24 April 2013 THE RANA PLAZA BUILDING COLLAPSE Part 2 20130524 -20131109

02:37:22 local time map of bangla_desh BANGLADESH

THE RANA PLAZA BUILDING COLLAPSE- Part 2

20130524

* Workers cannot claim further compensation:

ID cards surrendered while receiving salaries

Garment workers who survived the Rana Plaza collapse cannot claim further compensation because the Bangladesh Garments Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) took away their ID cards after disbursing their salaries in the first week of this month.

BGMEA Joint Secretary (labour) Rafiqul Islam told The Daily Star, “Workers were laid off as per Section-12 of the Bangladesh’s labour law, as there is no scope for the five garment factories to restart operations. Thus, those who had not lost their ID cards were asked to submit them during the salary disbursement so that they would not be able to use them to falsely claim any salary in future.”

Legal Counsellor to the American Centre for International Labour Solidarity AKM Nasim pointed out, however, that the workers could no longer file a lawsuit with the labour court for further damage claims as they would be unable to demonstrate proof of employment. read more.
daily star bd

* Savar Tragedy: Probe panel for action against those responsible:

The committee, formed to investigate the Rana Plaza collapse, on Wednesday submitted its report recommending punitive actions against those responsible for the incident and giving compensation to the victims.   

“The use of low quality materials for construction of the building, disrespecting to the building code, presence of garment factories, heavy machinery in the commercial building and the building owner’s ignorance about garment factories were responsible for the incident,” said the probe panel chief Main Uddin Khandaker.
Main Uddin, additional secretary to the Home Ministry, was talking to the journalists after submitting the 400-page report to the Senior Home Secretary CQK Mostaque Ahmed.
The committee also made a 15-point recommendation, including three urgent ones. read more.

* Lists of injured, missing not yet completed:

The government is yet to complete the enlistment of the people injured and feared missing in the Rana Plaza collapse at Savar even after a month on Friday.

The eight-storey Rana Plaza, which housed five clothing factories, a shopping mall and a bank, collapsed on the morning of April 24, leaving at least 1,127 people and about 2,000 injured.
Different government agencies, including the army, upazila authorities and the district relief and rehabilitation authorities, were still compiling the list of the people feared missing. Non-governmental organisations are also enlisting such names, officials said.
Major General Chowdhury Hasan Sarwardy, who coordinated the rescue operation, at the last briefing at Savar on May 13, when the operation was wrapped up, said that 1,115 bodies had been recovered from the Rana Plaza rubble. Twelve of the 2,438 people pulled out alive later died in hospital.

Eight hundred and thirty-six bodies have so far been handed over to families, according to the district administration.Two hundred and ninety-one bodies, which could not be identified, were buried in the Jurain graveyard in Dhaka, after DNA sampling for identification in the future and ten were buried in other districts without DNA sampling, the officials said.
read more.

* Aid for Rana Plaza victims:

A local English language daily reported on May 12 that banks are donating for the victims of the Rana Plaza collapse.

The report also stated that the donation would be around Tk 80 crore. The news was really good to know. Already the government has handed out payments to the relatives of the deceased.
I assume that, in total, the number of victims will be around 10,000, including the deceased and injured workers and some small traders who had lost everything because of the incident.What is needed now is prompt payment. It is essential as these people are engulfed in a tragedy. The target should be to complete settling all claims on or before the end of the financial year. No excuse for delays will be acceptable. The government should form an executive team with adequate authority including representatives from all interest groups. At the same time the distribution must be strictly monitored by the authorities.
This immediate financial relief is a matter of utmost priority. read more.

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20130525

* Wait not over for them:

Relatives of those missing in the Rana Plaza collapse keep thronging different places in search of their loved ones, a month after the country’s deadliest industrial disaster that claimed more than 1,100 lives.

With photographs of their missing relatives in hands, some of them go to the local Upazila Nirbahi Office, others to the Savar Model Police Station and local hospitals. Yet others still continue to gather every day at the collapse site with a sense of nothingness.
They knock at every possible door, wondering where else they can go to find at least the bodies for some kind of solace.
In their search efforts, relatives have so far filed 88 general diaries with Savar Model Police Station, police said.
The nine-storey Rana Plaza, which housed five garment factories, a shopping mall and a bank, came crashing down on the morning of April 24, killing at least 1,127 people, mostly garment workers.
Rescuers pulled out 2,438 people alive from beneath the rubble. Around 100 of them are still taking treatment at different hospitals, some with lost limbs.
read more.
daily star bd

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20130526

* Two more Rana Plaza workers die:

The death toll in Rana Plaza building collapse tragedy rose to 1129 on Saturday with two injured workers succumbing to their wounds despite medical treatment.

Mohammad Ashraful, 18, died at the Dhaka Medical College Hospital around noon.
He used to work at New Wave Fashion, which was situated on the seventh floor of the ill-fated building.
Ashraful came from Jhauganj of Mymensingh’s Gouripur Upazila.
The other person to die was Anjurara Begum, 16. She died at Square Hospital, where she was undergoing treatment, around dawn.
The details of her identity are still no known.
read more. & read more. & read more.
bdnews24 newstodayBD

* Pay for pain, sufferings – Victims deserve compensation from Brands:

CCC protests across Europe

Clean Clothes Campaign (CCC) activists staged protests across Europe on Friday calling on major brands to pay compensation for fire and building collapse victims in Bangladesh.

The protests took place exactly one month after the Rana Plaza factory collapse and exactly six months after the Tazreen fire that cost 1239 lives in total.
Fake funerals, factory simulations and fashion shows were part of the Europe wide protests at the failure to pay for pain and suffering, loss of earnings and medical care. Protests were held in front of brands that had production or placed trial orders in Rana Plaza.

Tessel Pauli of Clean Clothes Campaign said, ‘Workers’ debts are rising as brands fail to pay up. These two recent horrific tragedies in Bangladeshi garment factories left 1239 people dead and thousands injured. Compensation is owed to these workers, and financial security is essential for families coming to terms with what has happened. Brands should pay up so that families and workers do not suffer any more’.
read more.
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* Rana Plaza death toll rises to 1,129:

The death toll from the collapse of Rana Plaza in Savar has risen to 1,129 after two more injured workers died a month after the disaster, officials said on Sunday.

Senior government official Zillur Rahman Chowdhury said one male and one female victim of one of the world’s worst industrial disasters had died in hospital.
“They were rescued alive from the rubble and were undergoing treatment but succumbed to injuries, one on Friday and the other on Saturday,” Chowdhury said.
read more.
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20130528

* HC asks BB to submit bank statements of Sohel Rana, 5 factory owners:

The High Court on Monday directed Bangladesh Bank to submit to it in two weeks the bank statements of Rana Plaza owner Sohel Rana and the owners of five clothing factories that were housed  in the collapsed building.

The court asked the central bank to submit their bank statements of three months beginning March.
A bench of Justice Mirza Hussain Haider and Justice Muhammad Khurshid Alam Sarkar gave the order after examining the balance in the bank accounts of Sohel Rana and the five factory owners shown in the bank statements the central bank submitted earlier.

Sara Hossain, counsel for public interest writ petitioners Ain o Shalish Kendra and BLAST, drew the court’s attention to the balance shown in the bank statements  Bangladesh Bank had submitted.
ASK and BLAST filed the writ petitions seeking the court’s order to stop the recurrence of another Rana Plaza disaster.
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20130529

* Owners, BGMEA, buyers should pay compensation to Rana Plaza victims:

Citizen rights activists on Tuesday said that factory and building owners, Bangladesh Garments Manufacturers and Exporters Association and buyers should pay compensation to the families of workers killed and injured in Rana Plaza collapse.

At a press conference, they placed a 21-point demand and said the authorities need to rehabilitate the affected workers of Rana Plaza which collapsed on April 24 and killed at least 1,129 people.
Campaign for Good Governance organised the press conference at Dhaka Reporters’ Unity.
CGG director Samia Ahmed said a government-sponsored probe body investigating the Savar tragedy submitted a report to the home ministry last week, recommending punishment of the owners of Rana Plaza and the five factories with lifetime imprisonment under Section 304 of the Bangladesh Penal Code.
read more.

* Lack of punishment responsible for Rana Plaza tragic: Speakers:

Speakers today blamed the lack of punishment is the main cause of garments (RMG) sector accidents in this time including Rana Plaza collapse.

They said that there is no doubt that the deadly incident of Rana Plaza collapse occurred in absence of proper punishment against the responsible persons liable for ablaze of Tazrin Fashion (garments factory) and tragic collapse of the Spectrum garment factories.

The speakers said this at a press briefing organized by Shushashoner Jonno Prochar Ovijan (Supro) to ensure the proper rights of the workers of Rana Plaza at Dhaka Reporters Unity (DRU) here. President of Shadhin Bangla Garment Sramik Karmachari Federation (SBGSKF) Shamima Nasrin said, “As there is no punishment, so the owners of the building encouraged the workers to bound the work at Rana Plaza.”

They also said exemplary punishment should be ensured for the owners of Rana Plaza and other garments so that none dare to push the workers into danger. Director of Supro Samia Ahmed places a 14 points demand to protect labor rights and save the garments sector.
read more.
BSS

* Govt reports 379 workers missing:

The chief inspector of factories and establishment has submitted to the High Court a list of 379 missing workers after the April 24 collapse of Rana Plaza in Savar that housed five clothing factories.

Dhaka deputy commissioner, however, submitted a list of missing 376 workers.
The deputy commissioner, Shaikh Yusuf Harun, told New Age on Wednesday that they reported missing of 376 workers as of May 20 when the list was submitted to the High Court.
DC Harun said that a total of 291 unidentified bodies of Rana Plaza workers were buried after collecting their DNA sampling, and 10 other bodies, which were taken away by different individuals by mistake, and were also buried in different places.
read more.

* PM to receive cheques for Savar victims tomorrow (Thursday):

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina would receive cheques for donation for the Savar building collapse victims tomorrow.

“Sheikh Hasina would receive cheques from the organizations and the people interested in donating money to “The PM’s Relief and Welfare Fund” for the ill-fated families of the Savar tragedy at 10.30 am at the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) in Tejgaon,” PM’s Press Secretary Abul Kalam Azad said.
to read.
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20130531

* PM gives financial assistance to families of 125 Savar victims- Govt takes step for better treatment:

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina Thursday said her government made arrangements for improved treatment of the garment workers injured in the Savar building collapse, apart from providing financial assistance to the family members of the deceased and wounded.

She stated this after distributing cheques of financial assistance at her office, in the third phase, from the Prime Minister’s Relief and Welfare Fund among the family members of 125 victims who were killed in the tragic building collapse.
Hasina said that as per the suggestions of the physicians some of the wounded workers would be sent abroad including Bangkok and Singapore for better treatment.
read more. & read more. & read more. & read more. & read more.
logo  newstodayBD

* Engineer Rakibul on 5-day remand:

A Dhaka court sent Savar municipality assistant engineer Rakibul Hasan on five-day remand in a case over Rana Plaza collapse.

Dhaka senior judicial magistrate Toiyabul Hasan passed the order after hearing Thursday.
Additional Public Prosecutor Anwarul Kabir Babul confirmed the matter to banglanews.
Earlier, assistant police super of Criminal Investigation Department (CID) Bijoy Krishno Kar produced Rakibul before the court and sought 10-day remand plea.
read more.
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* Dhaka- One Time Order:

Buildings fall in other places
Visible but out of sight
Look away from dusted faces
Fingers gray with rubble’s graces
Fill your bags with cheap delight.
Primark Earrings up a Quater:
Queue for t-shirts – two pounds each
Never mind that that rutured mortar
Families the lost a daughter
Listen to that profit preach.

“love a bargain”, “Special Prices”,
“Summer bags are Hot! Hot! Hot!”
in Tazree people burnt; such crisis
Commonplace where need entices,
Those with names are fast forgot.
We are cracked who do not care
to hear the price of what we wear.

“One time order” “random audit”
These the words of Western gain,
Broken lives? They can afford it,
Mending where they once ignored it,
Aid to bind that splintered pain.
Our flagship stores should stand half mast
Commemorate the hands that sewed

The Lives now crushed, left in the past
A thousand lost to sate the fast
Tempo Fashion thinks it’s owed.
We are cracked who do not care
to hear the price of what we wear.

This song started as a poem written by Rosalind Jana, a young and talented Fashion Blogger – http://clothescamerasandcoffee.blogsp… – from the U.K.

Yaron Millo, founding partner of http://www.TheMacrameProject.com and part time musician stumbled across Rosalind’s poem and decided to write some music to it.

Modern day slavery needs to stop. Please share so as to continue putting pressure on the fashion companies manufacturing in Bangladesh. These people deserve a fair wage, insurance and safety regulation put in place. Just because their governments are corrupted doesn’t mean we can go in there and do as we please. I think all people have the right to decency.

Please Donate Now to Help Victims of Bangladesh Factory Collapse, Please go here.

Hear the song here!
MacrameProject
  global labour & human rights

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20130601

* Savar survivors: supports poured in; coordination a big problem:

‘They desperately need cash and jobs’

Though various government and private sector organisations promptly came forward with their various supports for the survivors of the Rana Plaza collapse, lack of proper coordination is likely to take its toll on the good gesture, says a survey report on the human tragedy.

The report said the major challenge could be to ensure proper coordination among these agencies and organisations for smooth and sound management of these aid and supports.
It says workers’ federations or associations could be engaged for ensuring proper coordination as there have been overlapping in selection of the survivors and package design.
ActionAid Bangladesh, Concern Universal and Concern Worldwide on behalf of National Alliance for Risk Reduction Initiatives conducted the survey titled ‘Rapid Need Assessment on Survivors of Savar Building Collapse.’
read more. & read more.
newstodayBD

* Compensation money eludes families of Rana Plaza collapse victims:

Frustration and uncertainty have gripped families of the Rana Plaza collapse victims as no clear announcement over giving compensation to them has been made even five weeks after the deadliest industrial incident.

The worried relatives have been moving desperately from here and there after the apparel factory owners promised giving adequate compensation to the family members who lost their near ones in the Rana Plaza collapse.
The eight-storey commercial building that housed five garment factories collapsed on April 24 last in the capital’s nearest industrial area Savar. The accident claimed at least 1,127 lives, mostly garment workers.

Several hundred others were critically wounded in the country’s worst-ever industrial incident that shocked the whole nation and brought the issue of workplace safety under spotlight at home and abroad.
The ill-fated families moved to the BGMEA (Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters’ Association) headquarters, the site of Rana Plaza, upazila headquarters and the National Press Club on wrong information about their enlistment for compensation.

“I went to the BGMEA head office, the Adhar Chandra High School and the National Press Club to inquire about compensation but found nothing,” Rabeya Akhter, sister of Aklima Khatun who was killed in the man-made disaster, said.
read more.

* Rana Plaza rescuers set example: speakers:

Politicians and a journalist and a physician on Friday said that people from all walks of life risked their lives to rescue the people trapped under the collapsed Rana Plaza at Savar creating an unique example of humanity.

At a reception of the rescuers, they mentioned that the rescuers efficiently saved the lives of more than 2,000 people, while more than 1,100 bodies were recovered from the debris of the eight-storey Rana Plaza that collapsed on April 24.
The disaster management unit of the Workers Party of Bangladesh organised the reception programme at Planning and Development Academy auditorium at Nilkhet where more than 10 organisations and 200 rescuers took part.
read more.

* Waiting for mother:

As five-year-old Kamrul opens his eyes in the morning, he begins nagging his father and grandmother to take him to the site of the Rana Plaza collapse, where he hopes to see his mother.

Since the nine-storey building crumbled on April 24, Kamrul has been told that his mother Kamona Begum, who worked as a sewing operator at a garment factory on the fourth floor, is there at the site and will be found soon.
“She used to bring him [Kamrul] something every day on her way back home,” Kamrul’s grandmother Morsheda Begum, 55, says, gazing at the place surrounded by a barbed wire fence.
On the day of the incident, Morsheda, a cleaner, was working on the third floor. She was lucky to be rescued within hours of the collapse with minor injuries to her feet and chest. But the family did not find Kamona, not even her remains.
“Kamrul believes his mother can still be found here and throws a tantrum if I don’t take him to this place,” says Morsheda.
read more.
daily star bd

* The Savar disaster, and what next? :

After the tragedy of Rana Plaza a pall of gloom had descended on Bangladesh. It led to the untimely deaths of 1,127 garment workers. Such an incident could be compared with only a massive catastrophe.

When the news of the accident emerged with its large-scale horrifying magnitude, none could still then realise its extent of destruction, loss of lives and properties. The final picture began to be clear as the salvage and rescue work was coming to a close.

Many people at one point began to ask: Is the disaster a result of the apathy of the people who run the ready-made garment (RMG) industry, their seemingly endless greed or the “dirty game of politics”? Is it the inevitable mark of dehumanisation? Is it the summation of discharging duties in a gross negligent manner in the sector?

Even a common passenger in a bus faces mechanical disorder when he is halfway to his destination. It gives him much irritation. Almost all of us have the bitter experience of falling in such an unpleasant situation, when we are out of home to travel to somewhere. But why does it happen?
The staff ought to ensure that the bus is in good condition when it is on road just before it starts for its desired point.

Needless to say, ensuring fitness of the total mechanical system can only make a travel free and safe, as there will be no further annoyance or trouble caused to the passengers in it, and consequently they may enjoy an uninterrupted and smooth travel.
read more.

* Mourners build temporary memorial:

Mourners, including colleagues and relatives of the workers killed, maimed and missing in the Rana Plaza collapse, set up a memorial at the site of the disaster to pay homage to the dead.

Locals, including teachers and students of educational institutions, joined the workers in erected the temporary four- feet high memorial on Thursday morning and placed wreaths there.
They demanded construction of a permanent memorial at the site.
read more.

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20130602

* Savar tragedy: An emblem of poor governance:

On April 24, a nine-storey building collapsed in Savar which is on the outskirts of Dhaka, the capital city of Bangladesh. More than one thousand garment workers had died in the incident.

And also hundreds of workers most of whom were the only earning members of their families, lie injured in the hospital beds with frustration and insecurity. The gruesome images of the dead bodies that we have seen on internet and newspapers will haunt everyone. The total account of losses is still to be made.

The rescuers could not control their tears finding the continuous groaning of trapped workers, mostly women. People from all walks of life, irrespective of affiliation to any party or religion, rushed to associate with the rescue operation organised by the Army, Border Guard Bangladesh, Rapid Action Battalion and Police.

But is this a tragedy or carnage? The owners knew about the cracks in the building on the previous day only to put a blind eye to it. There was also absence of any initiatives to evacuate the building. Moreover, it was found out later that the owners of the building and garment factories forced the workers to enter into the building. So it appears to be a cold blooded murder of a large number of innocent people.
read more.

* A long wait, all in vain:

Since eight in the morning yesterday, Amena Begum, with her fractured hand, was waiting outside the capital’s Sundarban Hotel, with high hopes that someone would come out with some financial help.

She was not alone — hundreds of others like her were gathered there, as well. They were all workers of garment factories housed in the ill-fated Rana Plaza, which collapsed on April 24, killing 1,130 people dead and thousands injured.
Jobless and facing mounting medical bills, they are now desperate for financial assistance.

“One of my neighbours informed me yesterday that they have received financial help here from an organisation. That’s why, we’ve come,” Amena said.
None of them, however, knew the name of the organisation.

“We all left the city around 3:30 pm, as no one came out of the hotel with help. Nobody assured us of anything, either,” said Zahid Hossain, who waited with Amena at the spot under open skies.

Primark, the British retailer whose clothes were made at one of the factories at the collapsed building, registered names of around 300 garment workers at that spot on Friday, according to Amirul Haque Amin, president of National Garments Workers Federation.
read more.
daily star bd

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20130603

* Rana Plaza Tragedy: 4 accused on remand:

A Dhaka court on Sunday placed four accused, including three garment owners, on a four-day remand in a case over much-talked-about Rana Plaza collapse.

Senior Judicial Magistrate of Dhaka Toybul Hasan passed the remand order after hearing on the case.
On May 26, investigation officer of the case, CID inspector Bijoy Krishna Kar sought remand against the accused.
The accused are Anisur Rahman, Bazlur Samad, Aminul Islam and Mahmudur Rahman Taposh.
to read. & read more. & read more. & read more. & read more. & read more.banglanews24 Logo daily star bd    logo newstodayBD

* BGMEA report still not submitted:

The committee the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters’ Association set up on April 28 to investigate the Rana Plaza collapse of April 24 has failed to submit the report even about a month after the May 7 deadline.

BGMEA leaders also could no say when they would be able to submit the report. ‘The committee members are doing their job and we are waiting for some test reports from experts,’ the association president, Md Atiqul Islam, said.

Without giving any date, he said that the report could be submitted shortly after they received reports of the text on building materials which are pending with Bangladesh University of Engendering and Technology.
read more.

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20130604

* PM to receive donation for Savar victims Wednesday:

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will receive donation from different organizations and individuals for Savar victims on Wednesday (June 5).

The Prime Minister will receive cheques of the donation at  her Tejgaon office at 10 am on June 5, PM’s press secretary Abul  Kalam Azad said.
Representatives of the organizations and individuals were  requested to attend the function in time.
to read.
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20130605

* Families of Rana Plaza victims blockade highway:

Relatives and family members of the Rana Plaza collapse victims blockaded Dhaka-Aricha Highway Tuesday, demanding immediate measures for releasing compensation money by preparing a correct list of the victims.

The worried relatives who have been moving desperately for compensation gathered with a 6-point demand in front of the collapsed Rana Plaza under the guidance of Bangladesh Garment and Industry Workers Federation in the morning.

The other demands include raising monthly wages of a worker to Tk 8000, improving workplace safety, allowing workers to enjoy dearness allowances until a fresh wage is reviewed, arresting the owners who have poor labour practices and freedom to trade union.
read more. & read more.

* BGMEA yet to announce damages for victim families:

Families of the Rana Plaza collapse victims are passing their days through hardship as the BGMEA was yet to clearly announce the compensation planned for the families more than a month after the collapse.

Many of them said that the association even could not collect the required fund.
Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters’ Association leaders said that they were been trying to collect money and hoped to make an announcement after the middle of June.

The association is depending on the government and others organisations such as buyers in giving the compensations as its has failed to make any headway in fund collection from its members.

The families amid such an uncertain situation, the families demanded an early announcement about a comprehensive compensation. They wanted to know of the total amount they would get in compensation.

‘We are passing our days though an extreme hardship as we have failed to pay house rent for two months. Neither the government nor the BGMEA has come forward with help,’ Mariam Akhter, who lost her elder sister Salma Akhter in the building collapse, said.
read more.

* Savar horror documented in photographs:

The heart-wrenching sufferings of the victims of the recent building collapse in Savar have been captured by 17 photographers whose works have been exhibited at Drik Gallery in Dhanmondi.
The six-day exhibition titled Tragedy Noy Hottakando displays 47 untitled images of wounded garments workers, deformed dead bodies, lamentation of the poor and helpless people over the loss of their loved ones making the viewers melancholic at recalling the impact of the building collapse on April 24, 2013 in Savar.

The images graphically portraying the tragedy not only deeply sadden the viewers but also infuriate them as they realise that this devastating horror, which is nothing short of a mass murder could have been avoided if the building and garment owners were not so negligent and greedy.
read more.

* Relatives block Dhaka-Aricha highway:

20130605 BANGLA24savar

The relatives of victims of Rana Plaza collapse blockaded the Dhaka-Aricha highway on Wednesday morning demanding compensation and rehabilitation.

They brought out a protest procession at around 10:30am from Rana plaza and they took position on the highway.
Later, they declared that they won’t leave the road till their demands are met.
Meanwhile, the blockade created huge traffic congestion in the areas.
read more. & read more.
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* PM gives financial assistance to 167 families of Savar victims:

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Wednesday distributed cheques of financial assistance to more families of garment workers who died in the tragic ‘Rana Plaza’ building collapse in Savar on April 24.

The Prime Minister distributed the cheques among family members of 167 victims of the Savar tragedy at a simple function at her office in the morning.
PM’s Press Secretary Abul Kalam Azad said that so far some 452 families of the Savar victims received financial assistance of Tk 10-Tk 15 lakh from the Prime Minister’s Relief and Welfare Fund.
Hasina also handed over wheel chairs among four critically injured garment workers. The injured workers will also get Tk 10-Tk 15 lakh from the PM’s Relief and Welfare Fund depending on the gravity of their injury and need.
read more.  & read more. & read more.
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* Tk 6.24 crore provided to family members of 555 Savar tragedy victims:

Prime Minister and Leader of the House Sheikh Hasina today said financial assistance of Taka 6,24,50,000 has so far been given from her Relief and Welfare Fund to the family members of 555 workers killed in Savar Rana Plaza collapse.

The family members of the remaining victims who were killed in the eight-storey Rana Plaza collapse on April 24 would also be provided financial assistance in phases, she said.
The Leader of the House said this in her question-answer session in reply to a question from treasury bench member Rawshan Jahan Sathi.
Sheikh Hasina said Taka 6,24,50,000 were provided to introduce ‘saving certificates’ for life for the 24 workers who were crippled in the tragic Savar incident.

She said Taka 1,42,14,000 were paid to different private hospitals, clinics and diagnostic centres in Savar against the treatment cost of the injured . Besides, she said, Madhumoti Bank has provided wheelchairs to the patients who were crippled in the Savar building collapse.
The Prime Minister said 2438 persons have so far been rescued alive under the rubbles of the Rana Plaza building. She said all out measures were taken for the treatment of the persons who were seriously injured in the collapse.
read more. & read more.
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* 50 injured as police, BCL men attack Rana Plaza survivors:

20130606_Daily Jungator“while trying to agitate with their grievance Police is trying to disband the garment workers”.- Photo by Daily Jugantor

At least 50 people were injured as alleged activists of Bangladesh Chhatra League and police on Wednesday attacked the survivors and relatives of the workers feared missing after the Rana Plaza collapse .

Witnesses said that the police and BCL activists launched the attack when over 1,000 survivors and relatives of missing workers were demonstrating in front of the collapse site in Savar demanding compensation and rehabilitation of the maimed workers.  The disaster left over 1,100 people dead and scores missing.

The protesters, under the banner of Rana Plaza Garments Workers Union, blocked the Dhaka-Aricha highway for about three hours from around 10:00am.
Suddenly a group of BCL activists numbering 25-30 attacked the demonstrators with iron rods when police were negotiating with the demonstrators.
The area virtually turned into a battle field when the police fired rubber bullets and tear gas to disperse the workers who retaliated by hurling stones at the attackers.
read more.

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20130607

* JBFH and AMDA conduct follow-up treatment to Savar Rana Plaza victims:

Japan Bangladesh Friendship Hospital (JBFH) and Association of Medical Doctors of Asia (AMDA) today jointly organized a follow-up medical treatment for the victims of the Rana Plaza Savar tragedy.

The medical team comprising thirty specialist doctors, nurses, paramedics and hospital personnel were present at Savar Adhar Chandra Model High School providing complimentary medical treatment, group psychotherapy, free medicine supplies and distributed 800 kilograms of rice and 200 kilograms of pulse to ensure food security of these victims.

The team led by JBFH Chairman Prof Dr Md Jonaid Shafiq, Pain Specialist and JBFH Managing Director Prof Dr Sarder A Nayeem.
The JBFH and AMDA Bangladesh were present immediately after the the Rana Plaza collapse with their Emergency Medical Response Team (EMRT) on April 25 assisting with other organizations to provide immediate relief for the victims of the tragedy.
read more.
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20130608

* Bangladesh survivors fear for work prospects:

Factory workers left with lifelong injuries after April’s deadly collapse fear they will never work again.

