Can you even IMAGINE how it would feel to work in a factory that was deemed unsafe?
Can you imagine hearing that your factory was on your country's evening news reporting on the huge cracks that were spreading throughout the building?
Then imagine being told that unless you crossed the yellow tape and went to work making textiles for people on the other side of the world- you would lose your job and only source of income for your family.
So, you comply- you go to work, afraid for your life. And then the unimaginable happens. The collapse.
|( TIME )|
Thankfully you make it out alive. Perhaps injured severely. Perhaps crippled. But you've lost many friends, relatives and loved ones. And the trauma of the accident will never be forgotten.
Now imagine that the companies that you made clothing for are STILL dragging their heels on paying out ANY compensation to you and to any affected by the collapse.
How would you feel? Worthless? Angry?
I know that I would.
|( TIME )|
Five months after the tragic factory collapse in Bangladesh, there was a meeting to mediate demands of compensation needed after the collapse. According to TIME, only one third of the companies bothered to even show up in Geneva for it.
Global labour union IndustriALL slammed the retailers, saying:
“Consumers will be shocked that almost a half-year has passed since the Rana Plaza disaster with only one brand so far providing any compensation to the disaster’s victim,”... “I respect those brands that came to these meetings. But I cannot understand brands that are not around the table.” (IndustriALL assistant general secretary Monika Kemperle)
According to TIME- in the case of Rana Plaza, 1,192 bodies were recovered and 1,900 workers were injured. Using the model set up for the Spectrum collapse, IndustriALL calculated a total compensation of $74,571,101 to be paid between retailers, the Dhaka government and factory owners. The meeting was supposed to initiate discussions between brands on how to divide and expedite payments, and also how to influence Bangladeshi stakeholders to do their share.
One of the companies that didn't show up was Benetton. They said that the Geneva meeting "lacked clarity around the objectives" and that they would "work directly with those affected by the Rana Plaza disaster". Hmmmmmm....sounds familiar, no? Like something Loblaw and Joe Fresh said recently. I guess we will see....
|( TIME )|
So far the it has been only the Bangladeshi government and the UK brand Primark that have made any contribution. Thanks to them, 3,000 victims have received some payment. At the meeting on Thursday, Primark was the only company to pledge further short-term financial aid.
You can read more about Loblaw and the other retailers that signed the Fire and Building Safety Deal here. I can not seem to find who the one third was that showed up to the Geneva meeting. I will continue to research this.
I really hope this affects you, the reader. I hope this gets you thinking, possibly even MORE, about the items that we buy, where they come from and the companies that supply them to us.
It simply is NOT worth a life, or a even the quality of a life, for us to get our clothing for a few dollars.
Is there blood on your clothes??
Peace and many blessing to all.