Retailers under pressure to compensate Tazreen victims
Members of European Parliament will ask retailers to compensate the victims of the fire at Ashulia-based Tazreen Fashions, which was making clothes for global brands.
Three groups of parliamentarians are going to adopt resolutions on the Bangladesh fire at a four-day plenary session that started yesterday.
The European Parliament calls on all European retailers whose orders were being processed at the time of the fire to support the local authorities and involve social partners in setting up an adequate and transparent compensation scheme.
â€œSuch a system should cover the loss of income and damages for the injured and the families of the dead, as well as free medical rehabilitation for the injured and care and education for deceased workers' dependant family members,â€ one of the resolutions said.
The European Parliament posted the resolutions on its website.
The parliamentarians will hold three separate motions at the plenary session on the fire that killed 112 workers in November last year.
The discussion on Bangladesh will start on Wednesday and will continue through Thursday.
A rise in minimum wages in Bangladesh, which for many workers are below the substance level, forms part of the improvements required, according to the first resolution.
The resolution also welcomed the government's initiative for establishing an independent inspection system and actively supporting the creation of health and safety committees.
The resolution urged the Bangladesh government to duly investigate the torture and murder of labour rights activist Aminul Islam.
The lawmakers also called for ending restrictions on trade union activities and collective bargaining.
â€œThe European Parliament welcomes Bangladesh's successful efforts to reduce child labour in the garment sector and urges Pakistan to step up its engagement against child labour.â€
The parliament also praised Bangladesh's recent decision to extend maternity leave to six months in the garment sector.
The European Commission should actively promote mandatory responsible business conduct among EU companies operating abroad, with special focus on the areas of human rights, labour and the environment, according to the second resolution.
The parliamentarians called for full and active consultation and involvement of representative organisations, including free and independent trade unions, in the development, operation and monitoring of companies.
In the third resolution, the parliament condemned the failure by the EU businesses, despite the 'codes of good conduct' they have adopted, to uphold workers' rights.
The parliament urged the relevant authorities in the EU and in member states to refer to existing inquiries and to conduct in collaboration with relevant international organisations an impartial inquiry into these practices.
The parliament will send the resolutions to the government of Bangladesh for taking necessary actions.