Shareholders of the world’s largest retailer Walmart are converging in the US state of Arkansas for the company’s annual meeting.
Any decisions made will be closely followed in Bangladesh, where more than 1,100 people died after a garment factory collapsed in April.
Some survivors lost limbs and fear they will never work again.
read & see more. (video report).
aljazeera

* Injured workers need follow-up treatment:

The workers who became injured in the Rana Plaza collapse and were immediately treated in hospitals have been forced to return to their houses, with serious physical problems while physicians said that the needed follow-up treatment.

Many of the injured workers told New Age in the Adharchandra High School ground, where Japan Bangladesh Friendship Hospital and the Association of Medical Doctors of Asia organized a free medical campaign, on Friday that they were suffering from various physical complications. They said that they were also faced with financial problems.
read more.

* Primark begins paying compensation over Bangladesh factory disaster:

Primark has begun the process of paying compensation to thousands of workers and their families who were involved in the Rana Plaza factory disaster, as campaigners said retailers must do more to protect workers’ rights.

The high-street clothes chain, whose supplier Simple Approach occupied the second floor of the eight-storey Rana Plaza building that collapsed in April, has promised money will start flowing into the bank accounts of almost 4,000 workers or their dependents next week.

Primark, whose owner Associated British Foods reported bumper half-year pre-tax profits of £415m in April, said it was spending $1m (£640,000) on short-term aid for victims. “It is the right thing to do,” said Paul Lister, head of governance at AB Foods. “There is obviously real hardship, short-term hardship, which we initially dealt with with food aid.”
The company had decided to provide short-term aid, equivalent to three months’ wages, because long-term compensation “will take a period of time to deal with and in the meantime some of these people are suffering real hardship”.
read more. & read more. & read more. & read more. & read more. & read more.logo daily star bd newstodayBD NewNation

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20130609

* Bangladesh suspends factory inspectors over disaster:

Bangladesh on Sunday suspended seven safety inspectors after they rubber-stamped operating licences for factories that later collapsed in the nation’s worst industrial disaster, the labour secretary said.

An investigation found the inspectors had renewed licences sometimes without even visiting the factories to check safety conditions in the Rana Plaza building that collapsed on April 24, Labour Secretary Mikail Shipar said.

“The probe has found that the eight inspectors approved and renewed the licences of five factories at Rana Plaza without proper inquiry and supervision,” Shipar, the labour ministry’s top official, told AFP.

Seven were suspended on Sunday while one has already retired, following the ministry probe into its inspectors who are supposed to check conditions and facilities at the nation’s 4,500 garment plants, he said.
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An investigation found the inspectors had renewed licences sometimes without even visiting the factories to check safety conditions in the Rana Plaza building that collapsed on April 24, Labour Secretary Mikail Shipar said.

“The probe has found that the eight inspectors approved and renewed the licences of five factories at Rana Plaza without proper inquiry and supervision,” Shipar, the labour ministry’s top official, told AFP.

Seven were suspended on Sunday while one has already retired, following the ministry probe into its inspectors who are supposed to check conditions and facilities at the nation’s 4,500 garment plants, he said.
read more.
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* Another arrested in Rana Plaza case:

A judicial magistrate in Dhaka on Sunday allowed an engineer to be remanded in police custody for three days in a case filed with the collapse of the Rana Plaza that took place on April 24.

The police arrested the site engineer, Md Sarowar Kamal, 55, at Fultala in Khulna on Saturday.
After the arrest, the Criminal Investigation Department produced the accused in court seeking him to be remanded in custody for seven days. Senior judicial magistrate Tajul Islam granted the remand.
CID officials, however, said that Sarowar was not named in the first information report but he had supervised the construction of the building that collapsed because of faulty structure.
As there was no counsel for the accused in the hearing, the court asked him whether he wanted to defend himself.
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20130610

* Rana Plaza Tragedy: 4 accused on fresh remand:

A Dhaka court on Monday placed four garment owners on a two-day fresh remand in a case over much-talked-about Rana Plaza collapse.

The accused are Anisur Rahman, Bazlus Samad Adnan, Aminul Islam and Mahmudur Rahman Tapash.
Senior Judicial Magistrate of Dhaka Toybul Hasan Uzzal passed the remand order following a plea of police.
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20130611

* Chief factory inspector changed:

Health ministry deputy secretary Md Moshiur Rahman has replaced Md Habibul Islam as chief  inspector of factories under the labour ministryreplacing.

The public administration ministry notified the change in the official gazette  on Monday, a day after the labour and employment ministry suspended seven factory inspection officials following an investigation into the devastating Rana Plaza disaster.
The labour ministry investigation reportedly found the suspended officials guilty of negligence of duties.
The multi-storied Rana Plaza, which housed five clothing factories, a  shopping mall and a bank, collapsed on April 24, killing at least 1,130 people mostly women apparel workers and leaving  2,000 others limbless and injured.
read more.

* 7 inspectors of Rana Plaza factories suspended:

They issued licenses without visiting

Bangladesh has suspended seven inspectors it accuses of negligence for renewing the licenses of garment factories in a building that collapsed in April, killing more than 1,100 people, a top Labor Ministry official said Monday.

The official, Mikail Shipar, said a ministry investigation found that the inspectors never even visited the five factories housed in the shabbily built eight-story Rana Plaza building. He said one of the factories, EtherTex, had been operating without any license from the factory inspection department since 2008, while the others were licensed through 2013.

At least 1,129 people died when the building in the Dhaka suburb of Savar collapsed April 24, a day after cracks in the building prompted authorities to issue an evacuation order.
Shipar said the ministry’s report was preliminary, and that if the accusations are proven the inspectors, all mid-level officials, will lose their jobs.
read more.
NewNation

* Uncertain future for Survivors:

The news spread quickly: somebody was coming to give out more money. By the middle of the steely gray morning of June 7, thousands of men and women who used to work at the collapsed Rana Plaza factory complex had made their way to a military school in Savar, the industrial district outside Dhaka.

They stood outside the compound’s walls as rain pattered down on their umbrellas. It was a chance to get some much-needed cash, but also a chance to trade information — about the dead, the missing, how to get compensation and, perhaps most elusively, what they should do next.

Six weeks after the worst industrial accident in the history of garment industry, information is still in short supply. The official death toll of the Rana Plaza collapse is 1,129, with 301 bodies still unidentified, but workers’-rights groups think the count is higher.

Of a group of 20 or so people crowded under a tree, nobody quite knew why they had waited in line that morning to register their names, surrounded by soldiers and security guards in crisp polo shirts.

Nor were the workers sure who, exactly, had provided the 1,000 taka — about $12 — that they were handed before they left. “An NGO?” somebody in the crowd offered. Khadija Begum, who worked at Phantom Apparels on the building’s 4th floor, said a neighbor had told her to come. “They gave us 1,000 taka and I wrote my name down on a list,” she said. “I don’t know who the money was from.”
read more.
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20130612

* 4 staff held, remanded:

Forcing workers in Rana Plaza

20130612 DAILYSTAR Rana-Plaza1The Rana Plaza collapse, which claimed at least 1,131 lives, was one of the world’s worst industrial disasters. Star file photo

Four persons, who allegedly forced garment employees to join work despite development of cracks in the Rana Plaza, were remanded Wednesday, a day after their arrest in Savar.

Abdul Mannan, 37, Md Alamgir Hossain, 30, Mohammad Modhu, 27 and Md Russel Ahmed, 31, were placed on a four-day remand.
Police arrested the four at different places in Savar Tuesday night in connection with the April 24 collapse that claimed 1,131 lives.
The members of Criminal Investigation Department (CID) produced them before the Court of Chief Judicial Magistrate Taibul Hassan in Dhaka on Wednesday with a seven-day remand prayer.
The four along with Sohel Rana, owner of Rana Plaza, forced the garments workers to work on the 2nd floor of the nine-storey building despite the cracks developed in its pillars the previous day, Bijoy Krisna Kar, assistant superintendent of police of CID, told the court.
to read. & read more. & read more.
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20130614

* Rana Plaza victims claim foreign aid distribution non-transparent:

A group of Rana Plaza victims alleged that there is a lack of transparency in the distribution of aid money provided by foreign organisations, for the treatment and rehabilitation of the survivors.

The Rana Plaza Garments’ Workers Union made the allegation at a press conference held at the National Press Club Monday.
In a written statement, the union claimed there was no clear and transparent accounting of the grants, which came from abroad for the treatment and assistance of Rana Plaza victims.
“There is lack of transparency, and enough scope for corruption and lies,” the statement said.
Rana Plaza Garments’ Workers Union was formed on May 18 by surviving workers of the five garment factories housed inside the collapsed building at Savar.
The group is a part of the Garments Workers’ Trade Union.
read more.
DHAKATRIBUNE

* 4 garment owners denied bail:

A Dhaka court yesterday rejected bail and sent to jail four owners of garment factories housed in Rana Plaza that collapsed on April 24, killing at least 1,131 people.

They are Anisur Rahman, chairman of Ether Tex; Aminul Islam, chairman of Phantom Apparels Ltd and Phantom Tack Ltd; Bazlus Samad Adnan, chairman of New Wave Buttons; and Mahbubur Rahman Tapash, managing director of the factory.
The court passed the order after they were produced before it on completion of their two-day remand.
Bijoy Krishna Kar, assistant superintendent of police of the Criminal Investigation Department and also the investigation officer (IO) of the case, in his forwarding report said he had collected important information about their involvement with the incident.
read more.
daily star bd

* 25km foot-walk to protest death of apparel workers:

Around 100 people staged a 25-kilometre ‘foot-walk’ programme Friday to protest the death of garment workers in industrial accidents like fire and collapse of buildings.

The foot-walk began from the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) at around 11.20am terminated at the site of the collapsed Rana Plaza building in Savar.
The foot-walk was held under the banner of the Bangladesh Garments Sramik Andolon and the Sarbostarer Chattra- Shikshak-Sramik, Peshajibi Janata.
The programme was also aimed at realising a seven-point charter of demands, which include capital punishment for those responsible for the death of hundreds of garment workers in factory fire and building collapse incidents.
read more.

* The victims of Rana Plaza Bangladesh:

The collapsed building in Bangladesh had a death toll of 1139 plus 2 rescue workers.

Lots of victims, mainly women, are now trying to recover from their injuries. They are suffering, because they can not get the proper health care. They have no income and some are not able to work again for the rest of their lives. What is being done for these women?
see more (video).
ICCO Cooperation

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20130616

*  Lack of proper database deprives Rana Plaza workers of benefits:

Speakers at a discussion Saturday alleged that lack of coordination and proper database deprived the hapless hundreds of families of Rana Plaza workers getting any kind of aid and rehabilitation facilities.

They said the injured workers that are taking medication in city’s large hospitals and only a portion of identified dead workers’ families got aid from Prime Minister and other sources.

But the large number of workers those who were released from the hospitals after taking first aid or singed medication and those that left Dhaka after the incident and now taking medication from different hospitals in Dhaka and outside, they are totally deprived of all kinds of help, they added.
Power and Participation Research Centre (PPRC) organised the ‘View Exchange and Building on Follow up Action Plan’ at the National Press Club auditorium in the city.
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20130617

* Rana Plaza units exported products worth $28.4m:

Commerce Minister G M Quader Sunday said the apparel factories housed at collapsed Rana Plaza exported clothing items worth US$ 28.4 million in between January 2012 and May 2013.

The factories also had ready products worth $ 1.0 million, kept at Chittagong Port and different shipping firms for making shipments to 11 global retailers.
He made the disclosure in reply to a question of parliamentarian A K M Maidul Islam of Kurigram-3 during the post-budgetary session on the day.
“The government instructed the authorities concerned to take every possible measure for ensuring the shipments for wellbeing of the country’s export and trade,” he added.
Talking about the punishment, he said several committees formed by the government to investigate the massive industrial disaster have been working hard to detect clues that could help ensure justice.
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* Honouring RMG workers:

The garment industry of Bangladesh employs nearly four million poor workers mostly women, who have helped the country become the world’s second largest exporter of apparels — proudly earning the right to claim “Tailor to the world.”

These incredible workers have greatly benefitted from these manufacturing jobs, which have helped millions pull themselves out of poverty to the lower rungs of the middle class. However, the factory collapse on April 24 in Savar killing 1,131 workers (injuring another 2,500) and the deadly factory fire in Tazreen demonstrate safety and working conditions for many workers remain precarious.

As a solution, the 2006 Nobel Peace laureate economist Prof Muhammad Yunus has suggested creating a Trust Fund that will be sustained by a small fee paid by the customer at the retail level. In return for the small fee, each piece of apparel from the participating factories will be “certified” as a “fair labour garment”.

The Western customer will enjoy the peace of mind that the apparel has been produced under fair labour conditions, where without exception workers receive a minimum wage that allows for a decent living, and the factories are 100 percent complaint of structural building codes and all labour laws.
Sir Fazle Abed, founding chair of BRAC, recently said the vision should be to ensure that the “made in Bangladesh” logo a symbol of pride, not one of shame.
read more.
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20130618

* DNA tests may be delayed for money:

The DNA profiling of Rana Plaza victims and their relatives to determine the identities of unnamed bodies might be delayed as the authorities concerned are reluctant to provide the fee of Tk 50 lakh to the National Forensic DNA Profiling Laboratory.

Immediately after the deadly building collapse in Saver on April 24 which killed at least 1,131 people, mostly garment workers, the government asked the NFDPL to determine the identities of unnamed victims.
As per the government instruction, the NFDPL has so far collected samples from 320 bodies and 544 reference samples from relatives of the workers feared missing.
The lab expects that the total number of samples (bodies and relatives) might reach one thousand as the reference samples of the relatives of the missing victims have been increasing everyday and ………the lab estimated DNA profiling fee at Tk 50 lakh.
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* 3 engineers remanded in custody:

A judicial magistrate’s court in Dhaka on Monday remanded three engineers in police custody for two days for interrogation in a criminal case for the collapse of Rana Plaza at Savar.

Senior judicial magistrate Toyebul Hasan, passed the order after the Criminal Investigation Department sought Savar municipal executive engineer, Imtemam Hossain, its assistant engineer Alam Miah, and a local engineer Abdur Razzak to be placed in custody for seven days for interrogation.
read more. & read more.
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* Three Rana Plaza engineers placed on two-day fresh remand:

A Dhaka court Monday placed three engineers involved with authorising construction of the collapsed Rana Plaza on a fresh two-day remand in a criminal case submitted in connection with the Savar Tragedy.

Dhaka Senior Judicial Magistrate Toybul Hasan granted two days’ fresh remand under police custody against a seven-day remand prayer. The court also rejected bail plea placed by the accused themselves as Dhaka Bar Association announced earlier that they would not represent for any of the accused in the Rana Plaza cases.

Investigation Officer (IO) of the case and CID Assistant Superintendent, Bijoy Krishna Khar, produced the accused engineers before the court and made seven days’ fresh police remand plea.
read more.
DHAKATRIBUNE

* DNA testing of Rana Plaza collapse victims uncertain:

BGMEA, govt squabble over bearing the cost

The fate of DNA test to know the identities of dead bodies of Rana Plaza victims hangs in the balance as the apparel apex body and the government are allegedly trying to shift the responsibility of bearing the cost for the purpose onto each other, sources said.

According to an estimate, around Tk 5.0 million is required for carrying out the DNA (Deoxyribonucleic Acid) test for some 100 dead bodies that were recovered from rubbles of the multi-storied building at Savar. The building-collapse left at least 1,130 people killed and about 1,800 others injured.
Both the sides are still in a process of exchanging letters and documents and pushing each other for bearing the cost of the DNA test even nearly two months after the tragedy.

As a result, the families of the victims are still in the dark about whether they would either be able to know the identity of their near ones or get compensation money.
read more.

* Families of Rana Plaza victims receive cheques from PM:

A total of 133 family members of the dead garment workers and 18 critically injured victims in Rana Plaza building collapse received financial assistance from Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Tuesday.

The Prime Minister distributed the ‘Family Savings Certificate’ among them at her office.
Each of the critically injured persons received saving certificate of Tk 15 to 10 lakh depending on the gravity of their injuries. The same amount of money was distributed among each of the family members of the dead garment workers.
Earlier, 452 injured garment workers and family members of the deceased garment workers received financial assistance from the Prime Minister.
read more. & read more. & read more. & read more.
UNB BSS

* Railway minister hands over Tk 45 lakh to PM for Rana Plaza victims:

Railway Minister Md Mujibul Haque today handed over a cheque for Taka 45,19,560, one day’s salary of the officers and employees of the ministry and the railway staff, to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina at the PM’s Office here for the Savar Rana Plaza victims.
Acting Secretary of the Railway Ministry Md Abul Kalam Azad and Director General (DG) of Bangladesh Railway Md Abu Taher were present.
to read.
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20130621

* Bangladesh collapse left many amputees:

It was the worst disaster in the history of the garment industry. When the Rana Plaza factory building crashed down in April, 1,129 people were killed. But many others had to sacrifice their limbs to survive.

Arms and legs were trapped under the building rubble, forcing rescuers with no medical training to perform amputations on the spot to free the victims.

No anesthesia was available. Some of the rescuers used butchers knives or hacksaws to cut through the flesh and save the trapped workers. Many of those freed are still recovering.

Laboni, 21, worked on the fourth floor. Her left arm was amputated to free her from the rubble, 36 hours after the building collapsed. Shahi Noor, 25, worked on the sixth floor. Her right leg was cut off to free her on the day of the collapse.

Bangladesh’s government and garment manufacturers are campaigning to close dangerous factories and to make safety a priority for the country’s most valuable export industry. But many in the government, the industry and the rescue workers said they would not be shocked if another terrible tragedy happened.
to read.
UNB

* BGMEA probe finds factory, building owners guilty:

A probe committee of Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association has accused the owners of collapsed Rana Plaza and the five clothing factories housed in it for the recent deaths of the workers.

In the report the probe committee suggested the government to penalize the owners for their gross negligence.
The report may be made public next week, said a committee member.

He said the report also called for bringing the factory inspectors to book for giving permission to the owners to setup generators on the upper floors of multi-storied Rana Plaza.
According to the committee findings Rana Plaza collapsed due to structural faults.
The pillars could not bear the load of the multi-storied Rana Plaza, according to the findings.

A team of experts from the Bangladesh University of Engineering and technology assisted the probe committee.
Another member of the committee said that the factory owners cannot avoid the responsibility of the disaster as they did not comply with the BGMEA instruction to shut the factories after the Rana Plaza had developed cracks.
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20130624

* Many workers yet to get compensation:

Several hundred workers injured in the Rana Plaza collapse and relatives of those feared missing are passing days in miseries as they have not been given any compensation by any quarters concerned in last two months.

The maimed workers said they were enlisted by many quarters concerned but were not given any compensation. They also do not know what steps have been taken for their rehabilitation. They want their immediate rehabilitation.
While talking with New Age on Sunday the injured workers said they were suffering severe hardship without job
The eight-storey Rana Plaza, which housed five clothing factories, a shopping mall and a bank, collapsed on the morning of April 24, killing 1,131 people.
The maimed workers said after the collapse nobody came to enquire about their condition.
‘Our situation is terrible. We have no earning, no money to buy food. No one came to us with any financial help,’ said one of the workers.
read more.

* Rana Plaza collapse victim Manowar still in coma:

Manowar, 18, who sustained brain injury in Rana Plaza collapse, has been in a coma for the last two months. 

He was admitted to the intensive care unit of Enam Medical College at Savar on April 24 after the tragic incident.
The hospital management said he had remained in his unconscious state.
Sudip Shaha, the doctor on duty, said Manowar had a very critical injury in the brain and it was very difficult to say whether he would recover from this state.

The victim had many other complications — bones of his both legs were broken and at least four surgeries were carried out in his body.
Eight-storey Rana Plaza collapsed, leaving at least 1,131 people dead so far.
Manowar turned into a subject of discussion because of confusion over his identity after he was rescued.Manowar’s father Abul Hosen said he had rushed to the spot after hearing the news of factory collapse and found Manowar a day later.
Manowar worked in New Wave Bottoms Ltd and lived with his uncle Atiar Rahman at Savar, he further added.
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20130625

* Fashion Victims:

Australians love a bargain, but what’s the real cost of cheap clothes from the sweat shops in Bangladesh? On 24th April this year more than a thousand people were killed when an eight storey building collapsed in the heart of Bangladesh’s capital, Dhaka.

The collapse of Rana Plaza turned the world’s attention to the shocking conditions workers in the country’s clothing industry are forced to endure. In recent years, Australian companies have flooded into Bangladesh to take advantage of lax labour laws and the lowest wages in the world, paid to the predominantly young, female workers in the factories.

Next on Four Corners reporter Sarah Ferguson sets out to find where the clothes we see in our major retail outlets are made. What efforts do Australian companies make to ensure the factories are safe and their workers earn a living wage? Australian retailers blocked our enquiries at every turn, refusing access to factories wherever we went. Working backwards from some of our best known retail outlets, Four Corners goes factory to factory showing workers and union organisers Australian labels until the factories are found. There the workers describe a miserable existence, long hours, pitiful pay and abuse if deadlines aren’t met. In some of the worst cases there is even violence and threats of jail:

“Workers are being arrested, beaten, tortured … you know, sexual harassment, just on and on and on. This was a miserable sweatshop.”
read & see more. (video).
FOURCORNERS australie

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20130626

* Savar Tragedy: Thailand provides 5mn baht in humanitarian aid:

Thailand has provided Bangladesh 5 million baht in humanitarian aid to help the victims of the 9-storey Rana Plaza collapse that left 1,127 people killed in April last.

Thai Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Surapong Tovichakchaikul on Monday handed 166,000 US dollars or around 5 million baht to Bangladesh to help the families and victims of the building collapse, reports the National News Bureau of Thailand (NNT).
The building on the outskirts of capital Dhaka crashed down on April 24 killing 1,127 people and over 2,500 injured.
The Thai foreign minister said Thailand and Bangladesh have had very strong ties when it comes to humanitarian aids. In 2010, Bangladesh gave Thailand 1 million US dollars, around 30 million baht, when the country was hit by severe flood.
to read.
UNB

* Uniliver donates Tk 10 lakh for Savar victims:

Uniliver Bangladesh Ltd, a leading business conglomerate, today donated Taka 10 lakh for the Rana Palza victims, reports BSS.

The company handed over a cheque to concerned authorities for the Taka at a simple ceremony at its Polashbari local office in Ashulia.
to read. & to read.
newstodayBD BSS

* Rana Plaza tragedy exposes complete disregard for rules:

BGMEA unveils findings of a probe into the nation’s worst industrial disaster today

The Rana Plaza collapsed due to rules being flouted at every step of the way, the BGMEA found in its study.

“The authorities concerned gave nod to construction of six floors on the swampy land, but the building’s owner, Sohel Rana, constructed it right up to the ninth,” a senior official of the garment sector’s apex trade body said.
The official was involved in the investigation commissioned by the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) following the collapse of the building on April 24, killing more than 1,100 people and injuring thousands.
BGMEA Vice-President SA Mannan Kochi led the investigation, whose findings would be made public today via a media briefing.
read more.
daily star bd

* Savar tragedy and what next:

The catastrophe at Rana Plaza cast a pal of gloom throughout the country over the untimely death of 1127 people.

Soon after the collapse of the building, came forward all the private TV channels to inform people of the updated developments there. Rescue workers and the government agencies were prompt to undertake the rescue operation. Kudos for the rescue workers– Bangladesh made an extraordinary achievement in conducting such a gigantic operation.
Now the concern is how the injured persons, particularly those severely injured will maintain their livelihood. Many still ask why this tragedy is. Is it the outcome of politics, or, is it the inevitable consequence of dehumanisation, or, is it the summation of improperly discharging duties in our respective fields?
It creates irritation among the common passengers if the bus they board on causes mechanical disorder halfway to their destination. But why is that? Bus operators ought to have put the bus in good condition before it starts its journey. Needless to say, ensuring fitness of total mechanical system and all other can only make the movement and consequently passengers may enjoy uninterrupted and smooth trip.
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20130627

* BGMEA probe finds Sohel Rana, RAJUK officials responsible for building collapse:

Sohel Rana, the owner of Rana Plaza building and proprietors of the apparels factories housed there are the culprits for the tragedy of multi-storey building collapse in Savar on April 24.

A probe committee of Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) found them responsible in its report brought to light Wednesday after about two months of the disaster, at a press conference in BGMEA building.
The probe report found several reasons for the collapse of the building, including structural faults, placing heavy generators and other machineries in the upper floors.
BGMEA also hold factory inspection department officials responsible for issuing permissions to the owners to keep generators and heavy machineries on the upper floors of the multi-storied Rana Plaza.
read more.

* BGMEA blames bldg, factory owners:

Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association has primarily found the owner of Rana Plaza at Savar responsible for its collapse and then also accused the owners of the five clothing factories housed in it for the disaster and death of the workers, according to the probe report of the trade body.

Besides owners of the building and factories, the BGMEA probe report also held the Department of Inspection for Factories and Establishments, Rajdhani Unnayan Kortipakkha and Savar Municipal Corporation for the disaster as the institutions did not carry out their responsibilities properly.
The BGMEA investigation report on Rana Plaza collapse and the disastrous death of over 1,130 workers and injury of hundreds of others on April 24 was for mally released on Wednesday.
Addressing a press conference on the occasion of releasing the probe report, BGMEA president Atiqul Islam said that the owner of Rana Rlaza, Sohel Rana, is mainly responsible for the tragedy as he had forced the garment owners to continue their operation on that fateful day despite cracks were located on the building the day before.
read more.

* Design violation led to disaster: BGMEA:

Turning Rana Plaza into a nine-storied building violating the Rajuk-approved design for a six-storey structure led to its collapse causing the nations’ worst industrial disaster, the country’s apex body for apparel industry said Wednesday.

An investigation committee of the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) has identified eight more reasons for the April 24 collapse that killed 1,131 people, mostly female workers of five garment units housed in the building.

BGMEA Vice-President SA Mannan Kochi, who led the 11-member committee formed on April 28, disclosed the findings after a two-month probe into the incident at a press briefing at BGMEA office Wednesday afternoon.
Construction of the building using substandard materials and low capacity of its pillars are two key reasons, he said.

The installation of heavy generators on the rooftop and setting up of heavy machines of the garment factories also contributed to the disaster, according to the probe report.
to read.
daily star bd

* BGMEA avoids responsibility:

20130626 BANGLA24rana-plaza-bg

Bangladesh Garments Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) avoided all the responsibilities of the collapse of Rana Plaza in Savar in the investigation report.

The report, however, blamed the building owner Sohel Rana and the owners’ of garments factories.
BGMEA President M Atikul Islam made public the investigation report on Rana Plaza collapse on Wednesday.
He said, “We forewarned the garments owners about collapse, but they kept their factories open after the false assurance from the building owner.”
read more. & read more. & read more. & read more. & read more.
BANGLA NEWS24 bdnews24 logo daily star bd NewNation

* Rana Plaza: BGMEA probe accuses building, factory owners:

BGMEA said they have no liability as they warned the factory and building owners a day ahead of the disaster

A probe committee constituted by the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA), accused the Rana Plaza owner and the owners of the five factories that were housed in the building for the incident that killed more than 1,120 people in April.

The apex apparel trade body also held responsible the Department of Inspection for Factories and Establishments, Savar municipal corporation and Rajdhani Unnayan Kortipakkha (RAJUK) for the disaster.
“BGMEA has no liability for the Rana Plaza disaster, as we warned the factory and building owners to shut it down a day ahead of the disaster,” said BGMEA President Atiqul Islam while disclosing the inquiry report on Wednesday at a briefing at BGMEA headquarters in the capital’s Karwanbazar area.

