Rana Plaza victims look set to finally receive their due compensation after ILO Country Director Srinivasa Reddy yesterday assured the hand-out would begin before the first anniversary of the disaster.
A total of 3,080 victims will be compensated, with each victim receiving Tk 50,000 from the trust fund created by international retailers, he said after a meeting with Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association, diplomats and researchers.
Reddy, however, did not give a specific date on which the compensation would be handed out.
The 580 victims who have already received compensation from the British retailer Primark, however, have been excluded.
The compensation figure has been arrived at following the International Labour Organisation's convention 121, widely employed worldwide to pay off victims of industrial accidents.
Asked if the hand-outs made from the Prime Minister's Fund would be part of the compensation, Reddy said the trust fund's three commissioners would decide if the two would be merged or not.
“We, from the ILO, are working as the neutral body in the compensation payment package,” Reddy added.
Meanwhile, IndustriALL, a global union federation; UNI, a global trade union; and Clean Clothes Campaign, a leading rights network for the garment sector, yesterday demanded that the 29 brands which sourced from factories housed at Rana Plaza must pay towards the trust fund before April 24.
The fund needs $40 million and as of now, only one-third of the required funds have been deposited.
Currently, 15 retailers including Benetton, Matalan, Adler Modemarkte and Auchan have failed to even make an initial contribution to the trust fund, Phillip Jennings, general secretary of UNI Global Union, said.
The ILO country director also touched upon the registration of 134 new trade unions over the past one year.
“Freedom of association and collective bargaining improved a lot over the last one year -- this is a very positive message for the country.”
Meanwhile, Heather Cruden, high commissioner of Canada, said there have been a “lot of achievements” over the last one year in terms of ensuring workplace safety in the country, but more needs to be done.