“We welcome the lead taken by C&A and other brands must follow. The victims of this terrible tragedy have suffered long enough.”

The Tazreen fire and the collapse of the Rana Plaza factory building last year in which more than 1,100 people died has led to a massive effort to improve safety standards in Bangladesh. Three international programmes are now checking the structure and fire safety of hundreds of buildings and putting pressure on factory owners to get problems fixed.

C&A Foundation said full details of the funds it would provide to cover compensation for loss of income, provision of independent medical assessments and ongoing treatment for Tazreen victims would be published once finalised.

The group said in a statement: “We are aware that there is still a long way to go. We will continue to design, support and implement approaches that will help transform the way the apparel industry works, and we will continue to work together with companies, local manufacturers, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and official bodies to foster long term and lasting change.”

-the Guardian