According to the report, the committee identified nine reasons including violation of the building plan, which was for a six-storey building but was built as a eight-storey building using sub standard building materials.
read more. & read more. & read more.
DHAKATRIBUNE UNB BSS

* BGMEA holds Rana Plaza, 5 RMG owners responsible for disaster, shirks its responsibility:

Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) held owners of Rana Plaza and five garment factories housed in the building responsible for the disaster. The BGMEA did not take any responsibility for the tragedy.

In a report released on Wednesday, two months after the largest industrial disaster of the country, the BGMEA identified nine causes for the collapse of the high-rise building at Savar that killed 1,131 people and maimed around 2000 — mostly female workers.

It also made officials concerned of the Savar Municipality, Department of Inspection for Factories and Establishments and RAJUK accountable for the catastrophe as those agencies passed the faulty plan, allowed the owner of the building to erect up to 9th floor instead of approved 6th floor and inspected the building but did not take necessary actions.
(…)
Replying to a question, BGMEA President Atiqul Islam said until today, they spent Tk 90 million for compensation, medical expenditure and rehabilitation of the victims.

When asked, whether this is a planned homicide or an accident, Mr Islam said there is law and concerned authority in the country, they would define whether it is an accident or killings.

“We are not avoiding entire responsibility; we inspected the disaster site, paid compensation to workers, suspended BGMEA membership of all the five factory owners,” he said reiterating they are not anyway responsible for the Rana Plaza collapse.
read more.

* PM receives donations for Rana Plaza victims:

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Wednesday received a cheque of donation from for the PM’s Relief and Welfare Fund to help the injured and the family members of the victims of the tragic Rana Plaza collapse.

Finance Minister AMA Muhith formally handed over to the Prime Minister at her parliament office a cheque of Tk 5.24 crore that came from one-day salaries of the officials of various institutions and divisions under his ministry.
The salaries of the officials include the Finance Division, Bank and Financial Institution Division, Economic Relations Division (ERD), Internal Resources Division (IRD), Comptroller and Auditor General, State-Owned commercial and specialised banks, Insurance Development Regulatory Authority (IDRA), Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Sadharan Bima Corporation and Jiban Bima Corporation.
(…)
After the incident, she said, her government gave highest priority to provide assistance to the injured and also to the dependent family members of the victims.
The Prime Minister said the family members of the Savar building collapse victims are being given highest Tk 15 lakh in the form of savings certificates. She said the children of the female victims are receiving assistance while the wives and children in case of male victims.
read more. & read more.
UNB newstodayBD

* Thailand grants $166,000 for BD:

Thailand has granted Bt5 million (about US$166,000) to assist families of victims in the recent factory collapse in Bangladesh.

Deputy Prime Minister/Foreign Minister Surapong Tovichakchaikul made the disclosure.
More than 1,000 people died in the country`s deadliest industrial disaster.
Mr Surapong said Thailand and Bangladesh have always provided humanitarian aid to each other.
read more.
BANGLA NEWS24

* Rana Plaza: Savar ward councillor on three-day remand:

The same court also rejected bail petition of three garment factory owners

A Dhaka court on Thursday placed Mohammad Ali Khan, a ward councillor of Savar municipality, on a three-day remand in connection with a murder case filed over the collapse of Rana Plaza on April 24.

Senior Judicial Magistrate Toybul Hasan passed the order rejecting a bail petition submitted by Khan’s counsel Moshiur Rahman.
Investigation Officer (IO) of the case Bijay Krishna Khar, assistant superintendent of police from the Criminal Investigation Department (CID), produced them before the court with five days’ remand plea.
In the plea, the IO said Khan is a relative of Sohel Rana, the owner of Rana Plaza. He cooperated to build the building illegally.
On June 26, CID arrested Mohammad Ali Khan form Savar.
Meanwhile, the same court on Thursday rejected bail petition of owners of three garment factories, housed in the Rana Plaza, and an assistant engineer of Savar municipality in two cases filed over the building collapse.
read more.
DHAKATRIBUNE

20130702

* US offers help in DNA testing for Rana Plaza victims:

About 550 people await the DNA test results

20130702 DHAKATRIBUNESavar_collapse_6File photo of the collapsed Rana Plaza

The US Federal Bureau of Intelligence will provide Bangladesh with the Combined DNA Index System (Codis) free of cost to identify bodies of Savar’s Rana Plaza fatalities.

The software programme will help establish the identities of 321 bodies of unidentified garment workers who died in the building collapse.
A source at the Ministry of Women and Children Affairs said the FBI would also provide technical and vocational support to experts at the DNA Laboratory in the Dhaka Medical College Hospital (DMCH) where the software will be placed.
read more.
DHAKATRIBUNE

20130703

* PM gives financial help to 144 kin of 101 victims of Savar tragedy:

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Wednesday provided financial assistance to 144 family members of 101 victims, who were killed in the Savar building collapse.

She gave the assistance from the PM’s Relief and Welfare Fund in the 6th phase this time from her office (PMO).
So far, Tk 9.71 crore has been distributed among 654 family members of the victims who were killed in Savar Rana Plaza collapse.
Besides, the Prime Minister also distributed Tk 3.30 crore among the 30 wounded victims of the Savar tragedy.
read more. & read more.
UNB BSS

* DU donates Tk 25 lakh to PM’s relief fund for Savar victims:

Teachers, officials and employees of Dhaka University (DU) on Wednesday donated their one-day salary worth Tk 25 lakh to the Prime Minister’s Relief and Welfare Fund for the Savar victims.

DU Vice-chancellor Prof Dr AAMS Arefin Siddique handed over the cheque of donation to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.
DU Pro-vice chancellor (academic) Prof Dr Nasrin Ahmad, treasurer Prof Dr M Kamal Uddin, DU Teachers’ Association president Prof Farid Uddin Ahmed and DU Officers’ Association president M Ashraf Uddin were, among, others, present on the occasion.
read more. & read more.
UNB BSS

* Rehabilitation of injured Rana Plaza victims:

The collapse of Rana Plaza has been branded as one of the worst industrial disasters in the history of Bangladesh. This incident drew international attention due to the high death toll. However, one aspect that has not been highlighted enough is the plight of the injured people who have been rescued.

Many of the injured were the sole breadwinners for their families. Many of them have lost limbs which has made them handicapped for the rest of their life. For the time being, the government and some NGOs are providing them with financial assistance. However, one day this assistance is bound to stop and they will be pushed into uncertain and difficult life.

The government needs to come up with a long-term plan to rehabilitate these injured people. Those who are able to work in spite of their injury should have access to employment. For those who are unable to work, there should be assurance of proper compensation from BGMEA (Bangladesh Garments Manufacturers and Exporters Association). Most importantly, the government needs to take proper steps to ensure that such tragic incidents do not occur in future.
read more.

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20130710

* BB receives Tk 20 lakh from Woori Bank for Savar victims:

Bangladesh Bank (BB) today received a cheque for Taka 20 lakh from Woori
Bank for the Prime Minister’s relief fund for the Rana Plaza collapse
victims.

BB Governor Dr Atiur Rahman today received the cheques from Chief
Executive for Woori Bank Bangladesh, Jong Hu Park at a programme at the
central bank’s headquarters in the capital.
With the donation from the Korean Woori Bank, BB so far received Taka 90
crore for the PM’s relief fund for the victims of Savar building collapse.
to read.
BSS

* Aftermath of the Rana Plaza Tragedy: Social and Health Issues Emerge Amid Struggle for Workers’ Rights:

Two months after the Rana Plaza building collapse in Savar, Bangladesh on April 24, where over a thousand workers died and countless others were injured, families who lost a loved one or workers who were seriously injured face obstacles in obtaining compensation for lost wages, adequate health care for issues related to their injuries, and counseling for severe post-traumatic stress from the tragedy.

It is hard to imagine the full ripple effects of the tragedy in the workers’ families and communities, unless one realizes that garment workers were the primary or steady wage earners in their families, who were overwhelmingly young women.  The workers’ salaries supported not only their immediate families, but also that of their extended families.  Injuries, including those to pelvic areas, have created women’s health issues unique to a predominantly female workforce.

Female Garment Workers as Primary Wage Earners Sixteen-year old Sabina supports her three sisters and parents as a garment worker.  She is unable to attend school because she is forced to work to support her younger sisters and parents.  Now, traumatized by the collapse, she no longer wants to go back to the garment factory.  Her mother by her side as she recuperates with other workers in a dedicated Rana Plaza unit at the Centre for the Rehabilitation of the Paralysed, Sabina worries about what other work she could find.   Most likely, she will return to her village.
read more.
NY LAWSCHOOL

20130711

* Victims’ protest in front of BGMEA office:

20130711 BANGLA24 bgmea-BGWorkers demanding salary and compensation before Eid – photo by Banglanews24.

Workers of the garment factories that were housed in Savar’s collapsed Rana Plaza have been demonstrating in front of the BGMEA Building in the capital demanding payment of their salary and compensation before Eid since around 12 noon.

The workers staged a sit-in on the road in front of the BGMEA building as police obstructed them when they tried to enter the building.
BGMEA has so far distributed wages and other benefits among 1,776 of its 3,617 listed workers of factories that were housed in Rana Plaza.
The association has refused the workers’ demand for four months’ pay.
Rana Plaza collapsed on April 24, killing 1,126 people.
to read.  &  read more. & read more. & read more. & read more. & read more.
DHAKATRIBUNE   BANGLA NEWS24 UNB newstodayBD

* Rana Plaza survivors seek fair compensation:

A group of survivors of the Rana Plaza collapse yesterday demanded fair disbursement of compensation as many victims are yet to receive any.

Rana Plaza Garment Sramik Union, a workers’ platform, placed the demand at a rally in front of the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association in Dhaka.
The government and garment owners should publish the names and addresses of the recipients of compensation on the website to ensure transparency, said Mohammad Shahjahan, a survivor of the collapse.
Although BGMEA has disbursed money, many are yet to receive payment while some workers are receiving payment more than once, he said.
The government should finance the welfare of the workers, he said.

The workers also demanded that their identity cards and attendance cards be returned so that they can apply for jobs in other factories.
The government should also complete the DNA tests of the lost workers soon, the workers said. They demanded a minimum wage of Tk 8,000 a month and the freedom to form and participate in trade unions.
read more.
daily star bd

* Portraits of Pain:

It’s not an easy picture to look at. A man clings to the arched body of a woman, her back bent as if gasping for air.

He seems asleep amid the debris, except that his mouth is packed with dirt, and a tear of blood runs down the side of his nose.
The image, shot by Bangladeshi photographer Taslima Akhter, captures in one poignant frame the human cost of the April 24 collapse of the Rana Plaza garment-factory complex in the Dhaka sub­district of Savar. At least 1,129 workers died in what is probably the worst apparel-industry accident ever.
As the photo of the pair  went viral, people worldwide messaged Akhter: Who were they? How were they related? Where did they come from? What were their lives like?

The collapse of Rana Plaza, a structurally deficient eight-story building, was a local disaster with global implications. Bangladesh is the world’s second biggest manufacturer of ready-made garments (RMG) after China.
The industry is responsible for nearly 80% of the country’s exports, earning $19 billion annually, or about 13% of its GDP. Some 4 million Bangladeshis — mostly under­educated villagers — toil anonymously in the country’s RMG trade, making T-shirts and jeans for top international brands like Mango, H&M and Primark.

Akhter’s picture put an intimate face on what is, in Bangladesh, a crucial but poorly regulated and often dangerous industry. In early June, six weeks after Rana Plaza fell, Akhter and I teamed up to trace the back­stories of the Rana Plaza survivors and victims to try to learn how they lived, and died. Perhaps, along the way, we would discover the identities of the man and woman whom the world witnessed in their final embrace.
read more.
TIME

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20130714

* PM relief fund receives Tk 128cr:

The Agriculture Minister Begum Matia Chowdhury categorically said Prime Minister’s relief fund has received a total of Tk 127.67 crore as donation to help Rana Plaza victims.

She came up with the information while replying to a question from lawmaker Muhibur Rahman Manik at Jatiya Sangsad on Sunday.
read more.
BANGLA NEWS24

* Poverty, trauma tags Rana Plaza survivor:

Aklima Begum survived the deadly Rana Plaza factory building collapse, but the suffering she undergoes now with poverty and trauma is even more painful.

Pocketing the Tk 20,000 she got as compensation after the April 24 collapse, her husband Ismail left Aklima and their 18-month-old son without a trace.
“I have lost everything…my earning source, husband and physical and mental fitness,” an ailing Aklima, 26, told The Daily Star recently. She is now being treated at Sher-e-Bangla Medical College Hospital, Barisal (SBMCH,B).
On the day of the tragic collapse that killed 1,130 plus workers and left hundreds of others injured, Aklima went to the gate of New Star Garments, housed in Rana Plaza, around 7:30am to receive her salary.
She hesitated entering the factory, as she was informed of cracks in the building. But the factory supervisor assured that everything was alright and that the salary would be paid after they had worked till afternoon.
The building collapsed in an hour.
“I was pressed under a machine and a beam and saw many dying. I became unconscious,” she said, adding that she discovered herself in a nearby clinic a few hours later.
After eight days of treatment, Aklima went back to her Padma village residence in Mathbaria, Barguna, along with the compensation. This is when Ismail, a Savar shop employee, left with the money.
read more.
daily star bd

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20130721

* BGMEA lists 1,107 Rana Plaza survivors for jobs:

A government agency recently provided the BGMEA with a list of 1,107 out of 2,438 survivors of Rana Plaza collapse, who were employees of the five garments factories housed in the building, asking the trade body to give the workers jobs.

In response, the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association on Tuesday sent letters to its members, asking them to inform the trade body how many workers each of them would be able to employ in their factories. The trade body in the letter also mentioned 28 posts against which the workers to be recruited.
BGMEA vice-president Sahidullah Azim told New Age that they were committed to rehabilitating the survivors of Rana Plaza collapse and all of the workers would get jobs soon.
‘We have sent letters to the BGMEA member factories and already got good response from the factory owners,’ he said.
Azim said, ‘No worker (who is interested to work) will remain jobless as there is 25 per cent worker shortage in the garment sector.’
read more.

* Call for quick compensation for Rana Plaza victims:

The leaders of Garment Sramik Sangram Parishad, a platform of garment workers, yesterday demanded quick payment of compensation to the victims of Rana Plaza collapse in Savar on April 24 that killed 1,132 workers.

They also stressed the need for abolition of the amended labour law, which, they said, will fail to protect the interest of the workers.
“The amended labour law will only protect the interests of the owners,” said Rafiqul Islam Pathik, a coordinator of the platform, at a rally in front of the office of Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association.
Pathik also said many victims of the accident did not receive any compensation while some received Tk 1 lakh to Tk 3 lakh from the Prime Minister’s Office.
The wage board should fix Tk 8,000 as the monthly basic salary for garment workers at the entry level and Tk 12,000 as gross, he said.
read more.
daily star bd

* Rana Plaza survivors demonstrate with coffin:

Survivors of Rana Plaza collapse staged a rally carrying coffin in front the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association building at Karwan Bazar in the city on Sunday demanding immediate payment of their arrears and compensations.

Garments Sramik Sangram Parishad, a platform of garment workers, organised the protests.
The rally also pressed for implantation of the workers’ right to trade union at all garment factories and Tk 8,000 as the minimum monthly wage for garments workers.
Addressing the rally, Garments Sramik Sangram Parishad coordinator Rafiqul Islam Pathik said that the government showed sheer negligence regarding the payment of wages and compensations for the Rana Plaza survivors.
He said, It is the government’s duty to look after us, but they have shown a total negligence. When we go to the Savar upazila parishad, they show us district office; when we go there, they show the prime minister’s office, where we cannot go.’
read more.

* BGMEA yet to contribute to PM fund:

Different institutions and individuals donated Tk 127.67 crore to the prime minister’s relief and welfare fund between April 29 and July 8 for giving compensation to and rehabilitation of Rana Plaza victims but apparel factory owners owners have yet to contribute to the fund.

After the Rana Plaza collapse on April 24, which left more than 1,100 people dead, the prime minister urged all to come forward to help the victims and their families.
Responding to the call, government and non-government institutions including banks, insurance companies, schools, colleges and a large number of individuals donated Tk 127,67,33,349 to the fund, the agriculture minister, Matia Chowdhury, told the parliament in reply to a question of Muhibur Rahman Manik on July 14.
According to the list, no apparel factory owners or the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters’ Association has so far donated any money to the fund.
read more.

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20130722

* Artificial legs for victims by Sep:

Some one hundred victims who lost their legs in Rana Plaza Tragedy will get artificial legs by September this year.

A medical expert team from Thailand will come to Dhaka to replace the legs.
The expert team will make artificial legs setting up makeshift factory at Dhaka Orthopedic Hospital from September 19 to 28.
Health Minister Dr AFM Ruhal Haque made the disclosure at a press conference at his Secretariat office Monday.
Dr AFM Ruhal Haque said, “The collapse victims, who lost legs, have to register their names at Orthopedic Hospital from August 18 to 22 if they want replacement of their legs.”
read more.
BANGLA NEWS24

* Foreign help for Savar’s maimed: Ruhal Haque:

Savar’s devastating building collapse maimed 36 people, the Health Minister Dr AFM Ruhal Haque has said, adding that experts from India and Thailand would be in Dhaka to treat them, reports bdnews24.com.

The worst-ever factory building collapse in April this year killed more than 1,100 people, mostly garment workers and shook the burgeoning garment industry.
Of the 36, two died after battling for life, nine have been paralysed and 25 lost their limbs, some of whom, doctors say can return to work with artificial limbs.
read more. & read more.

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20130723

* Rana Plaza tragedy: victims form human chain demanding compensation:

The surviving workers of collapsed Rana Plaza of Savar formed a human chain Tuesday morning at Savar bus stand demanding proper compensation for the victims.

The human chain organisers threatened for larger programmes if their demand for immediate compensation were not met before Eid-ul-Fitr. ‘We will lay siege to the BGMEA building if our demands are not realised,’ said Tuhin Chowdhury, one of the speakers.
Tuhin and many others got united under Garment Workers Trade Union Centre (GWTUC) to realise compensation and other demands.
The programme was addressed, among others by GWTUC general secretary K.M. Mintu, leaders Sheuly Akter and Emdadul Islam.
read more.

* Victim families survivors, still rally for damages:

The survivors of Rana Plaza collapse and the families of the workers killed in the incident still are rallying for proper compensation and rehabilitation even after three months inside the collapse.

Many workers are still suffering from trauma and injuries at hospital and houses while the Criminal Investigation Department of police is yet to complete the investigation into the case filed following the biggest factory disaster, in terms of causalities.
The eight-storey Rana Plaza at Savar that housed five garment factories collapsed on April 24 leaving more than 1,132 people, mostly garment workers, killed and more than 2,400 injured.
Thirty-six of the injured workers were maimed. Later two of them died and nine were paralysed.
Different institutions and individuals donated Tk 127.67 crore to the prime minister’s relief and welfare fund between April 29 and July 8 for the compensation and rehabilitation of Rana Plaza victims, the agriculture minister, Matia Chowdhury, told parliament in reply to a question on July 14.
According to the list, no apparel factory owners or the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association has so far donated any money to the fund.
read more.

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20130724

* Compensation- Not Charity- for Bangladesh Factory Fire and Collapse
Victims :

Today, exactly eight months after a fire at the Tazreen Fashions factory and three months after the Rana Plaza building collapse in Bangladesh, the Clean Clothes Campaign calls on companies involved in the disasters to attend meetings aimed at providing compensation to survivors and the families of those killed.

The meetings, organised by IndustriALL Global Union, IndustriALL Bangladesh Council and global allies, are due to take place on the 11th and 12th of August in Dhaka, Bangladesh.

The meetings aim to bring together the companies who placed orders at the two factories where a lack of decent health and safety standards left 1243 dead and thousands more injured. Brands that have been invited to attend include Benetton, Mango, Walmart, Primark, The Walt Disney Company and international agent Li & Fung, all of whom had orders placed at factories located in the Rana Plaza building or at Tazreen Fashions.

The meetings will focus on a collaborative process for establishing compensation figures and distributing payments to those whose family life, economic well-being and health have been severely harmed as a result of both these tragedies. The process will be based on an existing framework established following previous tragedies in the Bangladeshi garment industry.

Discussions based on this compensation framework have already begun in relation to the Tazreen victims and survivors. Some of the Tazreen buyers had committed to making compensation payments, but the process was stalled in April as the parties dealt with the fallout from Rana Plaza and establishing the Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh. It is hoped these negotiations will now continue.

The meeting on Rana Plaza will mark the first meeting on compensation in this case. Only Primark has publicly stated it will pay long-term compensation to the victims of Rana Plaza in line with the existing compensation framework. Other international brands have failed to announce similar concrete steps, choosing instead to announce charitable programmes.

Reports from the ground indicate that many workers and families are facing desperate situations as they are unable to pay medical bills, rent, or afford food and daily expenses.

A woman who lost her husband in the collapse in April, told Clean Clothes Campaign that his body is still missing. Her husband worked on the fifth floor at Phantom Tec factory as a sewing operator and earned 4800Taka (47 Euro) per month. She is the sole carer of a seven month old baby and her elderly father, who is in poor health. She has been offered a sewing machine and been give 1000tTaka (10 Euros) by the
BGMEA, the Bangladesh exporters’ association, but has not received her husband’s salary or any further compensation.

“We hope that all brands associated with these disasters will make attendance at this meeting a priority”, says Liz Parker from the Clean Clothes Campaign. “Charity projects such as training or psychological support are totally insufficient. These families need full and fair compensation so they can start to rebuild their lives in a manner of their own choosing.
They have paid a heavy price for the failure of brands and retailers, the industry and the government to guarantee a safe workplace. They will never get their loved ones back, but decent compensation will help relieve some of their suffering.”
Site

20130724-25

20130724 CCC

 

* CCC calls meeting of brands in BD to fix compensation for victims:

Clean Clothes Campaign, the largest global alliance of labour unions in the ready-made garment (RMG) sector, brings all the brands, which have had orders in place with Tazreen Fashions and the garment factories at Rana Plaza, to Dhaka next month.

At a meeting, they will take decision on compensation for the survivors, and families of those killed in the two recent disasters.

Basing on the statement ‘compensation is not charity’, the campaign has observed that exactly eight months after the Tazreen fire incident and three months after the Rana Plaza building collapse, no compensation package was announced by any of the brands except one. Only Primark has publicly stated it will pay long-term compensation to the victims of Rana Plaza in line with the existing compensation framework. Other international brands have failed to announce any such concrete steps, choosing instead to announce charitable programmes.
(…)
Liz Parker from the Clean Clothes Campaign hoped that all brands ‘linked’ to these disasters would make attendance at this meeting a priority.

“Charity projects such as training or psychological support are totally insufficient. These families need full and fair compensation so they can start to rebuild their lives in a manner of their own choosing.
They have paid a heavy price for the failure of brands and retailers, the industry and the government to guarantee a safe workplace.
They will never get their loved ones back, but decent compensation will help relieve some of their suffering,” Liz added.
read more.

* PM gives financial assistance to 175 family members of Savar victims:

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Wednesday gave cheques of financial assistance to 175 members of the families of 123 people who were killed in the Savar building collapse on April 24.

She handed over the cheques of Tk 2.26 crore to the recipients at her office. This was the seventh phase of handing over financial assistance to the victims and their family members.
So far, a total of Tk 11.97 crore has been provided to 1.016 persons belonging to the families of 777 victims of the Savar Rana Plaza tragedy from the Prime Minister’s Relief and Welfare Fund.
Besides, savings certificates worth Tk 3.30 crore have been given to 30 injured persons from the same fund.
Official sources said the Prime Minister in seven phases so far disbursed Tk 17.54 crore from her relief and welfare fund for the treatment of the Rana Plaza victims and as financial support to the families of the deceased and injured workers.
read more. & read more.& read more. & read more. & read more. & read more.
UNB BSS bdnews24 newstodayBD DAILYprime-news

* Three Months Since Rana Plaza, 200 Orphans Call for Compensation and Safe Jobs:

20130724 ILRF

Today, three months after the Rana building collapse of April 24 and eight months after the Tazreen fire of November 24, two hundred orphans participated in a demonstration organized by the National Garment Workers Federation (NGWF).

The demonstration called on all apparel brands and retailers that sourced from Tazreen and Rana to pay full and fair compensation to the injured workers and families who lost loved-ones, as well as urged all clothing companies that have not yet signed on to the Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh to do so immediately.

At the action in Dhaka, Amirul Haque Amin, president of NGWF presided over the meeting and NGWF leaders Safia Pervin, Faruk Khan, Sultana Akter, Nurun Nahar, and Kabir hossain spoke, along with three members of victims’ families. Special guest Fazle Hossain Badsha M. P expressed his solidarity and SalaUddin Swapon, secretary general of the Bangladesh Garment Workers Unity Council and Sabbah Ali Khan Koling, general secretary of the Bangladesh Youth Unity, shared their support for the demands.
read more.
ilrf

* Three months after Rana Plaza tragedy: Photo exhibition opened at crash site:

Drik Gallery on Wednesday opened a day-long group photo exhibition on ‘Rana Plaza Collapse: Death of Thousands Dreams’ in front of the demolished Rana Plaza building in Savar.

The exhibition was inaugurated in the morning by Anjuara Begum, mother of an ill-fated worker who went missing in the deadly Rana plaza collapse exactly three months ago.
Four photographers, who took part in the exhibition with their photos taken during the worst garment factory tragedy in country’s history, are–Abir Abdullah, Ayon Rehal, Shuvo Das and Taslima Akhter.
read more. & read more. & read more. & read more. & read more. & read more.
& read more.
logo BANGLA NEWS24 BSS DAILYprime-news daily star bd newstodayBD
DHAKATRIBUNE

* Photo show near Rana Plaza today:

Photographs featuring the victims of the recent Rana Plaza tragedy will be displayed today at a group exhibition in front of the depressed land on which Rana Plaza building stood once in Savar.

Four photo artistes have jointly organised the show to remind the people about the tragic building collapse on April 24 this year resulting in the loss of lives of over 1100 apparel workers, who used to work in different factories housed in the building.
About 400 workers are still missing and the thousands of survivors of one of the worst industrial disasters in the world are leading miserable lives.
The show titled ‘Rana Plaza Collapse: Death of Thousands Dreams’ will continue from 10:00 am to 5:00pm.
Mother of a missing apparel worker Shantona will inaugurate this exhibition. Abdul Aziz, father of a dead worker Shawon and Khadija, wife of a dead worker Khokon and many other workers will be present in the exhibition.
The show will display 10 enormous photographs in front of the barb wire, which the district administration has placed to demarcate the land on which Rana Plaza stood once near the Dhaka Aricha highway at Savar.
read more.

* Exhibition, rally marks three months of Rana Plaza tragedy:

Surviving workers, families of missing workers, labour organisations alongside several thousand people from different walks of life mournfully observed the passage of three months of the Rana Plaza tragedy amidst tears and protests on Wednesday.

A photo exhibition, a human chain, a rally was organised to commemorate the occasion while people placed wreaths at the site of the tragedy to remember the workers who were killed on 24 April.
The photo exhibition was jointly organised by four photographers under the title ‘Rana Plaza Collpase: Death of thousand dreams’ at the site of the collapsed building in the morning which was inaugurated by the mother of Shanta, a garment worker who is still missing. The exhibition will continue till 5:00pm today, organisers said.
About 10 large pictures of the collapsed Rana Plaza and mourning relatives have been put up in the exhibition.
The organizers Abir Abdullah, Ayan Rehal, Shuva Das and Taslima Akter said in a statement that they will continue the exhibition in different important places, including the BGMEA building and different industrial belts of the country, to raise awareness among factory owners about the safety of their workers.
read more.

