European retailer compensates families of Tazreen victims
European retailer C&A Sourcing yesterday paid compensations to 67 families of the 112 garment workers killed in the November 24 blaze at Tazreen Fashions in Ashulia.
Each family received
Tk 1 lakh.
Labour and Employment Minister Rajiuddin Ahmed Raju handed over cheques to the families of the victims, at a programme organised by Bangladesh Garment Manufactures and Exporters Association at its office in Dhaka.
After the fire, logos of different brands of C&A were found in the heap
of ashes. The government has taken several steps to ensure safe working environment at every garment factory, the minister said.
The government will develop a 550-acre "garment village" in Munshiganj to ensure maximum safety with modern facilities for the workers, he said. “It is our responsibility to give compensations to the victims,” said Dinesh Perera, general manager of C&A Sourcing.
“We have engaged with the BGMEA and other buyers to support the children of the victims,” Perera said.
However, the spouse of a victim said she was not happy with the compensation.
“My family was broken,” said Jesmin Akter, who lost her husband at the fire. “With my four-year-old girl, I face stress even in leading the day-to-day life," she said.
BGMEA President Atiqul Islam said: “Our main challenge is to ensure safe working environment.”
“We won't allow noncompliant factories to enter the garment village,” said Islam.
IFIC Bank will give loans at a 6 percent interest rate to the financially weak factories to help them become compliant, he said. He urged the government to allocate special funds in the upcoming budget to ensure safe working environment for workers.
Islam also called upon the government to allow duty-free import of fire equipment for garment factories.
The government will develop a welfare fund for workers with the help of different trade bodies and buyers, said Mikail Shipar, secretary to labour and employment ministry. However, families of 45 victims are yet to get any compensation, according to the BGMEA.
DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) test of 10 workers is underway, three have no next of kin, and 32 will receive compensation soon, said M Shahidullah Azim, vice president of the trade body.