UK: Activists call for compensation for Bangladesh fire victims
Activists are to stage candlelight vigils at Edinburgh Woollen Mill stores across the UK this week, urging the retailer to pay compensation to the victims and families of those killed and injured in the recent factory fire in Bangladesh.
Labels from the British brand were found in the burnt wreckage of the Tazreen Fashion factory in Dhaka that caught fire on 24 November, according to Labour Behind the Label.
As well as paying compensation, the campaign group wants buyers who sourced from the factory to take steps to prevent future tragedies in the industry.
Edinburgh Woollen Mill has confirmed the factory, where at least 111 workers were killed and another 150 injured, was supplying its PG Field and Country Rose labels. Labels from its Hippo brand were also found.
C&A, Walmart and sourcing agent Li & Fung have also confirmed that their production was taking place at Tazreen at the time of the fire. Other companies who have confirmed sourcing from Tazreen in the past year include El Corte Inglés and the German discounter KIK.
"Companies such as Edinburgh Woollen Mill, who are sourcing from Bangladesh must join with unions and labour rights groups to ensure the root causes of these fires are addressed and that no more lives are lost," said Labour Behind the Label's Sam Maher.
Campaigners want brands and retailers to sign up to the Bangladesh Fire and Building Safety Agreement, developed prior to the tragedy by Bangladeshi and global unions and labour rights organisations.
The agreement provides, amongst other actions, for independent inspections of supplier factories, public reporting, mandatory repairs and renovations, a central role for workers and unions in both oversight and implementation, supplier contracts with sufficient financing and adequate pricing, and a binding contract to make these commitments enforceable.
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