* Savar municipality mayor arrested:

Police today arrested suspended Savar municipality mayor and BNP leader Refat Ullah in connection with a case on charges of giving illegal approval to construction of the collapsed nine-storey Rana Plaza building.

“Criminal Investigation Department (CID) personnel arrested Refat this noon when he came to its headquarters at Malibagh following a notice asking him to appear before them for interrogation,” Savar circle assistant police super Moshuddoula Reza told BSS.
Refat, who is also president of Savar municipality unit of BNP, was suspended immediately after the Rana Plaza collapsed on April 24 in which over 1,100 people, mostly garment workers, were killed and many others crippled.
Rajdhani Unnayan Kartripakkha (RAJUK) filed the case with Savar Police Station on April 26.
to read. & read more. & read more. & read more.
BSS  Ittefaq UNB

* Rana Plaza compensation: a botched disbursement:

Every month, Firoz Hossain, a worker at New Wave Bottoms Ltd, a garment factory that was housed at ill-fated Rana Plaza, would send a good portion of his monthly salary of Tk 11,000 back home in Rajbari.

Now jobless, after the collapse of Rana Plaza on April 24, Hossain is left wondering how he would be able to support his wife and two children through Eid-ul-Fitr, the country’s biggest religious festival.
“I’m desperately looking for a job. Had I received something from the government, I might have gotten by. A miserable Eid now awaits us,” he told The Daily Star yesterday.
So far, he received Tk 42,000 from the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) as salary, Tk 16,000 from British retailer Primark and Tk 3,000 as individual donations, most of which have already been exhausted. “I am the lone bread earner of my family.”
Hossain’s is not an isolated story. Like him, many of the victims of Rana Plaza collapse are yet to receive their due compensation, three months after the tragic incident.
“I did not get any money from the Prime Minister’s Office yet,” said Emdadul Islam, who used to iron clothes at Phantom Apparels Ltd that was located on the fourth floor of the complex. As of yesterday, Islam only received Tk 10,000 as salary from the BGMEA.
read more.
daily star bd

* Many families still wait for compensation:

Alif is only two and a half years old and he has already lost the dearest person of his life — his mother — who would, otherwise, have been by his side teaching him all the childhood lessons.

He was holding a photo of his mother Morzina Akter, at a rally organised yesterday by the National Garment Workers Federation to mark three months of the Rana Plaza collapse.  The tragedy cut short Morzina’s life at 21.
The boy accompanied his grandmother to the Central Shaheed Minar in the capital where many other family members of the dead victims gathered to demand their compensations.
“A building collapsed and my mother died,” was all he could come up with when asked where his mother is. And then he looked at the picture and kissed it.
Morzina had worked as a sewing operator of Phantom Apparels in the building for around six months. But the family did not receive any compensation except for Tk 20,000 that was given during the handing over of the body, said Mariam Begum who lives in Savar on the outskirts of the capital with her grandson Arif and his father.
She does not have enough money to look after the child because his father has been in distress ever since the death of his wife and is doing nothing.
read more.
daily star bd
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20130725-26

* Savar mayor arrested in Rana Plaza case:

With the mayor, the number of arrestees in connection with the Rana Plaza collapse stood at 21

The Criminal Investigation Department Wednesday arrested Savar Municipality Mayor Refayet Ullah, also the president of Savar Municipality unit of the BNP, for his alleged negligence in monitoring the construction of Rana Plaza.

The deadly collapse of the multi-storey building on May 24 claimed so far 1,131 lives, mostly workers of five garment factories housed in that building, and left around 2,500 others injured.
“The Savar municipality mayor was arrested in the afternoon after he was found guilty during an interrogation at the CID office,” said CID Inspector Mrinal Kanti Saha.
The CID investigation team led by Assistant Superintendent of Police Bijoy Kumar Kar conducted the interrogation.
read more. & read more. & read more. & read more. & read more.
DHAKATRIBUNE logo BANGLA NEWS24 NewNation

 * Grim picture of Rana Plaza victims’ compensation:

BGMEA’s ‘symbolic compensation’ for Rana Plaza victims heads for abrupt halt alleging false ID making; BGMEA disbursed only Tk 6 crore for outstanding salary of Rana Plaza workers of 5 factories, PM doles out Tk 11.97cr for families of 777 victims

Dhaka: Rozina Akhter and her daughter Bristi came to Dhaka few months back from Naogaon for changing their fate.
In March both the mother and daughter joined Ether Tech garments located at Rana Plaza in Savar. But just after a month, their dream of changing their lot turned into a nightmare as her daughter remained missing in the Rana Plaza rubbles that collapsed on April 24.

Now the hapless mother is still visiting door-to-door for the final resting location or grave of her dear one who might have been buries or remained missing like hundreds of others as an unidentified body or flattened under Rana Plaza rubbles for good as the final resting place.
Relatives of such hundreds of hapless victims of Rana Plaza are still grieving and knocking the doors of influential of the RMG sectors for the final news of their missing dear ones. But nobody is there in the big modern-day slavery industry to give them a consolation or give them a sympathetic answer.

But ironically and abruptly, the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters’ Association (BGMEA) is putting an end to its symbolic compensation for the Rana Plaza victims when hundreds of people still remained missing and is depriving victims’ relatives even with such ‘symbolic compensation’.
read more.
DAILYprime-news

* Relatives of 123 Rana Plaza victims get PM’s aid:

More than 175 family members of 123 garment workers who died in Savar building collapse on April 24, 2013 today received financial assistance from Prime Minister’s relief and welfare fund.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina distributed the cheques of financial assistance among them at a function at her Tejgaon office here.
Official sources said,
the Prime Minister in seven phases so far disbursed Taka 17,54,64,000 from her relief and welfare fund for treatment of the Rana Plaza victims and providing financial support to the families of the deceased and injured workers.

The Prime Minister distributed 1,016 cheques of total amount of Taka 11,97,50,000 for families of 777 victims. Besides, thirty injured garment workers received Taka 3.30 crore in the form of family saving certificates from the Prime Minister.
The Prime Minister made financial support of Taka 1,42,14,000 for treatment of the injured workers in 22 hospitals and Taka 35 lakh for sending critically injured rescue workers Kaikobad to Singapore for better treatment.
She also provide assistance of Taka 50 lakh to National Forensic DNA Profiling Laboratory for DNA profiling of the dead garment workers.
read more.
DAILYprime-news

* Time for brands to pay compensation to Bangladesh victims:

IndustriALL Global Union is organising meetings in Dhaka on 11 and 12 August to ensure the correct compensation payments are made to victims and survivors of the Tazreen factory fire and the Rana Plaza building collapse.

It is time for those responsible to dig deep and pay the families who are suffering from these avoidable tragedies. Responsibility is shared between the brands and retailers sourcing from Tazreen and Rana Plaza, the factory owners, the BGMEA employers association, and the Bangladeshi government.

The aim is to employ the industry’s best practice compensation mechanism that was developed after the Spectrum factory collapse in Bangladesh in 2005. That formula is in line with ILO Convention 121 on employment injury benefits.
read more.
Home

20130727-28

* After Rana Plaza collapse, reckoning looms: WSJ:

Three months after the deadly collapse of the Rana Plaza garment complex, authorities here face a key question—whether to charge anyone with a crime in connection with one of the world’s worst industrial accidents, reports The Wall Street Journal.

Twenty-one people are being held in jail in connection with the April 24 disaster, which killed more than 1,100 people. But no one has been charged.
The police say they hope to file formal charges soon against some of the people detained, possibly as early as July 31, when a court hearing is scheduled for all of them. The range of possible outcomes under Bangladesh law is broad — from no charges at all, to charges of culpable homicide, which carries a potential punishment of life in prison, according to a senior police official and the Bangladesh penal code as described in a report by the Home Ministry.
read more.

* Families of Rana Plaza missing get no help:

Though the injured, handicapped, survivors and families of the deceased garment workers of the Rana Plaza collapse are slowly getting compensation, donations and the victims’ arrears, families of the missing are getting none.

Take the case of the family of sewing machine operator Taslima Khatun.
Employed in a garment factory housed on the third floor of the nine-storey Rana Plaza, the 19-year-old went missing following the collapse on April 24, which claimed 1,132 lives.
This caused the world of her dependants living in Rajbari district to come crashing down. Her five family members include a rickshaw-puller father too ill to work regularly, a housewife mother, a fifth-grader brother and a widowed sister-in-law with a three-year-old son.
“She used to send us Tk 3,000, and sometimes a thousand or two more,” the father, Ayub Sheikh, told The Daily Star recently.
read more.
daily star bd

* 48 global retailers to meet in Dhaka:

Compensation packages for Rana Plaza and Tazreen victims will be fixed

Forty-eight international clothing retailers and brands will hold meetings in Dhaka next month to fix compensation packages for the victims of Rana Plaza collapse and Tazreen fire incident.

Sixteen retailers and brands will fix such packages for the Tazreen victims on August 11, and 32 will sit for Rana Plaza victims on the following day.
Initiated by IndustriALL Global Union, the meetings will take place in the city’s Sonargaon Hotel.
As per the charter of demand, every victim of the two tragedies will receive Tk 5 lakh, Roy Ramesh Chandra, general secretary of IndustriALL Bangladesh Council, told The Daily Star yesterday.
According to Section 121 of the International Labour Organisation, relatives of a dead worker will receive 50 percent of the salaries, which the worker was drawing at the time of his/her death, for the next 25 years with an annual inflation of 7 percent, Chandra said.
The relatives will also receive 10 percent of the dead worker’s salaries for their children’s education cost, he said.
read more.
daily star bd

* FBI to assist in matching DNA with family members:

Unidentified Victims of Rana Plaza Collapse

An FBI team will help identify the 321 unidentified bodies recovered from the Rana Plaza rubble by seeing if their DNA samples match those collected from people claiming to be their relatives, said Prof Sharif Akhteruzzaman yesterday.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) team, scheduled to arrive next month, will provide an advanced software programme, Combined DNA Index System (CODIS), said the national technical adviser of National Forensic DNA Profiling Laboratory (NFDPL).
The FBI team will train local experts on using the software which would help make the comparison process less time consuming and identify the bodies by September, he said.
read more.
daily star bd

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20130729-30

* Chaos over RMG checks:

Government agencies, shaken up by Rana Plaza disaster, are into frantic –
and uncoordinated – inspections of garment factories

But there’s little coordination between the agencies, and senior government officials are unable to say just how many factories have been checked. Estimates vary from just 60 to 340.

While US and European retailers which buy the bulk of Bangladesh-made clothing had hoped to complete factory inspections within 9-12 months, inspectors and government officials say this will take at least 5 years.
Bangladesh has fewer than 200 qualified inspectors.

The disconnect among the various agencies conducting what are often cursory visual assessments – Bangladesh has nowhere near enough technical equipment for sophisticated inspections – means some garment factories have been visited several times, while others have had no checks at all.

“It’s a big nuisance for us, and while we’re being put through this, nobody’s checking all the other factories in the vicinity that haven’t had a single inspection,” said Emdadul Islam, a director of Babylon Garments, which supplies Wal-Mart Stores Inc, Tesco Plc and Hennes & Mauritz AB’s H&M stores.
read more. & read more.
bdnews24 daily star bd

* BGMEA must disclose fund raised for Rana Plaza victims: activists:

A group of activists on Monday demanded the disclosure of the information about the victims of Rana Plaza collapse, fund raised by the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association for them and expenses made from the fund.

At a press conference in front of the BGMEA building at Karwan Bazar, 24 April, an activists group of writers, teachers, researchers, photographers and journalists, also demanded payment of Tk 48 lakh in damages for each of the workers killed or missing.
The eight-storey Rana Plaza ar Savar, which house five garment factories, a market and a bank, collapsed on April 24, leaving more than 1,100 people, mostly garment workers, killed and scores injured. At least 374 workers were still missing when the rescue operation was closed on May 13.
In the written statement at the press conference, 24 April member Samina Luthfa, also a Dhaka University teacher, said that the garments owners association’s activities following the Rana Plaza collapse was questionable as they showed total indifference to making a list of people who worked in the five garment factories housed in Rana Plaza.
read more. & read more.
daily star bd

* Rana Plaza victims receive grant from USA’s Gobindaganj Foundation:

A total of three Rana Plaza victims of Gobindaganj upazila under the district received a grant of Taka 80,000 from the USA’s Gobindaganj Foundation, an organisation of the expatriates of Gobindaganj upazila.

Upazila chairman Principal Abul Kalam Azad formally distributed the grant as the chief guest to the victims and their family members in a function held at the auditorium of Upazila Parishad. Vice chairman Mohammad Hossain Foku was present as the special guest.
read more.
BSS

* India to fix legs of Rana plaza victims:

Jaipur Foot’, a pan Indian outfit, also world’s largest organization serving the disabled by providing  assistance including artificial limbs, asserted to help 100 Rana Plaza victims ‘totally free of charge’.

The famous artificial limbs makers are likely to launch the aid operations from a temporary camp in October.
Porikkhit Chowdhury, Information officer of Health and Family welfare Ministry told banglanews that a highly efficient team organized by health ministry of India will visit Bangladesh in September to examine facts before the drive to provide artificial limbs for100 severely injured Savar victims.
read more. & read more. & read more. & read more.
BANGLA NEWS24 bdnews24 DAILYprime-news

* Demand compensation for the victims of the Bangladesh building collapse:

In April, the Rana Plaza building in Bangladesh collapsed killing over 1,100 people and injuring thousands more. The majority were female garment workers making clothes for the UK high street. Retailers Benetton, Bonmarché, Mango, Matalan and Primark all acknowledged recent production with the factories in the building.

Thousands of people now face destitution. Unable to work, or without the major wage earner in the family, they are struggling to make ends meet.  Yet despite this humanitarian catastrophe Benetton, Bonmarché, Mango and Matalan have all refused to offer compensation to the victims.

UK high street companies failed to ensure their supplier factories were safe. Now they must pay full compensation for lost earnings to the victims of this wholly avoidable tragedy.
read more and please sign here.
WAW 1

* Bangladesh factory collapse victims get help to cope with trauma:

Wounded survivors of Bangladesh factory collapse that killed more than 1,100 suffering from fear, flashbacks, nightmares and guilt — because they can no longer support their families.

When she went to work, Amrita said a grim goodbye to her three children and asked relatives to take care of them if she didn’t come back. She felt as though she were going to her death.
That was April 24, the blackest day in the history of Bangladesh’s garment industry: 1,127 people were killed when the Rana Plaza building in Dhaka collapsed. An inspector had warned it was unsafe; nevertheless, factory bosses ordered the workers back to their machines.

Amrita — not her real name — obeyed. Now a jobless double amputee, the young mother is going through the most wrenching experience of her 22 years, deeply traumatized and struggling to salvage what is left of her life.
She is one of 170 emotionally and physically shattered survivors who have received counselling from teams trained by Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors Without Borders). Dozens of others will also receive help.
read more.
theSTAR

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20130731

* Missing workers’ families block highway:

The families of the garment workers who went missing following the Rana Plaza collapse blocked Dhaka-Aricha highway at Savar for two hours on Tuesday demanding compensation before Eid-ul-Fitr.

Several hundred people from the families of the workers missing and injured blocked the highway for two
hours from 9:45am, formed a human chain beside the collapsed Rana Plaza site and laid siege to Savar upazila complex.
The families of the missing workers said that they were starving as the earning members of the families went missing and they got neither any compensation nor the wages of the missing workers, who were yet to be identified.
Abdus Salam, father of Liza Akter, 18, a missing worker of New Wave Style, one of the five garment factories housed in Rana Plaza, said that they was passing days with acute mental and financial problems.
read more.

* Alleged Lack of Support from BGMEA to Rana Plaza Victims:

Nearly Tk5m has been paid from the prime minister’s relief fund to cover the cost of DNA tests to confirm the identities of 321 bodies from the Rana Plaza disaster. The Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) recently issued a cheque for the amount to a government laboratory.

However, the state-run DNA lab did not send any request to the PMO regarding the expenses. Rather, they wrote a letter to the district commissioner (DC) of Dhaka to know who would bear the cost for the DNA tests.
The DC’s office also said they had written to the Bangladesh Garments Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) seeking financial assistance for the tests, but not to PMO.

But the BGMEA did not respond to the request, nor did it pay a single paisa for the analysis of 900 DNA samples from 321 unidentified victims and their relatives.
The sources claimed that some BGMEA officials tactfully collected the letter from the DNA lab authorities and forwarded it to the PM’s office, apparently to avoid making the payment from its account.
read more.

* CID fails to finish Rana Plaza probe:

Gets 45 days more to submit probe reports

A Dhaka court granted 45 days more to Criminal Investigation Department (CID) to complete the investigation into two cases filed over the Rana Plaza collapse as it failed to submit the reports by Wednesday.

Senior Judicial Magistrate Kazi Shahidul Islam asked CID to submit the probe report by September 15.
Meanwhile, the court rejected the bail petitions of seven accused in the two cases.
The accused are: Abdul Khalek, father of Sohel Rana and also owner of Rana Plaza, suspended Savar municipality mayor and BNP leader Refayet Ullah, Engineer Rafiqul Islam, Rana’s relative Abdul Hassan, New Wave Bottoms Chairman Bazlus Samad and its managing director Mahmudur Rahman Tapash and Rakibul Hassan Russel.
read more.
daily star bd

* Police Consider Manslaughter Charges for Rana:

Police are considering charging the owner of a collapsed garment factory building with manslaughter after the industrial disaster killed more than 1,000 people earlier this year.

“We are thinking about it seriously,” said Bijoy Krishna Kar, assistant superintendent of police. He is investigating the case that involves deaths of factory workers.
Sohel Rana, the owner of the eight-story complex that collapsed in April, is among the 21 people arrested in two cases tied to the collapse that killed 1,131 people. The investigation will take more than two months to complete before the police submit charges to court, Kar said.
read more.
Ittefaq
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20130801-02

* 100 days of Rana Plaza collapse observed:

Apparel manufacturers and workers Thursday observed the 100 days of Rana Plaza collapse remembering those who were killed in the tragic incident, urging authorities to take measures to check recurrence of such incidents. Bangladesh Garments Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) organised noontime ceremony at its  conference hall and observed one minute silence to honour the victims who were killed in the building collapse on April 24, 2013.

The meeting honoured eight persons and four organisations and handed over Tk 10 lakh reward to each of the organisations for their outstanding contributions in the rescue operations, treatment and rehabilitation of the victims.
The organisations included the 9th Infantry Division of Bangladesh Army, Bangladesh Fire Service and Civil Defense, Centre for the Rehabilitation of the Paralysed (CRF) and Anjuman-e-Mufidul Islam.

The apex body of apparel manufacturers also handed over seven children of victims, who lost their parents in the tragic incidents, to the representative of Old Rajshahi Cadet Association who will look after the children, bear all their educational expenses Besides until completion of their education.
The BGMEA took responsibilities of 300 children, who lost their parents in Rana Plaza incident, and bear all their  expenses until completion of their education and are provided with jobs.
read more.
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* Families of unidentified Rana Plaza victims yet to get help:

BGMEA to take care of 300 affected children

Families of the unidentified Rana Plaza victims are yet to get any financial support from any quarters even 100 days after the building collapse tragedy which left over 1,100 people killed and thousands injured.

This was stated Thursday at a discussion organised by the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) to mark the 100 days of the incident at its headquarters in the city.
Jahangir Kabir Nanok, State Minister of Local Government and Rural Development (LGRD) was present as chief guest while BGMEA President Atiqul Islam and its office bearers, Valerie Taylor, founder and coordinator of Centre for the Rehabilitation of the Paralysed (CRP), Dr Enamur Rahman of Enam Hospital, among others, were present.

“No initiative has yet been taken for the families of the unidentified Rana Plaza victims,” Nazma Akhter, President of Sammilito Garment Sramik Federation said.
She said, we don’t want any recurrence of such incident. All including the garment owners should change their mind set about cheap labour and tendency of profit maximizing, she opined.
read more. & read more.
daily star bd

* Rana Plaza site can’t be returned to owner: Nanak:

State Minister for LGRD and Cooperatives adv Jahangir Kabir Nanak on Thursday said the land on which Rana Plaza had been built cannot be returned to Rana as the garment workers bloodspots are there in the tragic site, reports UNB.

Indicating that the land will be confiscated, he said the government is planning to build a monument at the site in honour of the workers who lost their lives following the biggest tragedy in the RMG sector.
read more. & read more.
newstodayBD UNB

* Workers’ memorial at Rana Plaza collapse site: Nanak:

The state minister for LGRD and cooperatives, Jahangir Kabir Nanak, on Thursday said the land on which Rana Plaza had been built cannot be returned to Rana as the tragic site was stained with blood of several hundred garment workers.

Indicating that the land will be confiscated, he said the government is planning to build a monument at the site in honour of the workers who lost their lives following the biggest tragedy in the RMG sector.
Nanak was addressing a reminiscence programme at the BGMEA auditorium in the city remembering the 100-day of the tragedy.
read more.

* RMG disaster victims’ lives a ‘nightmare’:

Sumaya, a worker of Tazreen Fashions, received a blunt head trauma on the night the factory burnt down. Afterwards for several days, she was bleeding through the nose.

On July 4, eight months after the incident, doctors at Dhaka Medical College Hospital diagnosed her with exophthalmos, a swelling of the eye which is common among patients suffering from blunt head traumas. On July 14, she had a surgery. Further diagnosis suggested that she had developed a tumour which was cancerous.

Three months after the collapse of Rana Plaza in Savar on April 24, in which over 1,100 workers died and 2,500 others were injured, many survivors and even the rescue workers are facing post-traumatic problems.

Rubina Begum, who worked at one of the factories in Rana Plaza for two years, is suffering from a serious pelvic fracture. She has been unable to work and has been told by doctors that she may never engage in strenuous activities, such as intercourse. Speaking to our correspondent, Rubina expressed her fear that she would be “neither valued as a worker nor as a wife.”
read more.
DHAKATRIBUNE

* Rana Plaza victims left ignored to suffer:

BGMEA cannot even reach all victims in NITOR

Even though the owners of Bangladeshi garment factories vowed not to forget the victims of the Rana Plaza disaster _ as written on a banner at their association’s headquarters yesterday to mark 100 days of the tragic incident _ it meant nothing to injured survivor Ashraful Sujon, now under treatment at a Dhaka hospital.

Sujon, who used to work in a garment factory on the fifth floor of Rana Plaza, was admitted at the National Institute of Traumatolgy and Orthopaedic Rehabilitation (Nitor) as one of his legs was badly damaged in the building collapse on April 24.

He has neither received his due salary, nor did he get any sort of government aid, including donations made by the prime minister from the Bangabandhu Memorial Trust.

“I have not received a single penny of my salary. I asked my factory’s senior officials about my salary. Their response was: ‘You are too late in claiming.’ Getting my salary now seems an unattainable fact, although I am in Dhaka, close to the owners’ organisation,” said the 35-year-old worker, who has undergone three surgeries to repair the damaged muscle tissue in his crushed left leg.
read more.
DHAKATRIBUNE

* Benetton and Mango: Rana Plaza survivors risk losing their homes:

Thousands of you joined us last May by sending a message to the brands linked to the Tazreen fire and Rana Plaza collapse in Bangladesh, demanding that they take responsibility by paying compensation.

We need your help again. Without adequate compensation, workers now risk losing their homes. Tell Benetton and Mango that the right for compensation unites all people.

In May, one month after the collapse of the Rana Plaza building and six months after the Tazreen fire, thousands of you joined us in sending a message to the brands linked to the two factories, demanding that they take  responsibility by paying compensation to the survivors of these disasters and the families of those who were killed.
Together, we flooded the inboxes and Facebook pages of Walmart, Benetton, Mango, Disney and other brands that were at the factories. Thank you for joining the fight!

We need your help again. Without adequate compensation, workers now risk losing their homes. Shurima (30) lost her foot during the collapse. She has no income anymore. The room she lives in with two others costs 1500 Taka, a third of her monthly wage, which included her overtime payment. She says: “We haven’t been able to pay our rent for two months. If we do not pay this month, the landlord will end the contract. Already some people have lost their room.“
read more.
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20130803-04

* Mourners, rights activists throng Savar:

Injured workers inaugurate a memorial monument at the Rana Plaza site marking 100 days of the disaster

A workers’ rights committee on Friday established a memorial monument for the workers who died in the Rana Plaza collapse at the building’s site.

Injured workers of the factories of Rana Plaza inaugurated the monument.
The committee, made up of representatives from several leftist groups, also held a meeting, a rally and a cultural programme at the site. Several victims of the collapse and relatives of missing workers spoke at the meeting.
The coordinator of monument organising committee Ashish Corraya told the Dhaka tribune: “Police blocked us from erecting the monument several times. They told us that there was no permission from the authorities to build a monument here.”
“But as so many lives have been lost here we did not care about any permission. The workers also supported this and they donated money to build the monument,” he added.
read more.
DHAKATRIBUNE

* Rana Plaza – In Protests and Resistance:

Family members of deceased victims and living victims Rana Plaza along with youths of the city have staged protest sitting in front of the Rana Plaza collapse site on 2 August 2013.

The poor distribution of humanitarian support and compensation among the relatives of the dead, injured and the hundreds of orphans created by this tragedy brought these grieved people on the streets, said a protestor.

The protest started 10 AM in the morning and lasted the whole day,
Later the group of youths built a monument at the site of Rana Plaza in Savar yesterday in memory of the victims of the worst industrial disaster of the country.

The youths, mostly students under several banners, called the monument “Protibade-Protirodhe” (in protest and in resistance). The simplistic monument is just two muscular hands, one holding a scythe and the other one holding a hammer. They are about 10 feet high.
read more.

* Pledges not fulfilled:

Finds civil society initive; suggests ways to avoid tragedies

A group of civil society organisations yesterday launched an initiative to follow through on the commitments made in the aftermath of the Rana Plaza tragedy over the course of next one year.

Following the building collapse on April 24, the government, Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) and many development partners, international organisations and retailers made a host of pledges to the victims and to improve the way the country’s garment factories function.
The forum, founded by the Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD) in partnership with 14 other organisations, intends to make sure that the promises get delivered.
“We want to make a difference this time. If this initiative can establish transparency and accountability, we will be able to redeem ourselves to some extent to those who died or were injured,” Mustafizur Rahman, executive director of CPD, said.
Rehman Sobhan, chairman of CPD, said the forum would put pressure on the government and other stakeholders so that “they discharge their responsibilities properly”.

“We, as a community, can at least try to ensure that incidents like this do not repeat.”
The think tank yesterday presented a report titled “100 Days of Rana Plaza Tragedy: A Report on Commitments and Delivery” at the CIRDAP auditorium in the city.
Following the tragedy that killed at least 1,132 workers and injured thousands, the government pledged to provide Tk 1 lakh to each of the deceased’s families and physiological treatment of two years for the injured workers and to rehabilitate the family members of the injured.
The BGMEA, separately, committed to raise Tk 25,000 from each of its member factories for the affected workers and provide employment of the disabled workers’ able-bodied family members.
read more.
daily star bd

* ORCA Homes takes charge of 10 kids of Rana Plaza victims:

BGMEA (Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association) handed over 10 orphans to ORCA (Old Rajshahi Cadets Association) Homes recently, who lost their parents in the Rana Plaza collapse on April 24.

The handing over was arranged in presence of the LGRD State Minister Jahangir Kabir Nanak as the chief guest at a small function in Dhaka BGMEA Bhaban to mark 100 days of the deadliest accident.

The children were received by president of ORCA Chittagong chapter Shakhawat Hossain. BGMEA has taken charge of 300 such orphans, from which ORCA has taken the responsibility of 10 children. ORCA Homes, a Chittagong-based orphanage home, is an initiative of the Old Rajshahi Cadets’ Association.
read more.

* Absence of good governance held responsible for Rana Plaza tragedy:

Speakers at a dialogue on Saturday held absence of good governance and dearth of efficient regulatory bodies responsible for the Rana Plaza tragedy that killed more than 1,100 people and injured several thousand others.

They recommended speedy implementation of the commitments made after the tragedy and formation of a central monitoring cell to oversee it.
They also suggested inclusion of professional expertise in the structural safety programme and implementation of existing laws to stop recurrence of incidents like the Rana Plaza collapse.

The observations came at the dialogue organised by the Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD) titled “100 Days of Rana Plaza Tragedy: A Report on Commitments and Delivery” held in the city.
The CPD along with its 14 partners prepared the independent monitoring report on the commitments and delivery by involved stakeholders to keep the issues alive and to bring transparency and social and collective accountability in the process of implementing the commitments.
read more.

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20130804-05

* Rana workers must be helped without delay:

The world is watching the RMG industry not just to ensure it gets its house in order to prevent future tragedies

20130804 DHAKATRIBUNE Savar_11_0
A monument, in memory of victims of Rana Plaza collapse, inaugurated on the 100th day of the tragedy on Friday

A hundred days on from the Rana plaza tragedy, a large number of workers remain without help.

Over a thousand employees from the collapsed factories gathered at the site this week for the unveiling of a memorial. Interviews with workers who have been left without livelihoods suggest that promises of help and rehabilitation made by the BGMEA and government have in many cases failed to materialise.

To some extent, notably in relation to bereaved families of workers killed at the site, compensation promised by the government is contingent on DNA reports and these cases will presumably be dealt with once reports are duly processed.

More generally however, whilst medical treatment appears to have been provided to the surviving injured, on leaving hospital a large number of victims have not received any compensation or outstanding salaries.
read more.
DHAKATRIBUNE

* Rana Plaza survivors block Dhaka-Aricha highway:

At least 15 people were injured as police charged batons on the survivors of Rana Plaza collapse, who blocked Dhaka-Aricha highway in Savar on Sunday demanding Eid bonus and salaries from the month of May.

Transport movement on the highway came to a halt on 10 kilometres area for 45 minutes since noon following the blockade, reports our Savar correspondent.
At least 1,132 people were killed and 2,438 people were rescued from the debris of the nine-storey building that collapsed in Savar on April 24.
Witnesses said over 300 survivors and their relatives blocked the highway at noon to press home their demands.
But police charged batons on them, leaving 15 people injured, they said.
Contacted, Mostafa Kamal, officer-in-charge of Savar Model Police Station, said they charged batons on the demonstrators only to free the busy highway.

Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) paid the salary for April to the workers after the deadly collapse.
But according to the rules, the authorities must pay salary of three months before terminating a worker, said Md Jalal, an injured worker of the collapsed building.
read more. & read more. & read more.
daily star bd UNB newstodayBD

* Rescuers slip into abyss:

More than three months into the country’s worst industrial tragedy in Savar, around 150 rescuers are still haunted by the trauma they suffered from the heartbreaking sights of people crying for help from under the Rana Plaza rubble.

Al least 500 civilian and government rescuers have developed post-traumatic disorder, with 150 of them facing it to an extent so extreme that it would hamper their professional and family lives, said Dr Abul Kashem, assistant registrar of the National Institute of Mental Health.
Take, for example, Swapan Hossain, 32, who often screams in his sleep at night.
“Right under the pillar there lies a woman. Time is running out. Let us save her,” Swapan is quoted as saying on some nights by his brother, Ripon.
He still lives under an illusion that had been a reality three months ago, when he, along with many other brave hearts, raced against time to save those trapped under the wreckage of Rana Plaza following its collapse on April 24.
read more.
daily star bd

* ‘It was an act of God’:

BGMEA boss says about Rana Plaza disaster, tries to save factory owners

The Rana Plaza victims were cheated out of their rightful dues by the BGMEA, which worked out the compensation package by profiling the industrial accident as a natural disaster.

“The building collapse was out of control of the owner. It was an act of God,” said Atiqul Islam, president of Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA), the garment sector’s apex trade body.
Consequently, the association employed sections 12, 16 and 20 of Bangladesh Labour Law 2006 to formulate the compensation package, which under-paid the victims significantly.
Section 12 of the law stipulates that owners can shut down their factories anytime in case of events beyond their control. Incidents of fire, malfunction, blackouts, epidemic and violence constitute such events.
Once it is established that the event activating section 12 has taken place, the factory owner is within his rights to lay off workers, as per section 16.
Section 20 stipulates that workers laid-off under section 16 are entitled to 30 days’ gratuity for every year of service.

“We paid the workers following this formula,” said Islam, adding that the BGMEA paid a month’s salary and overtime to each of the living workers.
The trade body has paid some 2,785 workers of the complex from the Tk 7 crore it pooled from its 2,500-odd members, who contributed Tk 25,000 each.
As for the families of dead or missing workers, Reaz-bin-Mahmood, vice-president of BGMEA, said they did not receive anything as their nominees could not be established at the time of disbursement of salaries.
read more.
daily star bd

* Rana Plaza survivors stage demo:

The garment workers who survived Rana Plaza collapse and the relatives of the deceased staged demonstration in front of Savar Bazar bus stand demanding arrear wages, festival allowance and compensation on Monday.

At least seven people were injured when police charged baton on the demonstrators as they blocked the Dhaka-Aricha Highway to press home their demand in the morning.
Witnesses said about 500-600 victims and relatives of the deceased staged demonstration in front of Savar Bazar bus stand at about 9.30 am.
read more. & read more. & read more.
UNB newstodayBD DAILYprime-news

* Rana Plaza survivors block Dhaka-Aricha highway:

The home-bound people had to suffer a lot stranding on a 6-kilometer tailback Monday morning as the survivors of Rana Plaza tragedy blocked the Dhaka-Aricha highway in Savar for two hours demanding their salaries and compensation.

Around 10 demonstrators were injured when law enforcers charged truncheons on them in a bid to clear the highway, reported our Savar correspondent quoting witnesses.
(…)
Several thousand vehicles carrying the home-bound people ahead of the Eid-ul-Fitr, the biggest religious festival of the Muslims, came to a halt as around 500 Rana Plaza survivors and their relatives took to the highway stretching from Ulail area to Radio Colony in Savar around 9:00am.
They demanded salaries for three months from May, Eid bonuses, compensation and costs of rehabilitation and treatment.
Under labour rules, the authorities of a factory must pay salaries for three months when they declare a factory closed, the agitating workers claimed.
read & see more (video).
daily star bd

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20130806-07

* Police charges batons on agitated Rana Plaza workers:

Police charged batons on agitated workers of different garment industries of the devastated Rana Plaza at Savar injuring at least thirty workers on Monday morning.

According to local sources, more than two thousand injured workers along with the family members of the missing workers brought out a procession from Rana Plaza area at around 10 AM.
While they were marching towards Upazila Nirbahi Officer’s office to seize it in demand of immediate compensations and Eid bonus along with due salary, police dispersed the procession by charging batons on the protestors.
Talking to The Independent, Inspector Aminul Islam of Savar Model Police Station said, “The protesters were blocking the road creating heavy traffic jam on the highway.” “That is why we dispersed them by mild baton charge,” he said.
Jui and Riya, two injured workers, told reporters that they were facing serious crisis as they have no job.
The owners did not pay due salary or any compensation to the injured workers, they alleged. Even they did not give any assistance to the family members of the missing workers.
to read.
INDEPENDENT

* Victims’demonstrate for dues, compensation:

20130806 DHAKATRIBUNE

A group of survivors of the Rana Plaza tragedy and family members of the deceased and missing workers demonstrated in Savar yesterday, demanding payment of their dues, Eid bonuses, and compensation.

Around 300 workers took position on the Dhaka- Aricha Highway for two hours from 8am. Police tried to disperse the crowd with batons but the protestors broke through the barricade.
They brought out a rally from the Rana Plaza premises under the banner of ‘Revolutionary Workers Committee’ blocking the Dhaka – Aricha highway for 30 minutes, leading to severe traffic congestion and causing inconvenience road-users.

One survivor, Monir, who used work on the fourth floor of the Rana plaza, told Dhaka Tribune: “Police confined us for 20 minutes in an alley beside the collapsed Rana Plaza premises.”
Another survivor named Saidul, who used to work on the sixth floor, said: “We are demonstrating for valid reasons. Although the government and Bangladesh Garments Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) assured us they would compensate us and pay our due salaries, the police charged us with batons and kept obstructing us repeatedly.”
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DHAKATRIBUNE Ittefaq

* BGMEA president’s remarks condemned:

Eminent citizens and rights activists in a statement yesterday condemned BGMEA President Atiqul Islam’s claims that the Rana Plaza tragedy was “an act of God” and it was “beyond the owners’ control”.

Terming his claims shameless and audacious, they demanded that Atiqul withdraw what he said.
“His claims prove that Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) has taken sides with the murderous owners,” it said. The citizens and activists also demanded that proper compensation should be given to all workers and families affected by the building collapse.
Professor Emeritus of Dhaka University Serajul Islam Choudhury; theatre personality Mamunur Rashid; columnists Syed Abul Moksud and Rahnuma Ahmed; rights activist Khushi Kabir; professors Nasima Akter Hossain and Anu Mohammad, among others, signed the statement.
In another statement Bangladesh Garment Sramik Sanghati (BGSS) also refuted Atiqul Islam’s claims. “BGMEA is attempting to conceal the owners’ crimes and trying to clear itself of the liabilities of killing thousands of workers,” said the statement added.
to read.  & read more.
daily star bd

* 332 Rana Plaza victims still missing: CPD:

A large number of Readymade Garment (RMG) workers still remain missing since the incident of Rana Plaza that claimed 1,132 lives, injured thousand others and maimed a large number of workers.

“A total of 332 workers who were employed in these factories have not been identified,” said an Independent Monitoring Report on 100 days of Rana Plaza prepared by the civil society think tank Centre for Policy Dialogue quoting official estimates.
Relatives of missing workers, the report said, have authenticated documents such as pay slim, appointment letters, ID cards etc. Among the missing workers 69.8 per cent (235 workers) are female while 30.2 per cent (97 workers) are male.
Majority of missing workers are from Dhaka division (131), followed by Rajshahi (58), Rangpur (56), and Khula (39) and having age group ranging from 15 to 30 years. Quoting media reports, the report said that a total of 234 unidentified dead bodies have been buried from which 200 samples collected for DNA test. Part of these missing workers is supposed to be among these 234 unidentified workers even though another 98 workers will be remained untraced.
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INDEPENDENT

* Workers’ organisation specifies compensation demands for victims:

Leaders of National Garment Workers Federation yesterday demanded that the families of workers killed in Rana Plaza tragedy should be given Tk 28 lakh each for their “loss of earning” while the injured workers should get Tk 5 lakh each.

Most families of the dead have not received any forms of necessary assistance let alone proper compensation, they added.
They said these while distributing sari, rice, sugar and vermicelli to 111 affected people of Rana Plaza tragedy, outside the office of Workers’ Party of Bangladesh in the capital.
The party President Rashed Khan Menon said the assistance provided from the prime minister’s fund as well as the the contributions made by different organisations were not enough.
read more.
daily star bd

* Eid brings no joy for Rana Plaza victims, families:

20130807 DAILYSTAR
The injured workers of the Rana Plaza garment factories and relatives of the missing and deceased victims stage a sit-in in front of the collapsed building in Savar from 3:00pm to 8:00pm yesterday as part of their continuous demonstration for payment of salaries from May, bonus, compensation and rehabilitation before Eid-ul-Fitr. Photo: Star

When most people around him are preparing to celebrate the Eid festival, Niru Sardar, a garment worker who lost the left eye in the Rana Plaza collapse, is fighting a battle for survival.

The 30-year-old sewing machine operator sold off a piece of land at his village home in Rajbari sadar upazila and spent the money for treatment for his wounded eye, nose, and head.
His four-member family is now totally dependent on charities for housing and food, as he has almost lost the capacity to work and needs more treatment, including a nose surgery.
With the hope to get some financial assistance, Niru came to Garment Workers’ Trade Union Centre in Genda, near Savar, where some donations arrived for the victims yesterday.
A total of Tk 2,000 is all he got there. Niru told The Daily Start that he did not receive any aid either from the government or the garment factory owners association, BGMEA, other than Tk 15,000 as his salaries.

Asked about his Eid plan, Niru said, “I cannot manage milk and barley for my four-month-old daughter. What will Eid mean to me?”
The baby was born four days before the nine-storey Rana Plaza in Savar crumbled on April 24, killing 1,132 people and leaving hundreds of others, including Niru, maimed or injured.
Six hours after he was pulled out alive from the rubble, Niru was sent to a local clinic before being shifted to the National Institute of Eye Science and Hospital at the capital’s Sher-e-Bangla Nagar.
He had been treated there for 51 days and then returned to his home in Savar.
“I didn’t get any financial help from anyone. I was at Sher-e-Bangla Nagar, and none visited me there or extended any help. But I have heard that many people helped the victims,” Niru said.
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daily star bd

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20130807-08

* Rana plaza survivors want compensation, Eid bonus:

20130807 NEWAGE

The family members of victims and injured workers of Savar building collapse started a sit-in programme on ground zero of the Rana Plaza Wednesday morning to push their 4-point demands.

Their demand includes immediate compensation, paying their outstanding salaries and Eid bonuses before the Eid-ul-Fitr, permanent rehabilitation of the affected workers, publishing the DNA reports of the missing workers and settle their compensations and enlisting the missing persons as dead.
They threatened a hunger strike on the very day of the Eid if their demands were not met, family members of victims and surviving workers said.
They started the sit-in programme at about 8:00am with various banners, festoons and placards.
A police team led by additional police super of Dhaka Faruk Hossain rushed there at about 11 in the morning. The gatherers were using mike to chant slogans and their demands.
Police requested them to stop the announcement, as they had not sought permission.
An injured worker of Rana Plaza collapse, Yakub Ali, said, ‘The authority should immediately implement our demands.’
to read.

* Survivors, families go on hunger strike on Eid day:

Several hundred survivors of Rana Plaza collapse and the families of the workers who were killed or still missing or unidentified in the incident will have no celebration in the Eid-ul-Fitr as they are still crying for compensation and rehabilitation.

On Wednesday also they staged demonstrations for the compensation and threatened that they would go on hunger strike on the
Eid-day if their demands were not met immediately.
Many workers, who are still suffering from trauma and injuries at hospital and houses, could not be
employed yet and they it became almost impossible for them to run their family.
‘I am yet to buy fine rice for the Eid-day, how can I buy a dress for my only kid,’ said Mohammad Khokon, a worker of
New Wave Style one of the five garment factories housed in the collapsed building.
Khokon said he was yet to get employed due to ill physical condition.
read more.

* Another Rana Plaza worker dies:

Manowar, an injured worker of Rana Plaza, who had been fighting for live in a Savar hospital, died on Thursday morning.

Manowar, 18, had been in coma for more than 100 days after the devastating collapse of Rana Plaza, hospital sources said.
He died at about 8:45am in the ICU of Enam Medical College, the hospital management sources said.
His body was taken to Mithapukur upazila in Rangpur district, following completion of official procedures.
Manowar had sustained brain injury. He was admitted to the intensive care unit of the hospital on April 24.
The tragic collapse of eight-storey Rana Plaza left at least 1,131 people dead so far.
to read.& read more. & read more.
daily star bd

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20130809

* Workers decry non-payment of compensations:

Workers and relatives of the Rana Plaza victims slammed the government and the owners for denying them the compensations though three and a half months have passed by since the complex crashed down.

They observed a token hunger strike at the Shaheed Minar under the banner of Workers and Relatives Affected by Rana Plaza Building Collapse on the Eid day.
Rights activists, union leaders and leaders of the left-leaning parties also joined the demonstration expressing solidarity with the workers’ demands.
Many seriously injured workers are not getting the treatment as assured by the government and the owners, while the DNA-test of the dead bodies of about 300 workers is pending with the Dhaka Medical Hospital for an unreasonably long time, observed the workers and activists.
read more.
UNB

* Rana Plaza victims, families demo at Shaheed Minar:

20130809 DHAKATRIBUNE rana plaza
Survivors of Rana Plaza tragedy and family members of the deceased and missing workers demonstrate in Savar Monday 

Some 60 injured victims of Rana Plaza collapse and families of those missing and killed began a token mass sit-in programme at the Central Shaheed Minar on Friday.

The demonstrators, mostly women workers, gathered at the place around 11am and were chanting slogans demanding dues, Eid bonus, compensation and rehabilitation.
Jahangirnagar University teachers Prof Anu Muhammad and Prof Nasim Akhter Hossain, activists Rahnuma Ahmed and Arup Rahee, and Bangladesh Samajtantrik Dal leader Razequzzaman Ratan went to Shaheed Minar to express solidarity with the agitation.
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DHAKATRIBUNE

* Rana Plaza survivors take part in hunger strike:

Around 200 family members of victims and surviving workers of collapsed Rana Plaza building in Savar went to the Dhaka Central Shahid Minar and took part in a hunger strike programme at about 11:00am Friday, the Eid-ul-Fitr, carrying out a prearranged programme.

Earlier, they started to gather on ground zero, renamed Shahid Bedi, of the Rana Plaza, at about 9:30am and left the place for Dhaka after half an hour.
A number of distinguished persons along with 10 to15 workers’ organizations expressed solidarity with the four-point demands of the protesters.
The demands include immediate compensation, payment of their outstanding salaries and Eid bonuses, permanent rehabilitation of the affected workers, publishing the DNA reports of the missing workers and settling their compensations, and declaring the missing persons as dead.
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20130810

* Rana Plaza victims, families protest at Shaheed Minar:

Politicians, professionals and academicians expressed solidarity with the token sit-in programme demanding dues

Injured victims of the Rana Plaza collapse, along with the families of those missing and killed, staged a token sit-in at the Central Shaheed Minar on Friday demanding their dues, Eid bonuses, promised compensation and rehabilitation.

Some 70 workers and family members of the victims gathered at the location around 11am and continued till 4pm, urging the government and the garment owners to realise their demands immediately.

Politicians, professionals and academicians expressed solidarity with them, and urged the government to streamline the compensation and rehabilitation activities, and ensure transparency in distribution.
read more.
DHAKATRIBUNE

20130807-12

20130807-11 * Bangladesh Factory Victims Wait as Compensation Meeting Delayed:

A meeting to determine compensation for victims of two factory disasters in Bangladesh was postponed until September after a union official fell ill, workers threatened to strike in Dhaka and European brands balked at attending over the summer.

“We thought it was a better solution to do this in Europe in September,” IndustriALL General Secretary Jyrki Raina, who is organizing the meeting, said by phone. “The problem is Rana Plaza workers and families aren’t receiving money, so it’s not as it should be.” The initial meeting to aid victims of the Rana Plaza collapse and Tazreen factory fire was planned for Aug. 11 and 12 in Dhaka.
The union and the Clean Clothes campaign want retailers including Benetton Group SA, Mango and Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (WMT) to agree to a lump sum payment for pain and suffering as well as lost earnings for the victims and dependents of those involved in the disasters.
IndustriALL estimates the long-term compensation cost will be $71 million for the Rana Plaza collapse, where 1,131 people were killed in the nation’s worst industrial accident, and $5.7 million for the Tazreen garment factory fire, which killed 112.
read more. & read more.
BLOOMBERG  DHAKATRIBUNE

20130809 * Bangladesh compensation meetings rescheduled:

The two compensation meetings for the victims and their families of the tragedies of Tazreen and Rana Plaza in Bagladesh planned to be held on August 11 and 12, have been postponed until September.

The meetings aim to put together a full and fair compensation package for all the victims and their families, and were to take place in Dhaka in August. After rescheduling the meetings will now be held in Geneva in September. The exact date has yet to be decided.

“With the sudden illness of a key union official and a strike threat in Bangladesh, we feel that the meetings will be more fruitful at a later date,” says IndustriALL General Secretary Jyrki Raina. “All major brands and signatories are invited and we are expecting a high level of attendance.”

Responsibility is shared between the brands and retailers sourcing from Tazreen and Rana Plaza, the factory owners, the BGMEA employers association, and the Bangladeshi government. The aim is to employ the industry’s best practice compensation mechanism that was developed after the Spectrum factory collapse in Bangladesh in 2005. That formula is in line with ILO Convention 121 on employment injury benefits.
read more.
Home

20130812 * Meeting to fix compensation package for Tazreen, Rana Plaza victims due next month:

The scheduled meeting to determine compensation for victims of Tazreen and Rana Plaza disasters this month has been postponed until September and is now due to be held in Geneva. But the date of meeting is yet to be fixed.

“Due to sudden illness of a key union official and a strike threat in Bangladesh, we feel that the meeting will be more fruitful at a later date,” said industrial General Secretary Jyrki Raina in a statement published on its website.
“All major brands and signatories are invited and we are expecting a high level of attendance,” he added.

“Because of my sudden illness, the scheduled meeting was postponed,” Roy Ramesh Chandra, general secretary of Industry — All Bangladesh Council told the FE.
Responsibility is shared between the brands and retailers sourcing from Tazreen and Rana Plaza, the factory owners, the BGMEA employers association, and the Bangladeshi government, the statement said.
read more.  & read more.

* Another succumbs to injuries:

After passing 107 days in a coma since the April 24 Rana Plaza building collapse, another victim succumbed to his injuries at the intensive care unit of Enam Medical College and Hospital in Savar on Thursday, bringing the death toll to 1,133.

The deceased Monwar Hossain, 22, used to iron clothes at New Wave Bottoms Ltd, housed in the nine-storey building, his father, Abul Hossain, told The Daily Star.
Hailing from Jadabpur village of Mithapukur upazila in Rangpur district, Monwar used to live with his uncle Atiar Rahman in Savar, he added.
The hospital’s Director (Media) Jahidur Rahman informed The Daily Star that the victim’s family members had received the body.
Right after his rescued, confusion had arisen over Monwar’s identity. His face was wrapped in bandages and two persons had claimed him as their child.
read more. & read more.
daily star bd INDEPENDENT

20130812 * Rana Plaza workers observe hunger strike on Eid day:

Politicians, academics and garment workers’ leaders on Friday at a mass hunger strike at the Central Shaheed Minar demanded adequate compensations for the workers affected by the collapse of Rana Plaza.

The affected workers of the Rana Plaza have not been compensated adequately and some workers still remain missing, the leaders said at the mass hunger strike rally.
The wounded workers and their families held a three-hour mass hunger strike on the Eid day.
The affected workers will hold a rally at Savar  Adhar Chandra High School ground on August 23  to press  home their demands, including sufficient com
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20130814

* Army seeks more information on Rana Plaza tragedy:

Bangladesh Army in a letter sought more information from Dhaka District Administration on Rana Plaza tragedy which had killed more than 1,133 people, mainly poor ready-made garment workers.

According to the official sources, Major Saidur Rahman, on behalf of Bangladesh Army, on July 31 wrote a letter to the Dhaka District Administrator seeking the death list, list of missing people, list of the patients who were under long-term physical treatment and names of the patients who left hospitals after getting treatment along with the total numbers of physically disable victims. Bangladesh Army also requested the local civil administration to provide the accurate numbers of the victimised shop keepers and the total figures of damaged vehicles at the destroyed Rana Plaza, where there were five garments factories, a shopping mall and a private bank in the nine storied building.
The office of Savar Upazila Nirbahi Officer received the letter at 11:49 AM on August 13 over the official fax, the Independent correspondent confirmed.
(…)
Meanwhile, in wake of allegation of lack of coordination among different government authorities over rehabilitation process, the International Labour Organization (ILO) is planning to set up a local coordination office at Savar very soon.
About the probable date of opening the ILO coordination office in Savar, UNO Kamrul Hasan Mollah said, ‘‘Still it is under consideration of the government.”
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INDEPENDENT

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20130816

20130817 how much longer! 20

* Benetton and Mango: come to Bangladesh, and pay compensation!:

Recently, we asked you to call on Benetton and Mango to go to the Tazreen and Rana Plaza compensation meetings in Bangladesh because the right to fair compensation ‘unites all people’.

Both brands are getting the message LOUD and CLEAR; thousands of supporters are posting their concerns on their Facebook pages.

Benetton and Mango have not yet agreed to attend the meetings. These are well-known European brands. They can afford to make sure these families don’t continue to suffer.

Unfortunately, due to sudden ill health of IndustriALL’s Bangladesh representative, the meetings scheduled for August 11 and 12 have been postponed until September. This doesn’t mean we let the brands off the hook. Keep pushing Benetton  and Mango to attend the meetings and pay compensation. If you have a Twitter account, click here and leave your message automatically. You can of course also leave your own  message at @mango and @benetton.

United colours, united responsibility! @Benetton and @Mango, pay full #compensation now!
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Site

* Bangladesh factory collapse victims seek help:

Orphans of workers killed in April disaster wait for compensation, as injured struggle to support their families.

In the wake of Bangladesh’s deadly garment factory collapse in April, the workers who were injured and family members of those killed, including orphans, were promised compensation.

But four months on, many of the victims and their relatives continue to struggle without work or a means to support themselves.
read & see more. (video report).
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20130822

* Bring initiatives under single umbrella:

Initiatives redressing the loss suffered by Rana Plaza victims must be brought under a single organisational umbrella to create a more transparent system for providing compensation, urged Dr Kamal Hossain at a discussion yesterday.

“A lot of people are donating money to funds created by different organisations but there is no actual record of the amount of money provided to victims so far and to whom. Moreover, there are several lists of the number of the dead, injured and missing victims but nothing absolute,” he said.
Representatives of 20 garment workers’ organisations and lawyers convened the discussion in the capital’s Supreme Court Bar Association premises.
They also demanded that the Prime Minister’s Office and Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association provide details on the amount of money which had accumulated in their funds and to whom it was being given.
A separate tribunal could be created to deal with cases, like those of the Savar victims, where victims could seek compensation for having been wronged, advised Barrister Amirul Islam.
“This is because the normal civil court proceedings are delayed by a backlog of cases,” he said.
read more.
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20130823

* Four months of Rana Plaza tragedy tomorrow:

On Saturday, different organisations will mark four months of the Rana Plaza tragedy.

On April 24, the eight-storey Rana Plaza at the Savar bus stand collapsed and killed 1123 people, most of whom were garment workers.
Different garment labour rights bodies have chalked out programmes to observe the day, both at Savar and in the capital.
Bangladesh Garment Sramik Sanghati will hold a protest rally in front of the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association Bhaban at 10:00am at Kawranbazar demanding compensation for the affected people in the collapse.
National Garment Workers Federation will hold a protest rally in front of the National Press Club at 11:00am.
Different garment labour rights bodies will hold rallies and processions on ground zero of the Rana Plaza at Savar.
to read.
BD new age
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20130824-25

* Apparel workers demonstrate before BGMEA building:

Survivors of the Rana Plaza collapse staged a demonstration in front of Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) building at Karwan Bazar in the city on Saturday, marking the four months into the devastation.

Bangladesh Garments Sramik Sanghati, a platform of garment workers, organised the protest.
The workers body demanded immediate payment of their arrears and compensations and make a final list of dead and injured workers.
They also pressed for implementation of the workers’ rights to associate at all garment factories and fix Tk 8,000 as the minimum monthly wage for a seamstress.
During the demonstration, many survivors burst into tears as they described their harsh struggle to live since the collapse of Rana Plaza.
More than 1,100 workers died and scores of workers were wounded in the worst factory devastation on April 24 this year.
They also called for help to trace out their missing loved ones.
They also demanded that the authorities give death penalties to the owners of the Rana Plaza and the several apparel factories housed there.
to read.
BD new age

* Apparel workers rally outside BGMEA building:

20130825 NEWAGE
The National Garment Workers Federation form a human chain in Dhaka on Saturday, protesting at the delay in the disbursement of compensation to Rana Plaza collapse victims. — New Age photo

Survivors of the Rana Plaza collapse went on demonstrations in front the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters’ Association building in the capital on Saturday marking four months of of the disaster.

Apparel workers’ platform Bangladesh Garments Sramik Sanghati organised the protests where they demanded an immediate payment of their dues and compensations. They also demanded that the association should publish a list of the people who were killed and wounded in the building collapse that took place on April 24.
The building collapse left 1,132 people, mostly apparel workers, dead and about 2,500 wounded.
According to a group working with apparel workers, the search for the deceased in the Rana Plaza rubble was called off on May 13 when 374 workers were still missing.
The National Garment Workers Federation, meanwhile on the day, formed a human chain in the capital demanding compensation for the survivors and the deceased in the building collapse. They also demanded workplace safety.
read more.
BD new age

* Human chain demands compensation for victims, families:

National Garment Workers Federation, survivors of Rana Plaza collapse and families of those who died during the disaster   formed a human chain yesterday demanding proper compensation for the victims and that the authorities disclose the list of dead and missing workers.

They formed the human chain in front of Jatiya Press Club in the capital after four months of the building collapse which killed at least 1,132 people.
Meanwhile, Bangladesh Garments Workers Samity also formed a human chain before the BGMEA building with the same demands.
Participants at the human chain said although four months have passed since the disaster, the victims have not received anything.
They urged the government to pay compensation on “the loss of earning” basis. In that case, the compensation should be Tk 28 lakh for dead victims’ families and Tk 5 lakh for the injured workers.
to read.
daily star bd
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20130826

* Workers Voice Discontent After 4 Months Of The Rana Plaza Tragedy:

4 months have passed after the tragic Rana Plaza Collapse at Savar, Bangladesh. Victims and families of the deceased still mourn their helplessness at the tragedy site everyday, while come together in protest when the pain grows unbearable.

On 24 August, as the 4th month of Rana Plaza passed away, victims-rights activists-families of victims came together in protest infront of the BGMEA Headquarters demanding compensation for the surviving victims and a full report on the identification of missing victims.

Later on Sunday morning, 25 August 2013, apparel workers blocked New Airport Road in Joar Sahara area of the capital demanding a hike in their salaries and other benefits including attendance bonus and lunch allowances.
The demonstration that started around 8:00am caused huge traffic congestion on the road in the morning rush hours.
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20130828

* Bangladesh textile workers await compensation:

Since the collapse of a building in Dhaka, which killed over 1,000 textile workers, victims and their families have yet to be compensated. Negotiations are due in September, but most companies have refused to pay so far.

Some four million people work in Bangladesh’s textile industry, an economic sector expected to drive the country into a better future. But also Salma, who had left her nine-month-old daughter back in her parent’s village to find work in a garment factory in the Bangladeshi capital Dhaka, had hopes for a better life.

In a video commissioned by the Dutch church organization ICCO, she talks about her desperate situation after the factory building collapsed in Rana Plaza on April 24 this year and how an injury to her spine paralyzed her. She doesn’t know how she will be able to earn a living now.

’25 years of lost wages
The collapse of the illegally constructed factory building killed 1,134 people. To this day it remains unclear exactly how many people were injured, but Jyrki Raina, General Secretary of IndustriALL Global Union, puts the figure at 2,500. The unionist has called for binding and compressive compensation, based on the norms set by the International Labor Organization (ILO): “We calculate 25 years of lost wages for the victims,” Raina told DW.

IndustriALL, a federation with 50 million union members from 140 countries, recently invited the companies who had ordered garments from Rana Plaza to talk about compensation claims. The meeting, which is scheduled to take place in September, is supported by Clean Clothes Campaign, an Amsterdam-based organization focused on improving working conditions in the global garment industry.
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DW

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20130829

19:11:44 local time map of bangla_desh BANGLADESH

THE SAVAR BUILDING COLLAPSE

20130524

* Workers cannot claim further compensation:

ID cards surrendered while receiving salaries

Garment workers who survived the Rana Plaza collapse cannot claim further compensation because the Bangladesh Garments Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) took away their ID cards after disbursing their salaries in the first week of this month.

BGMEA Joint Secretary (labour) Rafiqul Islam told The Daily Star, “Workers were laid off as per Section-12 of the Bangladesh’s labour law, as there is no scope for the five garment factories to restart operations. Thus, those who had not lost their ID cards were asked to submit them during the salary disbursement so that they would not be able to use them to falsely claim any salary in future.”

Legal Counsellor to the American Centre for International Labour Solidarity AKM Nasim pointed out, however, that the workers could no longer file a lawsuit with the labour court for further damage claims as they would be unable to demonstrate proof of employment. read more.
daily star bd

* Savar Tragedy: Probe panel for action against those responsible:

The committee, formed to investigate the Rana Plaza collapse, on Wednesday submitted its report recommending punitive actions against those responsible for the incident and giving compensation to the victims.   

“The use of low quality materials for construction of the building, disrespecting to the building code, presence of garment factories, heavy machinery in the commercial building and the building owner’s ignorance about garment factories were responsible for the incident,” said the probe panel chief Main Uddin Khandaker.
Main Uddin, additional secretary to the Home Ministry, was talking to the journalists after submitting the 400-page report to the Senior Home Secretary CQK Mostaque Ahmed.
The committee also made a 15-point recommendation, including three urgent ones. read more.

* Lists of injured, missing not yet completed:

The government is yet to complete the enlistment of the people injured and feared missing in the Rana Plaza collapse at Savar even after a month on Friday.

The eight-storey Rana Plaza, which housed five clothing factories, a shopping mall and a bank, collapsed on the morning of April 24, leaving at least 1,127 people and about 2,000 injured.
Different government agencies, including the army, upazila authorities and the district relief and rehabilitation authorities, were still compiling the list of the people feared missing. Non-governmental organisations are also enlisting such names, officials said.
Major General Chowdhury Hasan Sarwardy, who coordinated the rescue operation, at the last briefing at Savar on May 13, when the operation was wrapped up, said that 1,115 bodies had been recovered from the Rana Plaza rubble. Twelve of the 2,438 people pulled out alive later died in hospital.

Eight hundred and thirty-six bodies have so far been handed over to families, according to the district administration.Two hundred and ninety-one bodies, which could not be identified, were buried in the Jurain graveyard in Dhaka, after DNA sampling for identification in the future and ten were buried in other districts without DNA sampling, the officials said.
read more.

* Aid for Rana Plaza victims:

A local English language daily reported on May 12 that banks are donating for the victims of the Rana Plaza collapse.

The report also stated that the donation would be around Tk 80 crore. The news was really good to know. Already the government has handed out payments to the relatives of the deceased.
I assume that, in total, the number of victims will be around 10,000, including the deceased and injured workers and some small traders who had lost everything because of the incident.What is needed now is prompt payment. It is essential as these people are engulfed in a tragedy. The target should be to complete settling all claims on or before the end of the financial year. No excuse for delays will be acceptable. The government should form an executive team with adequate authority including representatives from all interest groups. At the same time the distribution must be strictly monitored by the authorities.
This immediate financial relief is a matter of utmost priority. read more.

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20130525

* Wait not over for them:

Relatives of those missing in the Rana Plaza collapse keep thronging different places in search of their loved ones, a month after the country’s deadliest industrial disaster that claimed more than 1,100 lives.

With photographs of their missing relatives in hands, some of them go to the local Upazila Nirbahi Office, others to the Savar Model Police Station and local hospitals. Yet others still continue to gather every day at the collapse site with a sense of nothingness.
They knock at every possible door, wondering where else they can go to find at least the bodies for some kind of solace.
In their search efforts, relatives have so far filed 88 general diaries with Savar Model Police Station, police said.
The nine-storey Rana Plaza, which housed five garment factories, a shopping mall and a bank, came crashing down on the morning of April 24, killing at least 1,127 people, mostly garment workers.
Rescuers pulled out 2,438 people alive from beneath the rubble. Around 100 of them are still taking treatment at different hospitals, some with lost limbs.
read more.
daily star bd

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20130526

* Two more Rana Plaza workers die:

The death toll in Rana Plaza building collapse tragedy rose to 1129 on Saturday with two injured workers succumbing to their wounds despite medical treatment.

Mohammad Ashraful, 18, died at the Dhaka Medical College Hospital around noon.
He used to work at New Wave Fashion, which was situated on the seventh floor of the ill-fated building.
Ashraful came from Jhauganj of Mymensingh’s Gouripur Upazila.
The other person to die was Anjurara Begum, 16. She died at Square Hospital, where she was undergoing treatment, around dawn.
The details of her identity are still no known.
read more. & read more. & read more.
bdnews24 newstodayBD

* Pay for pain, sufferings – Victims deserve compensation from Brands:

CCC protests across Europe

Clean Clothes Campaign (CCC) activists staged protests across Europe on Friday calling on major brands to pay compensation for fire and building collapse victims in Bangladesh.

The protests took place exactly one month after the Rana Plaza factory collapse and exactly six months after the Tazreen fire that cost 1239 lives in total.
Fake funerals, factory simulations and fashion shows were part of the Europe wide protests at the failure to pay for pain and suffering, loss of earnings and medical care. Protests were held in front of brands that had production or placed trial orders in Rana Plaza.

Tessel Pauli of Clean Clothes Campaign said, ‘Workers’ debts are rising as brands fail to pay up. These two recent horrific tragedies in Bangladeshi garment factories left 1239 people dead and thousands injured. Compensation is owed to these workers, and financial security is essential for families coming to terms with what has happened. Brands should pay up so that families and workers do not suffer any more’.
read more.
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* Rana Plaza death toll rises to 1,129:

The death toll from the collapse of Rana Plaza in Savar has risen to 1,129 after two more injured workers died a month after the disaster, officials said on Sunday.

Senior government official Zillur Rahman Chowdhury said one male and one female victim of one of the world’s worst industrial disasters had died in hospital.
“They were rescued alive from the rubble and were undergoing treatment but succumbed to injuries, one on Friday and the other on Saturday,” Chowdhury said.
read more.
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20130528

* HC asks BB to submit bank statements of Sohel Rana, 5 factory owners:

The High Court on Monday directed Bangladesh Bank to submit to it in two weeks the bank statements of Rana Plaza owner Sohel Rana and the owners of five clothing factories that were housed  in the collapsed building.

The court asked the central bank to submit their bank statements of three months beginning March.
A bench of Justice Mirza Hussain Haider and Justice Muhammad Khurshid Alam Sarkar gave the order after examining the balance in the bank accounts of Sohel Rana and the five factory owners shown in the bank statements the central bank submitted earlier.

Sara Hossain, counsel for public interest writ petitioners Ain o Shalish Kendra and BLAST, drew the court’s attention to the balance shown in the bank statements  Bangladesh Bank had submitted.
ASK and BLAST filed the writ petitions seeking the court’s order to stop the recurrence of another Rana Plaza disaster.
read more.

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20130529

* Owners, BGMEA, buyers should pay compensation to Rana Plaza victims:

Citizen rights activists on Tuesday said that factory and building owners, Bangladesh Garments Manufacturers and Exporters Association and buyers should pay compensation to the families of workers killed and injured in Rana Plaza collapse.

At a press conference, they placed a 21-point demand and said the authorities need to rehabilitate the affected workers of Rana Plaza which collapsed on April 24 and killed at least 1,129 people.
Campaign for Good Governance organised the press conference at Dhaka Reporters’ Unity.
CGG director Samia Ahmed said a government-sponsored probe body investigating the Savar tragedy submitted a report to the home ministry last week, recommending punishment of the owners of Rana Plaza and the five factories with lifetime imprisonment under Section 304 of the Bangladesh Penal Code.
read more.

* Lack of punishment responsible for Rana Plaza tragic: Speakers:

Speakers today blamed the lack of punishment is the main cause of garments (RMG) sector accidents in this time including Rana Plaza collapse.

They said that there is no doubt that the deadly incident of Rana Plaza collapse occurred in absence of proper punishment against the responsible persons liable for ablaze of Tazrin Fashion (garments factory) and tragic collapse of the Spectrum garment factories.

The speakers said this at a press briefing organized by Shushashoner Jonno Prochar Ovijan (Supro) to ensure the proper rights of the workers of Rana Plaza at Dhaka Reporters Unity (DRU) here. President of Shadhin Bangla Garment Sramik Karmachari Federation (SBGSKF) Shamima Nasrin said, “As there is no punishment, so the owners of the building encouraged the workers to bound the work at Rana Plaza.”

They also said exemplary punishment should be ensured for the owners of Rana Plaza and other garments so that none dare to push the workers into danger. Director of Supro Samia Ahmed places a 14 points demand to protect labor rights and save the garments sector.
read more.
BSS

* Govt reports 379 workers missing:

The chief inspector of factories and establishment has submitted to the High Court a list of 379 missing workers after the April 24 collapse of Rana Plaza in Savar that housed five clothing factories.

Dhaka deputy commissioner, however, submitted a list of missing 376 workers.
The deputy commissioner, Shaikh Yusuf Harun, told New Age on Wednesday that they reported missing of 376 workers as of May 20 when the list was submitted to the High Court.
DC Harun said that a total of 291 unidentified bodies of Rana Plaza workers were buried after collecting their DNA sampling, and 10 other bodies, which were taken away by different individuals by mistake, and were also buried in different places.
read more.

* PM to receive cheques for Savar victims tomorrow (Thursday):

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina would receive cheques for donation for the Savar building collapse victims tomorrow.

“Sheikh Hasina would receive cheques from the organizations and the people interested in donating money to “The PM’s Relief and Welfare Fund” for the ill-fated families of the Savar tragedy at 10.30 am at the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) in Tejgaon,” PM’s Press Secretary Abul Kalam Azad said.
to read.
BSS

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20130531

* PM gives financial assistance to families of 125 Savar victims- Govt takes step for better treatment:

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina Thursday said her government made arrangements for improved treatment of the garment workers injured in the Savar building collapse, apart from providing financial assistance to the family members of the deceased and wounded.

She stated this after distributing cheques of financial assistance at her office, in the third phase, from the Prime Minister’s Relief and Welfare Fund among the family members of 125 victims who were killed in the tragic building collapse.
Hasina said that as per the suggestions of the physicians some of the wounded workers would be sent abroad including Bangkok and Singapore for better treatment.
read more. & read more. & read more. & read more. & read more.
logo  newstodayBD

* Engineer Rakibul on 5-day remand:

A Dhaka court sent Savar municipality assistant engineer Rakibul Hasan on five-day remand in a case over Rana Plaza collapse.

Dhaka senior judicial magistrate Toiyabul Hasan passed the order after hearing Thursday.
Additional Public Prosecutor Anwarul Kabir Babul confirmed the matter to banglanews.
Earlier, assistant police super of Criminal Investigation Department (CID) Bijoy Krishno Kar produced Rakibul before the court and sought 10-day remand plea.
read more.
banglanews24 Logo

* Dhaka- One Time Order:

Buildings fall in other places
Visible but out of sight
Look away from dusted faces
Fingers gray with rubble’s graces
Fill your bags with cheap delight.
Primark Earrings up a Quater:
Queue for t-shirts – two pounds each
Never mind that that rutured mortar
Families the lost a daughter
Listen to that profit preach.

“love a bargain”, “Special Prices”,
“Summer bags are Hot! Hot! Hot!”
in Tazree people burnt; such crisis
Commonplace where need entices,
Those with names are fast forgot.
We are cracked who do not care
to hear the price of what we wear.

“One time order” “random audit”
These the words of Western gain,
Broken lives? They can afford it,
Mending where they once ignored it,
Aid to bind that splintered pain.
Our flagship stores should stand half mast
Commemorate the hands that sewed

The Lives now crushed, left in the past
A thousand lost to sate the fast
Tempo Fashion thinks it’s owed.
We are cracked who do not care
to hear the price of what we wear.

This song started as a poem written by Rosalind Jana, a young and talented Fashion Blogger – http://clothescamerasandcoffee.blogsp… – from the U.K.

Yaron Millo, founding partner of http://www.TheMacrameProject.com and part time musician stumbled across Rosalind’s poem and decided to write some music to it.

Modern day slavery needs to stop. Please share so as to continue putting pressure on the fashion companies manufacturing in Bangladesh. These people deserve a fair wage, insurance and safety regulation put in place. Just because their governments are corrupted doesn’t mean we can go in there and do as we please. I think all people have the right to decency.

Please Donate Now to Help Victims of Bangladesh Factory Collapse, Please go here.

Hear the song here!
MacrameProject
  global labour & human rights

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20130601

* Savar survivors: supports poured in; coordination a big problem:

‘They desperately need cash and jobs’

Though various government and private sector organisations promptly came forward with their various supports for the survivors of the Rana Plaza collapse, lack of proper coordination is likely to take its toll on the good gesture, says a survey report on the human tragedy.

The report said the major challenge could be to ensure proper coordination among these agencies and organisations for smooth and sound management of these aid and supports.
It says workers’ federations or associations could be engaged for ensuring proper coordination as there have been overlapping in selection of the survivors and package design.
ActionAid Bangladesh, Concern Universal and Concern Worldwide on behalf of National Alliance for Risk Reduction Initiatives conducted the survey titled ‘Rapid Need Assessment on Survivors of Savar Building Collapse.’
read more. & read more.
newstodayBD

* Compensation money eludes families of Rana Plaza collapse victims:

Frustration and uncertainty have gripped families of the Rana Plaza collapse victims as no clear announcement over giving compensation to them has been made even five weeks after the deadliest industrial incident.

The worried relatives have been moving desperately from here and there after the apparel factory owners promised giving adequate compensation to the family members who lost their near ones in the Rana Plaza collapse.
The eight-storey commercial building that housed five garment factories collapsed on April 24 last in the capital’s nearest industrial area Savar. The accident claimed at least 1,127 lives, mostly garment workers.

Several hundred others were critically wounded in the country’s worst-ever industrial incident that shocked the whole nation and brought the issue of workplace safety under spotlight at home and abroad.
The ill-fated families moved to the BGMEA (Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters’ Association) headquarters, the site of Rana Plaza, upazila headquarters and the National Press Club on wrong information about their enlistment for compensation.

“I went to the BGMEA head office, the Adhar Chandra High School and the National Press Club to inquire about compensation but found nothing,” Rabeya Akhter, sister of Aklima Khatun who was killed in the man-made disaster, said.
read more.

* Rana Plaza rescuers set example: speakers:

Politicians and a journalist and a physician on Friday said that people from all walks of life risked their lives to rescue the people trapped under the collapsed Rana Plaza at Savar creating an unique example of humanity.

At a reception of the rescuers, they mentioned that the rescuers efficiently saved the lives of more than 2,000 people, while more than 1,100 bodies were recovered from the debris of the eight-storey Rana Plaza that collapsed on April 24.
The disaster management unit of the Workers Party of Bangladesh organised the reception programme at Planning and Development Academy auditorium at Nilkhet where more than 10 organisations and 200 rescuers took part.
read more.

* Waiting for mother:

As five-year-old Kamrul opens his eyes in the morning, he begins nagging his father and grandmother to take him to the site of the Rana Plaza collapse, where he hopes to see his mother.

Since the nine-storey building crumbled on April 24, Kamrul has been told that his mother Kamona Begum, who worked as a sewing operator at a garment factory on the fourth floor, is there at the site and will be found soon.
“She used to bring him [Kamrul] something every day on her way back home,” Kamrul’s grandmother Morsheda Begum, 55, says, gazing at the place surrounded by a barbed wire fence.
On the day of the incident, Morsheda, a cleaner, was working on the third floor. She was lucky to be rescued within hours of the collapse with minor injuries to her feet and chest. But the family did not find Kamona, not even her remains.
“Kamrul believes his mother can still be found here and throws a tantrum if I don’t take him to this place,” says Morsheda.
read more.
daily star bd

* The Savar disaster, and what next? :

After the tragedy of Rana Plaza a pall of gloom had descended on Bangladesh. It led to the untimely deaths of 1,127 garment workers. Such an incident could be compared with only a massive catastrophe.

When the news of the accident emerged with its large-scale horrifying magnitude, none could still then realise its extent of destruction, loss of lives and properties. The final picture began to be clear as the salvage and rescue work was coming to a close.

Many people at one point began to ask: Is the disaster a result of the apathy of the people who run the ready-made garment (RMG) industry, their seemingly endless greed or the “dirty game of politics”? Is it the inevitable mark of dehumanisation? Is it the summation of discharging duties in a gross negligent manner in the sector?

Even a common passenger in a bus faces mechanical disorder when he is halfway to his destination. It gives him much irritation. Almost all of us have the bitter experience of falling in such an unpleasant situation, when we are out of home to travel to somewhere. But why does it happen?
The staff ought to ensure that the bus is in good condition when it is on road just before it starts for its desired point.

Needless to say, ensuring fitness of the total mechanical system can only make a travel free and safe, as there will be no further annoyance or trouble caused to the passengers in it, and consequently they may enjoy an uninterrupted and smooth travel.
read more.

* Mourners build temporary memorial:

Mourners, including colleagues and relatives of the workers killed, maimed and missing in the Rana Plaza collapse, set up a memorial at the site of the disaster to pay homage to the dead.

Locals, including teachers and students of educational institutions, joined the workers in erected the temporary four- feet high memorial on Thursday morning and placed wreaths there.
They demanded construction of a permanent memorial at the site.
read more.

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20130602

* Savar tragedy: An emblem of poor governance:

On April 24, a nine-storey building collapsed in Savar which is on the outskirts of Dhaka, the capital city of Bangladesh. More than one thousand garment workers had died in the incident.

And also hundreds of workers most of whom were the only earning members of their families, lie injured in the hospital beds with frustration and insecurity. The gruesome images of the dead bodies that we have seen on internet and newspapers will haunt everyone. The total account of losses is still to be made.

The rescuers could not control their tears finding the continuous groaning of trapped workers, mostly women. People from all walks of life, irrespective of affiliation to any party or religion, rushed to associate with the rescue operation organised by the Army, Border Guard Bangladesh, Rapid Action Battalion and Police.

But is this a tragedy or carnage? The owners knew about the cracks in the building on the previous day only to put a blind eye to it. There was also absence of any initiatives to evacuate the building. Moreover, it was found out later that the owners of the building and garment factories forced the workers to enter into the building. So it appears to be a cold blooded murder of a large number of innocent people.
read more.

* A long wait, all in vain:

Since eight in the morning yesterday, Amena Begum, with her fractured hand, was waiting outside the capital’s Sundarban Hotel, with high hopes that someone would come out with some financial help.

She was not alone — hundreds of others like her were gathered there, as well. They were all workers of garment factories housed in the ill-fated Rana Plaza, which collapsed on April 24, killing 1,130 people dead and thousands injured.
Jobless and facing mounting medical bills, they are now desperate for financial assistance.

“One of my neighbours informed me yesterday that they have received financial help here from an organisation. That’s why, we’ve come,” Amena said.
None of them, however, knew the name of the organisation.

“We all left the city around 3:30 pm, as no one came out of the hotel with help. Nobody assured us of anything, either,” said Zahid Hossain, who waited with Amena at the spot under open skies.

Primark, the British retailer whose clothes were made at one of the factories at the collapsed building, registered names of around 300 garment workers at that spot on Friday, according to Amirul Haque Amin, president of National Garments Workers Federation.
read more.
daily star bd

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20130603

* Rana Plaza Tragedy: 4 accused on remand:

A Dhaka court on Sunday placed four accused, including three garment owners, on a four-day remand in a case over much-talked-about Rana Plaza collapse.

Senior Judicial Magistrate of Dhaka Toybul Hasan passed the remand order after hearing on the case.
On May 26, investigation officer of the case, CID inspector Bijoy Krishna Kar sought remand against the accused.
The accused are Anisur Rahman, Bazlur Samad, Aminul Islam and Mahmudur Rahman Taposh.
to read. & read more. & read more. & read more. & read more. & read more.banglanews24 Logo daily star bd    logo newstodayBD

* BGMEA report still not submitted:

The committee the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters’ Association set up on April 28 to investigate the Rana Plaza collapse of April 24 has failed to submit the report even about a month after the May 7 deadline.

BGMEA leaders also could no say when they would be able to submit the report. ‘The committee members are doing their job and we are waiting for some test reports from experts,’ the association president, Md Atiqul Islam, said.

Without giving any date, he said that the report could be submitted shortly after they received reports of the text on building materials which are pending with Bangladesh University of Engendering and Technology.
read more.

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20130604

* PM to receive donation for Savar victims Wednesday:

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will receive donation from different organizations and individuals for Savar victims on Wednesday (June 5).

The Prime Minister will receive cheques of the donation at  her Tejgaon office at 10 am on June 5, PM’s press secretary Abul  Kalam Azad said.
Representatives of the organizations and individuals were  requested to attend the function in time.
to read.
BSS

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20130605

* Families of Rana Plaza victims blockade highway:

Relatives and family members of the Rana Plaza collapse victims blockaded Dhaka-Aricha Highway Tuesday, demanding immediate measures for releasing compensation money by preparing a correct list of the victims.

The worried relatives who have been moving desperately for compensation gathered with a 6-point demand in front of the collapsed Rana Plaza under the guidance of Bangladesh Garment and Industry Workers Federation in the morning.

The other demands include raising monthly wages of a worker to Tk 8000, improving workplace safety, allowing workers to enjoy dearness allowances until a fresh wage is reviewed, arresting the owners who have poor labour practices and freedom to trade union.
read more. & read more.

* BGMEA yet to announce damages for victim families:

Families of the Rana Plaza collapse victims are passing their days through hardship as the BGMEA was yet to clearly announce the compensation planned for the families more than a month after the collapse.

Many of them said that the association even could not collect the required fund.
Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters’ Association leaders said that they were been trying to collect money and hoped to make an announcement after the middle of June.

The association is depending on the government and others organisations such as buyers in giving the compensations as its has failed to make any headway in fund collection from its members.

The families amid such an uncertain situation, the families demanded an early announcement about a comprehensive compensation. They wanted to know of the total amount they would get in compensation.

‘We are passing our days though an extreme hardship as we have failed to pay house rent for two months. Neither the government nor the BGMEA has come forward with help,’ Mariam Akhter, who lost her elder sister Salma Akhter in the building collapse, said.
read more.

* Savar horror documented in photographs:

The heart-wrenching sufferings of the victims of the recent building collapse in Savar have been captured by 17 photographers whose works have been exhibited at Drik Gallery in Dhanmondi.
The six-day exhibition titled Tragedy Noy Hottakando displays 47 untitled images of wounded garments workers, deformed dead bodies, lamentation of the poor and helpless people over the loss of their loved ones making the viewers melancholic at recalling the impact of the building collapse on April 24, 2013 in Savar.

The images graphically portraying the tragedy not only deeply sadden the viewers but also infuriate them as they realise that this devastating horror, which is nothing short of a mass murder could have been avoided if the building and garment owners were not so negligent and greedy.
read more.

* Relatives block Dhaka-Aricha highway:

20130605 BANGLA24savar

The relatives of victims of Rana Plaza collapse blockaded the Dhaka-Aricha highway on Wednesday morning demanding compensation and rehabilitation.

They brought out a protest procession at around 10:30am from Rana plaza and they took position on the highway.
Later, they declared that they won’t leave the road till their demands are met.
Meanwhile, the blockade created huge traffic congestion in the areas.
read more. & read more.
banglanews24 Logo logo

* PM gives financial assistance to 167 families of Savar victims:

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Wednesday distributed cheques of financial assistance to more families of garment workers who died in the tragic ‘Rana Plaza’ building collapse in Savar on April 24.

The Prime Minister distributed the cheques among family members of 167 victims of the Savar tragedy at a simple function at her office in the morning.
PM’s Press Secretary Abul Kalam Azad said that so far some 452 families of the Savar victims received financial assistance of Tk 10-Tk 15 lakh from the Prime Minister’s Relief and Welfare Fund.
Hasina also handed over wheel chairs among four critically injured garment workers. The injured workers will also get Tk 10-Tk 15 lakh from the PM’s Relief and Welfare Fund depending on the gravity of their injury and need.
read more.  & read more. & read more.
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* Tk 6.24 crore provided to family members of 555 Savar tragedy victims:

Prime Minister and Leader of the House Sheikh Hasina today said financial assistance of Taka 6,24,50,000 has so far been given from her Relief and Welfare Fund to the family members of 555 workers killed in Savar Rana Plaza collapse.

The family members of the remaining victims who were killed in the eight-storey Rana Plaza collapse on April 24 would also be provided financial assistance in phases, she said.
The Leader of the House said this in her question-answer session in reply to a question from treasury bench member Rawshan Jahan Sathi.
Sheikh Hasina said Taka 6,24,50,000 were provided to introduce ‘saving certificates’ for life for the 24 workers who were crippled in the tragic Savar incident.

She said Taka 1,42,14,000 were paid to different private hospitals, clinics and diagnostic centres in Savar against the treatment cost of the injured . Besides, she said, Madhumoti Bank has provided wheelchairs to the patients who were crippled in the Savar building collapse.
The Prime Minister said 2438 persons have so far been rescued alive under the rubbles of the Rana Plaza building. She said all out measures were taken for the treatment of the persons who were seriously injured in the collapse.
read more. & read more.
BSS logo

* 50 injured as police, BCL men attack Rana Plaza survivors:

20130606_Daily Jungator“while trying to agitate with their grievance Police is trying to disband the garment workers”.- Photo by Daily Jugantor

At least 50 people were injured as alleged activists of Bangladesh Chhatra League and police on Wednesday attacked the survivors and relatives of the workers feared missing after the Rana Plaza collapse .

Witnesses said that the police and BCL activists launched the attack when over 1,000 survivors and relatives of missing workers were demonstrating in front of the collapse site in Savar demanding compensation and rehabilitation of the maimed workers.  The disaster left over 1,100 people dead and scores missing.

The protesters, under the banner of Rana Plaza Garments Workers Union, blocked the Dhaka-Aricha highway for about three hours from around 10:00am.
Suddenly a group of BCL activists numbering 25-30 attacked the demonstrators with iron rods when police were negotiating with the demonstrators.
The area virtually turned into a battle field when the police fired rubber bullets and tear gas to disperse the workers who retaliated by hurling stones at the attackers.
read more.

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20130607

* JBFH and AMDA conduct follow-up treatment to Savar Rana Plaza victims:

Japan Bangladesh Friendship Hospital (JBFH) and Association of Medical Doctors of Asia (AMDA) today jointly organized a follow-up medical treatment for the victims of the Rana Plaza Savar tragedy.

The medical team comprising thirty specialist doctors, nurses, paramedics and hospital personnel were present at Savar Adhar Chandra Model High School providing complimentary medical treatment, group psychotherapy, free medicine supplies and distributed 800 kilograms of rice and 200 kilograms of pulse to ensure food security of these victims.

The team led by JBFH Chairman Prof Dr Md Jonaid Shafiq, Pain Specialist and JBFH Managing Director Prof Dr Sarder A Nayeem.
The JBFH and AMDA Bangladesh were present immediately after the the Rana Plaza collapse with their Emergency Medical Response Team (EMRT) on April 25 assisting with other organizations to provide immediate relief for the victims of the tragedy.
read more.
BSS

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20130608

* Bangladesh survivors fear for work prospects:

Factory workers left with lifelong injuries after April’s deadly collapse fear they will never work again.

Shareholders of the world’s largest retailer Walmart are converging in the US state of Arkansas for the company’s annual meeting.
Any decisions made will be closely followed in Bangladesh, where more than 1,100 people died after a garment factory collapsed in April.
Some survivors lost limbs and fear they will never work again.
read & see more. (video report).
aljazeera

* Injured workers need follow-up treatment:

The workers who became injured in the Rana Plaza collapse and were immediately treated in hospitals have been forced to return to their houses, with serious physical problems while physicians said that the needed follow-up treatment.

Many of the injured workers told New Age in the Adharchandra High School ground, where Japan Bangladesh Friendship Hospital and the Association of Medical Doctors of Asia organized a free medical campaign, on Friday that they were suffering from various physical complications. They said that they were also faced with financial problems.
read more.

* Primark begins paying compensation over Bangladesh factory disaster:

Primark has begun the process of paying compensation to thousands of workers and their families who were involved in the Rana Plaza factory disaster, as campaigners said retailers must do more to protect workers’ rights.

The high-street clothes chain, whose supplier Simple Approach occupied the second floor of the eight-storey Rana Plaza building that collapsed in April, has promised money will start flowing into the bank accounts of almost 4,000 workers or their dependents next week.

Primark, whose owner Associated British Foods reported bumper half-year pre-tax profits of £415m in April, said it was spending $1m (£640,000) on short-term aid for victims. “It is the right thing to do,” said Paul Lister, head of governance at AB Foods. “There is obviously real hardship, short-term hardship, which we initially dealt with with food aid.”
The company had decided to provide short-term aid, equivalent to three months’ wages, because long-term compensation “will take a period of time to deal with and in the meantime some of these people are suffering real hardship”.
read more. & read more. & read more. & read more. & read more. & read more.logo daily star bd newstodayBD NewNation

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20130609

* Bangladesh suspends factory inspectors over disaster:

Bangladesh on Sunday suspended seven safety inspectors after they rubber-stamped operating licences for factories that later collapsed in the nation’s worst industrial disaster, the labour secretary said.

An investigation found the inspectors had renewed licences sometimes without even visiting the factories to check safety conditions in the Rana Plaza building that collapsed on April 24, Labour Secretary Mikail Shipar said.

“The probe has found that the eight inspectors approved and renewed the licences of five factories at Rana Plaza without proper inquiry and supervision,” Shipar, the labour ministry’s top official, told AFP.

Seven were suspended on Sunday while one has already retired, following the ministry probe into its inspectors who are supposed to check conditions and facilities at the nation’s 4,500 garment plants, he said.
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An investigation found the inspectors had renewed licences sometimes without even visiting the factories to check safety conditions in the Rana Plaza building that collapsed on April 24, Labour Secretary Mikail Shipar said.

“The probe has found that the eight inspectors approved and renewed the licences of five factories at Rana Plaza without proper inquiry and supervision,” Shipar, the labour ministry’s top official, told AFP.

Seven were suspended on Sunday while one has already retired, following the ministry probe into its inspectors who are supposed to check conditions and facilities at the nation’s 4,500 garment plants, he said.
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* Another arrested in Rana Plaza case:

A judicial magistrate in Dhaka on Sunday allowed an engineer to be remanded in police custody for three days in a case filed with the collapse of the Rana Plaza that took place on April 24.

The police arrested the site engineer, Md Sarowar Kamal, 55, at Fultala in Khulna on Saturday.
After the arrest, the Criminal Investigation Department produced the accused in court seeking him to be remanded in custody for seven days. Senior judicial magistrate Tajul Islam granted the remand.
CID officials, however, said that Sarowar was not named in the first information report but he had supervised the construction of the building that collapsed because of faulty structure.
As there was no counsel for the accused in the hearing, the court asked him whether he wanted to defend himself.
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20130610

* Rana Plaza Tragedy: 4 accused on fresh remand:

A Dhaka court on Monday placed four garment owners on a two-day fresh remand in a case over much-talked-about Rana Plaza collapse.

The accused are Anisur Rahman, Bazlus Samad Adnan, Aminul Islam and Mahmudur Rahman Tapash.
Senior Judicial Magistrate of Dhaka Toybul Hasan Uzzal passed the remand order following a plea of police.
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20130611

* Chief factory inspector changed:

Health ministry deputy secretary Md Moshiur Rahman has replaced Md Habibul Islam as chief  inspector of factories under the labour ministryreplacing.

The public administration ministry notified the change in the official gazette  on Monday, a day after the labour and employment ministry suspended seven factory inspection officials following an investigation into the devastating Rana Plaza disaster.
The labour ministry investigation reportedly found the suspended officials guilty of negligence of duties.
The multi-storied Rana Plaza, which housed five clothing factories, a  shopping mall and a bank, collapsed on April 24, killing at least 1,130 people mostly women apparel workers and leaving  2,000 others limbless and injured.
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* 7 inspectors of Rana Plaza factories suspended:

They issued licenses without visiting

Bangladesh has suspended seven inspectors it accuses of negligence for renewing the licenses of garment factories in a building that collapsed in April, killing more than 1,100 people, a top Labor Ministry official said Monday.

The official, Mikail Shipar, said a ministry investigation found that the inspectors never even visited the five factories housed in the shabbily built eight-story Rana Plaza building. He said one of the factories, EtherTex, had been operating without any license from the factory inspection department since 2008, while the others were licensed through 2013.

At least 1,129 people died when the building in the Dhaka suburb of Savar collapsed April 24, a day after cracks in the building prompted authorities to issue an evacuation order.
Shipar said the ministry’s report was preliminary, and that if the accusations are proven the inspectors, all mid-level officials, will lose their jobs.
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NewNation

* Uncertain future for Survivors:

The news spread quickly: somebody was coming to give out more money. By the middle of the steely gray morning of June 7, thousands of men and women who used to work at the collapsed Rana Plaza factory complex had made their way to a military school in Savar, the industrial district outside Dhaka.

They stood outside the compound’s walls as rain pattered down on their umbrellas. It was a chance to get some much-needed cash, but also a chance to trade information — about the dead, the missing, how to get compensation and, perhaps most elusively, what they should do next.

Six weeks after the worst industrial accident in the history of garment industry, information is still in short supply. The official death toll of the Rana Plaza collapse is 1,129, with 301 bodies still unidentified, but workers’-rights groups think the count is higher.

Of a group of 20 or so people crowded under a tree, nobody quite knew why they had waited in line that morning to register their names, surrounded by soldiers and security guards in crisp polo shirts.

Nor were the workers sure who, exactly, had provided the 1,000 taka — about $12 — that they were handed before they left. “An NGO?” somebody in the crowd offered. Khadija Begum, who worked at Phantom Apparels on the building’s 4th floor, said a neighbor had told her to come. “They gave us 1,000 taka and I wrote my name down on a list,” she said. “I don’t know who the money was from.”
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20130612

* 4 staff held, remanded:

Forcing workers in Rana Plaza

20130612 DAILYSTAR Rana-Plaza1The Rana Plaza collapse, which claimed at least 1,131 lives, was one of the world’s worst industrial disasters. Star file photo

Four persons, who allegedly forced garment employees to join work despite development of cracks in the Rana Plaza, were remanded Wednesday, a day after their arrest in Savar.

Abdul Mannan, 37, Md Alamgir Hossain, 30, Mohammad Modhu, 27 and Md Russel Ahmed, 31, were placed on a four-day remand.
Police arrested the four at different places in Savar Tuesday night in connection with the April 24 collapse that claimed 1,131 lives.
The members of Criminal Investigation Department (CID) produced them before the Court of Chief Judicial Magistrate Taibul Hassan in Dhaka on Wednesday with a seven-day remand prayer.
The four along with Sohel Rana, owner of Rana Plaza, forced the garments workers to work on the 2nd floor of the nine-storey building despite the cracks developed in its pillars the previous day, Bijoy Krisna Kar, assistant superintendent of police of CID, told the court.
to read. & read more. & read more.
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20130614

* Rana Plaza victims claim foreign aid distribution non-transparent:

A group of Rana Plaza victims alleged that there is a lack of transparency in the distribution of aid money provided by foreign organisations, for the treatment and rehabilitation of the survivors.

The Rana Plaza Garments’ Workers Union made the allegation at a press conference held at the National Press Club Monday.
In a written statement, the union claimed there was no clear and transparent accounting of the grants, which came from abroad for the treatment and assistance of Rana Plaza victims.
“There is lack of transparency, and enough scope for corruption and lies,” the statement said.
Rana Plaza Garments’ Workers Union was formed on May 18 by surviving workers of the five garment factories housed inside the collapsed building at Savar.
The group is a part of the Garments Workers’ Trade Union.
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DHAKATRIBUNE

* 4 garment owners denied bail:

A Dhaka court yesterday rejected bail and sent to jail four owners of garment factories housed in Rana Plaza that collapsed on April 24, killing at least 1,131 people.

They are Anisur Rahman, chairman of Ether Tex; Aminul Islam, chairman of Phantom Apparels Ltd and Phantom Tack Ltd; Bazlus Samad Adnan, chairman of New Wave Buttons; and Mahbubur Rahman Tapash, managing director of the factory.
The court passed the order after they were produced before it on completion of their two-day remand.
Bijoy Krishna Kar, assistant superintendent of police of the Criminal Investigation Department and also the investigation officer (IO) of the case, in his forwarding report said he had collected important information about their involvement with the incident.
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daily star bd

* 25km foot-walk to protest death of apparel workers:

Around 100 people staged a 25-kilometre ‘foot-walk’ programme Friday to protest the death of garment workers in industrial accidents like fire and collapse of buildings.

The foot-walk began from the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) at around 11.20am terminated at the site of the collapsed Rana Plaza building in Savar.
The foot-walk was held under the banner of the Bangladesh Garments Sramik Andolon and the Sarbostarer Chattra- Shikshak-Sramik, Peshajibi Janata.
The programme was also aimed at realising a seven-point charter of demands, which include capital punishment for those responsible for the death of hundreds of garment workers in factory fire and building collapse incidents.
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* The victims of Rana Plaza Bangladesh:

The collapsed building in Bangladesh had a death toll of 1139 plus 2 rescue workers.

Lots of victims, mainly women, are now trying to recover from their injuries. They are suffering, because they can not get the proper health care. They have no income and some are not able to work again for the rest of their lives. What is being done for these women?
see more (video).
ICCO Cooperation

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20130616

*  Lack of proper database deprives Rana Plaza workers of benefits:

Speakers at a discussion Saturday alleged that lack of coordination and proper database deprived the hapless hundreds of families of Rana Plaza workers getting any kind of aid and rehabilitation facilities.

They said the injured workers that are taking medication in city’s large hospitals and only a portion of identified dead workers’ families got aid from Prime Minister and other sources.

But the large number of workers those who were released from the hospitals after taking first aid or singed medication and those that left Dhaka after the incident and now taking medication from different hospitals in Dhaka and outside, they are totally deprived of all kinds of help, they added.
Power and Participation Research Centre (PPRC) organised the ‘View Exchange and Building on Follow up Action Plan’ at the National Press Club auditorium in the city.
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20130617

* Rana Plaza units exported products worth $28.4m:

Commerce Minister G M Quader Sunday said the apparel factories housed at collapsed Rana Plaza exported clothing items worth US$ 28.4 million in between January 2012 and May 2013.

The factories also had ready products worth $ 1.0 million, kept at Chittagong Port and different shipping firms for making shipments to 11 global retailers.
He made the disclosure in reply to a question of parliamentarian A K M Maidul Islam of Kurigram-3 during the post-budgetary session on the day.
“The government instructed the authorities concerned to take every possible measure for ensuring the shipments for wellbeing of the country’s export and trade,” he added.
Talking about the punishment, he said several committees formed by the government to investigate the massive industrial disaster have been working hard to detect clues that could help ensure justice.
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* Honouring RMG workers:

The garment industry of Bangladesh employs nearly four million poor workers mostly women, who have helped the country become the world’s second largest exporter of apparels — proudly earning the right to claim “Tailor to the world.”

These incredible workers have greatly benefitted from these manufacturing jobs, which have helped millions pull themselves out of poverty to the lower rungs of the middle class. However, the factory collapse on April 24 in Savar killing 1,131 workers (injuring another 2,500) and the deadly factory fire in Tazreen demonstrate safety and working conditions for many workers remain precarious.

As a solution, the 2006 Nobel Peace laureate economist Prof Muhammad Yunus has suggested creating a Trust Fund that will be sustained by a small fee paid by the customer at the retail level. In return for the small fee, each piece of apparel from the participating factories will be “certified” as a “fair labour garment”.

The Western customer will enjoy the peace of mind that the apparel has been produced under fair labour conditions, where without exception workers receive a minimum wage that allows for a decent living, and the factories are 100 percent complaint of structural building codes and all labour laws.
Sir Fazle Abed, founding chair of BRAC, recently said the vision should be to ensure that the “made in Bangladesh” logo a symbol of pride, not one of shame.
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20130618

* DNA tests may be delayed for money:

The DNA profiling of Rana Plaza victims and their relatives to determine the identities of unnamed bodies might be delayed as the authorities concerned are reluctant to provide the fee of Tk 50 lakh to the National Forensic DNA Profiling Laboratory.

Immediately after the deadly building collapse in Saver on April 24 which killed at least 1,131 people, mostly garment workers, the government asked the NFDPL to determine the identities of unnamed victims.
As per the government instruction, the NFDPL has so far collected samples from 320 bodies and 544 reference samples from relatives of the workers feared missing.
The lab expects that the total number of samples (bodies and relatives) might reach one thousand as the reference samples of the relatives of the missing victims have been increasing everyday and ………the lab estimated DNA profiling fee at Tk 50 lakh.
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* 3 engineers remanded in custody:

A judicial magistrate’s court in Dhaka on Monday remanded three engineers in police custody for two days for interrogation in a criminal case for the collapse of Rana Plaza at Savar.

Senior judicial magistrate Toyebul Hasan, passed the order after the Criminal Investigation Department sought Savar municipal executive engineer, Imtemam Hossain, its assistant engineer Alam Miah, and a local engineer Abdur Razzak to be placed in custody for seven days for interrogation.
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* Three Rana Plaza engineers placed on two-day fresh remand:

A Dhaka court Monday placed three engineers involved with authorising construction of the collapsed Rana Plaza on a fresh two-day remand in a criminal case submitted in connection with the Savar Tragedy.

Dhaka Senior Judicial Magistrate Toybul Hasan granted two days’ fresh remand under police custody against a seven-day remand prayer. The court also rejected bail plea placed by the accused themselves as Dhaka Bar Association announced earlier that they would not represent for any of the accused in the Rana Plaza cases.

Investigation Officer (IO) of the case and CID Assistant Superintendent, Bijoy Krishna Khar, produced the accused engineers before the court and made seven days’ fresh police remand plea.
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DHAKATRIBUNE

* DNA testing of Rana Plaza collapse victims uncertain:

BGMEA, govt squabble over bearing the cost

The fate of DNA test to know the identities of dead bodies of Rana Plaza victims hangs in the balance as the apparel apex body and the government are allegedly trying to shift the responsibility of bearing the cost for the purpose onto each other, sources said.

According to an estimate, around Tk 5.0 million is required for carrying out the DNA (Deoxyribonucleic Acid) test for some 100 dead bodies that were recovered from rubbles of the multi-storied building at Savar. The building-collapse left at least 1,130 people killed and about 1,800 others injured.
Both the sides are still in a process of exchanging letters and documents and pushing each other for bearing the cost of the DNA test even nearly two months after the tragedy.

As a result, the families of the victims are still in the dark about whether they would either be able to know the identity of their near ones or get compensation money.
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* Families of Rana Plaza victims receive cheques from PM:

A total of 133 family members of the dead garment workers and 18 critically injured victims in Rana Plaza building collapse received financial assistance from Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Tuesday.

The Prime Minister distributed the ‘Family Savings Certificate’ among them at her office.
Each of the critically injured persons received saving certificate of Tk 15 to 10 lakh depending on the gravity of their injuries. The same amount of money was distributed among each of the family members of the dead garment workers.
Earlier, 452 injured garment workers and family members of the deceased garment workers received financial assistance from the Prime Minister.
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UNB BSS

* Railway minister hands over Tk 45 lakh to PM for Rana Plaza victims:

Railway Minister Md Mujibul Haque today handed over a cheque for Taka 45,19,560, one day’s salary of the officers and employees of the ministry and the railway staff, to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina at the PM’s Office here for the Savar Rana Plaza victims.
Acting Secretary of the Railway Ministry Md Abul Kalam Azad and Director General (DG) of Bangladesh Railway Md Abu Taher were present.
to read.
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20130621

* Bangladesh collapse left many amputees:

It was the worst disaster in the history of the garment industry. When the Rana Plaza factory building crashed down in April, 1,129 people were killed. But many others had to sacrifice their limbs to survive.

Arms and legs were trapped under the building rubble, forcing rescuers with no medical training to perform amputations on the spot to free the victims.

No anesthesia was available. Some of the rescuers used butchers knives or hacksaws to cut through the flesh and save the trapped workers. Many of those freed are still recovering.

Laboni, 21, worked on the fourth floor. Her left arm was amputated to free her from the rubble, 36 hours after the building collapsed. Shahi Noor, 25, worked on the sixth floor. Her right leg was cut off to free her on the day of the collapse.

Bangladesh’s government and garment manufacturers are campaigning to close dangerous factories and to make safety a priority for the country’s most valuable export industry. But many in the government, the industry and the rescue workers said they would not be shocked if another terrible tragedy happened.
to read.
UNB

* BGMEA probe finds factory, building owners guilty:

A probe committee of Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association has accused the owners of collapsed Rana Plaza and the five clothing factories housed in it for the recent deaths of the workers.

In the report the probe committee suggested the government to penalize the owners for their gross negligence.
The report may be made public next week, said a committee member.

He said the report also called for bringing the factory inspectors to book for giving permission to the owners to setup generators on the upper floors of multi-storied Rana Plaza.
According to the committee findings Rana Plaza collapsed due to structural faults.
The pillars could not bear the load of the multi-storied Rana Plaza, according to the findings.

A team of experts from the Bangladesh University of Engineering and technology assisted the probe committee.
Another member of the committee said that the factory owners cannot avoid the responsibility of the disaster as they did not comply with the BGMEA instruction to shut the factories after the Rana Plaza had developed cracks.
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20130624

* Many workers yet to get compensation:

Several hundred workers injured in the Rana Plaza collapse and relatives of those feared missing are passing days in miseries as they have not been given any compensation by any quarters concerned in last two months.

The maimed workers said they were enlisted by many quarters concerned but were not given any compensation. They also do not know what steps have been taken for their rehabilitation. They want their immediate rehabilitation.
While talking with New Age on Sunday the injured workers said they were suffering severe hardship without job
The eight-storey Rana Plaza, which housed five clothing factories, a shopping mall and a bank, collapsed on the morning of April 24, killing 1,131 people.
The maimed workers said after the collapse nobody came to enquire about their condition.
‘Our situation is terrible. We have no earning, no money to buy food. No one came to us with any financial help,’ said one of the workers.
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* Rana Plaza collapse victim Manowar still in coma:

Manowar, 18, who sustained brain injury in Rana Plaza collapse, has been in a coma for the last two months. 

He was admitted to the intensive care unit of Enam Medical College at Savar on April 24 after the tragic incident.
The hospital management said he had remained in his unconscious state.
Sudip Shaha, the doctor on duty, said Manowar had a very critical injury in the brain and it was very difficult to say whether he would recover from this state.

The victim had many other complications — bones of his both legs were broken and at least four surgeries were carried out in his body.
Eight-storey Rana Plaza collapsed, leaving at least 1,131 people dead so far.
Manowar turned into a subject of discussion because of confusion over his identity after he was rescued.Manowar’s father Abul Hosen said he had rushed to the spot after hearing the news of factory collapse and found Manowar a day later.
Manowar worked in New Wave Bottoms Ltd and lived with his uncle Atiar Rahman at Savar, he further added.
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20130625

* Fashion Victims:

Australians love a bargain, but what’s the real cost of cheap clothes from the sweat shops in Bangladesh? On 24th April this year more than a thousand people were killed when an eight storey building collapsed in the heart of Bangladesh’s capital, Dhaka.

The collapse of Rana Plaza turned the world’s attention to the shocking conditions workers in the country’s clothing industry are forced to endure. In recent years, Australian companies have flooded into Bangladesh to take advantage of lax labour laws and the lowest wages in the world, paid to the predominantly young, female workers in the factories.

Next on Four Corners reporter Sarah Ferguson sets out to find where the clothes we see in our major retail outlets are made. What efforts do Australian companies make to ensure the factories are safe and their workers earn a living wage? Australian retailers blocked our enquiries at every turn, refusing access to factories wherever we went. Working backwards from some of our best known retail outlets, Four Corners goes factory to factory showing workers and union organisers Australian labels until the factories are found. There the workers describe a miserable existence, long hours, pitiful pay and abuse if deadlines aren’t met. In some of the worst cases there is even violence and threats of jail:

“Workers are being arrested, beaten, tortured … you know, sexual harassment, just on and on and on. This was a miserable sweatshop.”
read & see more. (video).
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20130626

* Savar Tragedy: Thailand provides 5mn baht in humanitarian aid:

Thailand has provided Bangladesh 5 million baht in humanitarian aid to help the victims of the 9-storey Rana Plaza collapse that left 1,127 people killed in April last.

Thai Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Surapong Tovichakchaikul on Monday handed 166,000 US dollars or around 5 million baht to Bangladesh to help the families and victims of the building collapse, reports the National News Bureau of Thailand (NNT).
The building on the outskirts of capital Dhaka crashed down on April 24 killing 1,127 people and over 2,500 injured.
The Thai foreign minister said Thailand and Bangladesh have had very strong ties when it comes to humanitarian aids. In 2010, Bangladesh gave Thailand 1 million US dollars, around 30 million baht, when the country was hit by severe flood.
to read.
UNB

* Uniliver donates Tk 10 lakh for Savar victims:

Uniliver Bangladesh Ltd, a leading business conglomerate, today donated Taka 10 lakh for the Rana Palza victims, reports BSS.

The company handed over a cheque to concerned authorities for the Taka at a simple ceremony at its Polashbari local office in Ashulia.
to read. & to read.
newstodayBD BSS

* Rana Plaza tragedy exposes complete disregard for rules:

BGMEA unveils findings of a probe into the nation’s worst industrial disaster today

The Rana Plaza collapsed due to rules being flouted at every step of the way, the BGMEA found in its study.

“The authorities concerned gave nod to construction of six floors on the swampy land, but the building’s owner, Sohel Rana, constructed it right up to the ninth,” a senior official of the garment sector’s apex trade body said.
The official was involved in the investigation commissioned by the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) following the collapse of the building on April 24, killing more than 1,100 people and injuring thousands.
BGMEA Vice-President SA Mannan Kochi led the investigation, whose findings would be made public today via a media briefing.
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daily star bd

* Savar tragedy and what next:

The catastrophe at Rana Plaza cast a pal of gloom throughout the country over the untimely death of 1127 people.

Soon after the collapse of the building, came forward all the private TV channels to inform people of the updated developments there. Rescue workers and the government agencies were prompt to undertake the rescue operation. Kudos for the rescue workers– Bangladesh made an extraordinary achievement in conducting such a gigantic operation.
Now the concern is how the injured persons, particularly those severely injured will maintain their livelihood. Many still ask why this tragedy is. Is it the outcome of politics, or, is it the inevitable consequence of dehumanisation, or, is it the summation of improperly discharging duties in our respective fields?
It creates irritation among the common passengers if the bus they board on causes mechanical disorder halfway to their destination. But why is that? Bus operators ought to have put the bus in good condition before it starts its journey. Needless to say, ensuring fitness of total mechanical system and all other can only make the movement and consequently passengers may enjoy uninterrupted and smooth trip.
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20130627

* BGMEA probe finds Sohel Rana, RAJUK officials responsible for building collapse:

Sohel Rana, the owner of Rana Plaza building and proprietors of the apparels factories housed there are the culprits for the tragedy of multi-storey building collapse in Savar on April 24.

A probe committee of Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) found them responsible in its report brought to light Wednesday after about two months of the disaster, at a press conference in BGMEA building.
The probe report found several reasons for the collapse of the building, including structural faults, placing heavy generators and other machineries in the upper floors.
BGMEA also hold factory inspection department officials responsible for issuing permissions to the owners to keep generators and heavy machineries on the upper floors of the multi-storied Rana Plaza.
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* BGMEA blames bldg, factory owners:

Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association has primarily found the owner of Rana Plaza at Savar responsible for its collapse and then also accused the owners of the five clothing factories housed in it for the disaster and death of the workers, according to the probe report of the trade body.

Besides owners of the building and factories, the BGMEA probe report also held the Department of Inspection for Factories and Establishments, Rajdhani Unnayan Kortipakkha and Savar Municipal Corporation for the disaster as the institutions did not carry out their responsibilities properly.
The BGMEA investigation report on Rana Plaza collapse and the disastrous death of over 1,130 workers and injury of hundreds of others on April 24 was for mally released on Wednesday.
Addressing a press conference on the occasion of releasing the probe report, BGMEA president Atiqul Islam said that the owner of Rana Rlaza, Sohel Rana, is mainly responsible for the tragedy as he had forced the garment owners to continue their operation on that fateful day despite cracks were located on the building the day before.
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* Design violation led to disaster: BGMEA:

Turning Rana Plaza into a nine-storied building violating the Rajuk-approved design for a six-storey structure led to its collapse causing the nations’ worst industrial disaster, the country’s apex body for apparel industry said Wednesday.

An investigation committee of the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) has identified eight more reasons for the April 24 collapse that killed 1,131 people, mostly female workers of five garment units housed in the building.

BGMEA Vice-President SA Mannan Kochi, who led the 11-member committee formed on April 28, disclosed the findings after a two-month probe into the incident at a press briefing at BGMEA office Wednesday afternoon.
Construction of the building using substandard materials and low capacity of its pillars are two key reasons, he said.

The installation of heavy generators on the rooftop and setting up of heavy machines of the garment factories also contributed to the disaster, according to the probe report.
to read.
daily star bd

* BGMEA avoids responsibility:

20130626 BANGLA24rana-plaza-bg

Bangladesh Garments Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) avoided all the responsibilities of the collapse of Rana Plaza in Savar in the investigation report.

The report, however, blamed the building owner Sohel Rana and the owners’ of garments factories.
BGMEA President M Atikul Islam made public the investigation report on Rana Plaza collapse on Wednesday.
He said, “We forewarned the garments owners about collapse, but they kept their factories open after the false assurance from the building owner.”
read more. & read more. & read more. & read more. & read more.
BANGLA NEWS24 bdnews24 logo daily star bd NewNation

* Rana Plaza: BGMEA probe accuses building, factory owners:

BGMEA said they have no liability as they warned the factory and building owners a day ahead of the disaster

A probe committee constituted by the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA), accused the Rana Plaza owner and the owners of the five factories that were housed in the building for the incident that killed more than 1,120 people in April.

The apex apparel trade body also held responsible the Department of Inspection for Factories and Establishments, Savar municipal corporation and Rajdhani Unnayan Kortipakkha (RAJUK) for the disaster.
“BGMEA has no liability for the Rana Plaza disaster, as we warned the factory and building owners to shut it down a day ahead of the disaster,” said BGMEA President Atiqul Islam while disclosing the inquiry report on Wednesday at a briefing at BGMEA headquarters in the capital’s Karwanbazar area.

According to the report, the committee identified nine reasons including violation of the building plan, which was for a six-storey building but was built as a eight-storey building using sub standard building materials.
read more. & read more. & read more.
DHAKATRIBUNE UNB BSS

* BGMEA holds Rana Plaza, 5 RMG owners responsible for disaster, shirks its responsibility:

Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) held owners of Rana Plaza and five garment factories housed in the building responsible for the disaster. The BGMEA did not take any responsibility for the tragedy.

In a report released on Wednesday, two months after the largest industrial disaster of the country, the BGMEA identified nine causes for the collapse of the high-rise building at Savar that killed 1,131 people and maimed around 2000 — mostly female workers.

It also made officials concerned of the Savar Municipality, Department of Inspection for Factories and Establishments and RAJUK accountable for the catastrophe as those agencies passed the faulty plan, allowed the owner of the building to erect up to 9th floor instead of approved 6th floor and inspected the building but did not take necessary actions.
(…)
Replying to a question, BGMEA President Atiqul Islam said until today, they spent Tk 90 million for compensation, medical expenditure and rehabilitation of the victims.

When asked, whether this is a planned homicide or an accident, Mr Islam said there is law and concerned authority in the country, they would define whether it is an accident or killings.

“We are not avoiding entire responsibility; we inspected the disaster site, paid compensation to workers, suspended BGMEA membership of all the five factory owners,” he said reiterating they are not anyway responsible for the Rana Plaza collapse.
read more.

* PM receives donations for Rana Plaza victims:

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Wednesday received a cheque of donation from for the PM’s Relief and Welfare Fund to help the injured and the family members of the victims of the tragic Rana Plaza collapse.

Finance Minister AMA Muhith formally handed over to the Prime Minister at her parliament office a cheque of Tk 5.24 crore that came from one-day salaries of the officials of various institutions and divisions under his ministry.
The salaries of the officials include the Finance Division, Bank and Financial Institution Division, Economic Relations Division (ERD), Internal Resources Division (IRD), Comptroller and Auditor General, State-Owned commercial and specialised banks, Insurance Development Regulatory Authority (IDRA), Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Sadharan Bima Corporation and Jiban Bima Corporation.
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After the incident, she said, her government gave highest priority to provide assistance to the injured and also to the dependent family members of the victims.
The Prime Minister said the family members of the Savar building collapse victims are being given highest Tk 15 lakh in the form of savings certificates. She said the children of the female victims are receiving assistance while the wives and children in case of male victims.
read more. & read more.
UNB newstodayBD

* Thailand grants $166,000 for BD:

Thailand has granted Bt5 million (about US$166,000) to assist families of victims in the recent factory collapse in Bangladesh.

Deputy Prime Minister/Foreign Minister Surapong Tovichakchaikul made the disclosure.
More than 1,000 people died in the country`s deadliest industrial disaster.
Mr Surapong said Thailand and Bangladesh have always provided humanitarian aid to each other.
read more.
BANGLA NEWS24

* Rana Plaza: Savar ward councillor on three-day remand:

The same court also rejected bail petition of three garment factory owners

A Dhaka court on Thursday placed Mohammad Ali Khan, a ward councillor of Savar municipality, on a three-day remand in connection with a murder case filed over the collapse of Rana Plaza on April 24.

Senior Judicial Magistrate Toybul Hasan passed the order rejecting a bail petition submitted by Khan’s counsel Moshiur Rahman.
Investigation Officer (IO) of the case Bijay Krishna Khar, assistant superintendent of police from the Criminal Investigation Department (CID), produced them before the court with five days’ remand plea.
In the plea, the IO said Khan is a relative of Sohel Rana, the owner of Rana Plaza. He cooperated to build the building illegally.
On June 26, CID arrested Mohammad Ali Khan form Savar.
Meanwhile, the same court on Thursday rejected bail petition of owners of three garment factories, housed in the Rana Plaza, and an assistant engineer of Savar municipality in two cases filed over the building collapse.
read more.
DHAKATRIBUNE

20130702

* US offers help in DNA testing for Rana Plaza victims:

About 550 people await the DNA test results

20130702 DHAKATRIBUNESavar_collapse_6File photo of the collapsed Rana Plaza

The US Federal Bureau of Intelligence will provide Bangladesh with the Combined DNA Index System (Codis) free of cost to identify bodies of Savar’s Rana Plaza fatalities.

The software programme will help establish the identities of 321 bodies of unidentified garment workers who died in the building collapse.
A source at the Ministry of Women and Children Affairs said the FBI would also provide technical and vocational support to experts at the DNA Laboratory in the Dhaka Medical College Hospital (DMCH) where the software will be placed.
read more.
DHAKATRIBUNE

20130703

* PM gives financial help to 144 kin of 101 victims of Savar tragedy:

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Wednesday provided financial assistance to 144 family members of 101 victims, who were killed in the Savar building collapse.

She gave the assistance from the PM’s Relief and Welfare Fund in the 6th phase this time from her office (PMO).
So far, Tk 9.71 crore has been distributed among 654 family members of the victims who were killed in Savar Rana Plaza collapse.
Besides, the Prime Minister also distributed Tk 3.30 crore among the 30 wounded victims of the Savar tragedy.
read more. & read more.
UNB BSS

* DU donates Tk 25 lakh to PM’s relief fund for Savar victims:

Teachers, officials and employees of Dhaka University (DU) on Wednesday donated their one-day salary worth Tk 25 lakh to the Prime Minister’s Relief and Welfare Fund for the Savar victims.

DU Vice-chancellor Prof Dr AAMS Arefin Siddique handed over the cheque of donation to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.
DU Pro-vice chancellor (academic) Prof Dr Nasrin Ahmad, treasurer Prof Dr M Kamal Uddin, DU Teachers’ Association president Prof Farid Uddin Ahmed and DU Officers’ Association president M Ashraf Uddin were, among, others, present on the occasion.
read more. & read more.
UNB BSS

* Rehabilitation of injured Rana Plaza victims:

The collapse of Rana Plaza has been branded as one of the worst industrial disasters in the history of Bangladesh. This incident drew international attention due to the high death toll. However, one aspect that has not been highlighted enough is the plight of the injured people who have been rescued.

Many of the injured were the sole breadwinners for their families. Many of them have lost limbs which has made them handicapped for the rest of their life. For the time being, the government and some NGOs are providing them with financial assistance. However, one day this assistance is bound to stop and they will be pushed into uncertain and difficult life.

The government needs to come up with a long-term plan to rehabilitate these injured people. Those who are able to work in spite of their injury should have access to employment. For those who are unable to work, there should be assurance of proper compensation from BGMEA (Bangladesh Garments Manufacturers and Exporters Association). Most importantly, the government needs to take proper steps to ensure that such tragic incidents do not occur in future.
read more.

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20130710

* BB receives Tk 20 lakh from Woori Bank for Savar victims:

Bangladesh Bank (BB) today received a cheque for Taka 20 lakh from Woori
Bank for the Prime Minister’s relief fund for the Rana Plaza collapse
victims.

BB Governor Dr Atiur Rahman today received the cheques from Chief
Executive for Woori Bank Bangladesh, Jong Hu Park at a programme at the
central bank’s headquarters in the capital.
With the donation from the Korean Woori Bank, BB so far received Taka 90
crore for the PM’s relief fund for the victims of Savar building collapse.
to read.
BSS

* Aftermath of the Rana Plaza Tragedy: Social and Health Issues Emerge Amid Struggle for Workers’ Rights:

Two months after the Rana Plaza building collapse in Savar, Bangladesh on April 24, where over a thousand workers died and countless others were injured, families who lost a loved one or workers who were seriously injured face obstacles in obtaining compensation for lost wages, adequate health care for issues related to their injuries, and counseling for severe post-traumatic stress from the tragedy.

It is hard to imagine the full ripple effects of the tragedy in the workers’ families and communities, unless one realizes that garment workers were the primary or steady wage earners in their families, who were overwhelmingly young women.  The workers’ salaries supported not only their immediate families, but also that of their extended families.  Injuries, including those to pelvic areas, have created women’s health issues unique to a predominantly female workforce.

Female Garment Workers as Primary Wage Earners Sixteen-year old Sabina supports her three sisters and parents as a garment worker.  She is unable to attend school because she is forced to work to support her younger sisters and parents.  Now, traumatized by the collapse, she no longer wants to go back to the garment factory.  Her mother by her side as she recuperates with other workers in a dedicated Rana Plaza unit at the Centre for the Rehabilitation of the Paralysed, Sabina worries about what other work she could find.   Most likely, she will return to her village.
read more.
NY LAWSCHOOL

20130711

* Victims’ protest in front of BGMEA office:

20130711 BANGLA24 bgmea-BGWorkers demanding salary and compensation before Eid – photo by Banglanews24.

Workers of the garment factories that were housed in Savar’s collapsed Rana Plaza have been demonstrating in front of the BGMEA Building in the capital demanding payment of their salary and compensation before Eid since around 12 noon.

The workers staged a sit-in on the road in front of the BGMEA building as police obstructed them when they tried to enter the building.
BGMEA has so far distributed wages and other benefits among 1,776 of its 3,617 listed workers of factories that were housed in Rana Plaza.
The association has refused the workers’ demand for four months’ pay.
Rana Plaza collapsed on April 24, killing 1,126 people.
to read.  &  read more. & read more. & read more. & read more. & read more.
DHAKATRIBUNE   BANGLA NEWS24 UNB newstodayBD

* Rana Plaza survivors seek fair compensation:

A group of survivors of the Rana Plaza collapse yesterday demanded fair disbursement of compensation as many victims are yet to receive any.

Rana Plaza Garment Sramik Union, a workers’ platform, placed the demand at a rally in front of the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association in Dhaka.
The government and garment owners should publish the names and addresses of the recipients of compensation on the website to ensure transparency, said Mohammad Shahjahan, a survivor of the collapse.
Although BGMEA has disbursed money, many are yet to receive payment while some workers are receiving payment more than once, he said.
The government should finance the welfare of the workers, he said.

The workers also demanded that their identity cards and attendance cards be returned so that they can apply for jobs in other factories.
The government should also complete the DNA tests of the lost workers soon, the workers said. They demanded a minimum wage of Tk 8,000 a month and the freedom to form and participate in trade unions.
read more.
daily star bd

* Portraits of Pain:

It’s not an easy picture to look at. A man clings to the arched body of a woman, her back bent as if gasping for air.

He seems asleep amid the debris, except that his mouth is packed with dirt, and a tear of blood runs down the side of his nose.
The image, shot by Bangladeshi photographer Taslima Akhter, captures in one poignant frame the human cost of the April 24 collapse of the Rana Plaza garment-factory complex in the Dhaka sub­district of Savar. At least 1,129 workers died in what is probably the worst apparel-industry accident ever.
As the photo of the pair  went viral, people worldwide messaged Akhter: Who were they? How were they related? Where did they come from? What were their lives like?

The collapse of Rana Plaza, a structurally deficient eight-story building, was a local disaster with global implications. Bangladesh is the world’s second biggest manufacturer of ready-made garments (RMG) after China.
The industry is responsible for nearly 80% of the country’s exports, earning $19 billion annually, or about 13% of its GDP. Some 4 million Bangladeshis — mostly under­educated villagers — toil anonymously in the country’s RMG trade, making T-shirts and jeans for top international brands like Mango, H&M and Primark.

Akhter’s picture put an intimate face on what is, in Bangladesh, a crucial but poorly regulated and often dangerous industry. In early June, six weeks after Rana Plaza fell, Akhter and I teamed up to trace the back­stories of the Rana Plaza survivors and victims to try to learn how they lived, and died. Perhaps, along the way, we would discover the identities of the man and woman whom the world witnessed in their final embrace.
read more.
TIME

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20130714

* PM relief fund receives Tk 128cr:

The Agriculture Minister Begum Matia Chowdhury categorically said Prime Minister’s relief fund has received a total of Tk 127.67 crore as donation to help Rana Plaza victims.

She came up with the information while replying to a question from lawmaker Muhibur Rahman Manik at Jatiya Sangsad on Sunday.
read more.
BANGLA NEWS24

* Poverty, trauma tags Rana Plaza survivor:

Aklima Begum survived the deadly Rana Plaza factory building collapse, but the suffering she undergoes now with poverty and trauma is even more painful.

Pocketing the Tk 20,000 she got as compensation after the April 24 collapse, her husband Ismail left Aklima and their 18-month-old son without a trace.
“I have lost everything…my earning source, husband and physical and mental fitness,” an ailing Aklima, 26, told The Daily Star recently. She is now being treated at Sher-e-Bangla Medical College Hospital, Barisal (SBMCH,B).
On the day of the tragic collapse that killed 1,130 plus workers and left hundreds of others injured, Aklima went to the gate of New Star Garments, housed in Rana Plaza, around 7:30am to receive her salary.
She hesitated entering the factory, as she was informed of cracks in the building. But the factory supervisor assured that everything was alright and that the salary would be paid after they had worked till afternoon.
The building collapsed in an hour.
“I was pressed under a machine and a beam and saw many dying. I became unconscious,” she said, adding that she discovered herself in a nearby clinic a few hours later.
After eight days of treatment, Aklima went back to her Padma village residence in Mathbaria, Barguna, along with the compensation. This is when Ismail, a Savar shop employee, left with the money.
read more.
daily star bd

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20130721

* BGMEA lists 1,107 Rana Plaza survivors for jobs:

A government agency recently provided the BGMEA with a list of 1,107 out of 2,438 survivors of Rana Plaza collapse, who were employees of the five garments factories housed in the building, asking the trade body to give the workers jobs.

In response, the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association on Tuesday sent letters to its members, asking them to inform the trade body how many workers each of them would be able to employ in their factories. The trade body in the letter also mentioned 28 posts against which the workers to be recruited.
BGMEA vice-president Sahidullah Azim told New Age that they were committed to rehabilitating the survivors of Rana Plaza collapse and all of the workers would get jobs soon.
‘We have sent letters to the BGMEA member factories and already got good response from the factory owners,’ he said.
Azim said, ‘No worker (who is interested to work) will remain jobless as there is 25 per cent worker shortage in the garment sector.’
read more.

* Call for quick compensation for Rana Plaza victims:

The leaders of Garment Sramik Sangram Parishad, a platform of garment workers, yesterday demanded quick payment of compensation to the victims of Rana Plaza collapse in Savar on April 24 that killed 1,132 workers.

They also stressed the need for abolition of the amended labour law, which, they said, will fail to protect the interest of the workers.
“The amended labour law will only protect the interests of the owners,” said Rafiqul Islam Pathik, a coordinator of the platform, at a rally in front of the office of Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association.
Pathik also said many victims of the accident did not receive any compensation while some received Tk 1 lakh to Tk 3 lakh from the Prime Minister’s Office.
The wage board should fix Tk 8,000 as the monthly basic salary for garment workers at the entry level and Tk 12,000 as gross, he said.
read more.
daily star bd

* Rana Plaza survivors demonstrate with coffin:

Survivors of Rana Plaza collapse staged a rally carrying coffin in front the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association building at Karwan Bazar in the city on Sunday demanding immediate payment of their arrears and compensations.

Garments Sramik Sangram Parishad, a platform of garment workers, organised the protests.
The rally also pressed for implantation of the workers’ right to trade union at all garment factories and Tk 8,000 as the minimum monthly wage for garments workers.
Addressing the rally, Garments Sramik Sangram Parishad coordinator Rafiqul Islam Pathik said that the government showed sheer negligence regarding the payment of wages and compensations for the Rana Plaza survivors.
He said, It is the government’s duty to look after us, but they have shown a total negligence. When we go to the Savar upazila parishad, they show us district office; when we go there, they show the prime minister’s office, where we cannot go.’
read more.

* BGMEA yet to contribute to PM fund:

Different institutions and individuals donated Tk 127.67 crore to the prime minister’s relief and welfare fund between April 29 and July 8 for giving compensation to and rehabilitation of Rana Plaza victims but apparel factory owners owners have yet to contribute to the fund.

After the Rana Plaza collapse on April 24, which left more than 1,100 people dead, the prime minister urged all to come forward to help the victims and their families.
Responding to the call, government and non-government institutions including banks, insurance companies, schools, colleges and a large number of individuals donated Tk 127,67,33,349 to the fund, the agriculture minister, Matia Chowdhury, told the parliament in reply to a question of Muhibur Rahman Manik on July 14.
According to the list, no apparel factory owners or the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters’ Association has so far donated any money to the fund.
read more.

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20130722

* Artificial legs for victims by Sep:

Some one hundred victims who lost their legs in Rana Plaza Tragedy will get artificial legs by September this year.

A medical expert team from Thailand will come to Dhaka to replace the legs.
The expert team will make artificial legs setting up makeshift factory at Dhaka Orthopedic Hospital from September 19 to 28.
Health Minister Dr AFM Ruhal Haque made the disclosure at a press conference at his Secretariat office Monday.
Dr AFM Ruhal Haque said, “The collapse victims, who lost legs, have to register their names at Orthopedic Hospital from August 18 to 22 if they want replacement of their legs.”
read more.
BANGLA NEWS24

* Foreign help for Savar’s maimed: Ruhal Haque:

Savar’s devastating building collapse maimed 36 people, the Health Minister Dr AFM Ruhal Haque has said, adding that experts from India and Thailand would be in Dhaka to treat them, reports bdnews24.com.

The worst-ever factory building collapse in April this year killed more than 1,100 people, mostly garment workers and shook the burgeoning garment industry.
Of the 36, two died after battling for life, nine have been paralysed and 25 lost their limbs, some of whom, doctors say can return to work with artificial limbs.
read more. & read more.

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20130723

* Rana Plaza tragedy: victims form human chain demanding compensation:

The surviving workers of collapsed Rana Plaza of Savar formed a human chain Tuesday morning at Savar bus stand demanding proper compensation for the victims.

The human chain organisers threatened for larger programmes if their demand for immediate compensation were not met before Eid-ul-Fitr. ‘We will lay siege to the BGMEA building if our demands are not realised,’ said Tuhin Chowdhury, one of the speakers.
Tuhin and many others got united under Garment Workers Trade Union Centre (GWTUC) to realise compensation and other demands.
The programme was addressed, among others by GWTUC general secretary K.M. Mintu, leaders Sheuly Akter and Emdadul Islam.
read more.

* Victim families survivors, still rally for damages:

The survivors of Rana Plaza collapse and the families of the workers killed in the incident still are rallying for proper compensation and rehabilitation even after three months inside the collapse.

Many workers are still suffering from trauma and injuries at hospital and houses while the Criminal Investigation Department of police is yet to complete the investigation into the case filed following the biggest factory disaster, in terms of causalities.
The eight-storey Rana Plaza at Savar that housed five garment factories collapsed on April 24 leaving more than 1,132 people, mostly garment workers, killed and more than 2,400 injured.
Thirty-six of the injured workers were maimed. Later two of them died and nine were paralysed.
Different institutions and individuals donated Tk 127.67 crore to the prime minister’s relief and welfare fund between April 29 and July 8 for the compensation and rehabilitation of Rana Plaza victims, the agriculture minister, Matia Chowdhury, told parliament in reply to a question on July 14.
According to the list, no apparel factory owners or the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association has so far donated any money to the fund.
read more.

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20130724

* Compensation- Not Charity- for Bangladesh Factory Fire and Collapse
Victims :

Today, exactly eight months after a fire at the Tazreen Fashions factory and three months after the Rana Plaza building collapse in Bangladesh, the Clean Clothes Campaign calls on companies involved in the disasters to attend meetings aimed at providing compensation to survivors and the families of those killed.

The meetings, organised by IndustriALL Global Union, IndustriALL Bangladesh Council and global allies, are due to take place on the 11th and 12th of August in Dhaka, Bangladesh.

The meetings aim to bring together the companies who placed orders at the two factories where a lack of decent health and safety standards left 1243 dead and thousands more injured. Brands that have been invited to attend include Benetton, Mango, Walmart, Primark, The Walt Disney Company and international agent Li & Fung, all of whom had orders placed at factories located in the Rana Plaza building or at Tazreen Fashions.

The meetings will focus on a collaborative process for establishing compensation figures and distributing payments to those whose family life, economic well-being and health have been severely harmed as a result of both these tragedies. The process will be based on an existing framework established following previous tragedies in the Bangladeshi garment industry.

Discussions based on this compensation framework have already begun in relation to the Tazreen victims and survivors. Some of the Tazreen buyers had committed to making compensation payments, but the process was stalled in April as the parties dealt with the fallout from Rana Plaza and establishing the Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh. It is hoped these negotiations will now continue.

The meeting on Rana Plaza will mark the first meeting on compensation in this case. Only Primark has publicly stated it will pay long-term compensation to the victims of Rana Plaza in line with the existing compensation framework. Other international brands have failed to announce similar concrete steps, choosing instead to announce charitable programmes.

Reports from the ground indicate that many workers and families are facing desperate situations as they are unable to pay medical bills, rent, or afford food and daily expenses.

A woman who lost her husband in the collapse in April, told Clean Clothes Campaign that his body is still missing. Her husband worked on the fifth floor at Phantom Tec factory as a sewing operator and earned 4800Taka (47 Euro) per month. She is the sole carer of a seven month old baby and her elderly father, who is in poor health. She has been offered a sewing machine and been give 1000tTaka (10 Euros) by the
BGMEA, the Bangladesh exporters’ association, but has not received her husband’s salary or any further compensation.

“We hope that all brands associated with these disasters will make attendance at this meeting a priority”, says Liz Parker from the Clean Clothes Campaign. “Charity projects such as training or psychological support are totally insufficient. These families need full and fair compensation so they can start to rebuild their lives in a manner of their own choosing.
They have paid a heavy price for the failure of brands and retailers, the industry and the government to guarantee a safe workplace. They will never get their loved ones back, but decent compensation will help relieve some of their suffering.”
Site

20130724-25

20130724 CCC

 

* CCC calls meeting of brands in BD to fix compensation for victims:

Clean Clothes Campaign, the largest global alliance of labour unions in the ready-made garment (RMG) sector, brings all the brands, which have had orders in place with Tazreen Fashions and the garment factories at Rana Plaza, to Dhaka next month.

At a meeting, they will take decision on compensation for the survivors, and families of those killed in the two recent disasters.

Basing on the statement ‘compensation is not charity’, the campaign has observed that exactly eight months after the Tazreen fire incident and three months after the Rana Plaza building collapse, no compensation package was announced by any of the brands except one. Only Primark has publicly stated it will pay long-term compensation to the victims of Rana Plaza in line with the existing compensation framework. Other international brands have failed to announce any such concrete steps, choosing instead to announce charitable programmes.
(…)
Liz Parker from the Clean Clothes Campaign hoped that all brands ‘linked’ to these disasters would make attendance at this meeting a priority.

“Charity projects such as training or psychological support are totally insufficient. These families need full and fair compensation so they can start to rebuild their lives in a manner of their own choosing.
They have paid a heavy price for the failure of brands and retailers, the industry and the government to guarantee a safe workplace.
They will never get their loved ones back, but decent compensation will help relieve some of their suffering,” Liz added.
read more.

* PM gives financial assistance to 175 family members of Savar victims:

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Wednesday gave cheques of financial assistance to 175 members of the families of 123 people who were killed in the Savar building collapse on April 24.

She handed over the cheques of Tk 2.26 crore to the recipients at her office. This was the seventh phase of handing over financial assistance to the victims and their family members.
So far, a total of Tk 11.97 crore has been provided to 1.016 persons belonging to the families of 777 victims of the Savar Rana Plaza tragedy from the Prime Minister’s Relief and Welfare Fund.
Besides, savings certificates worth Tk 3.30 crore have been given to 30 injured persons from the same fund.
Official sources said the Prime Minister in seven phases so far disbursed Tk 17.54 crore from her relief and welfare fund for the treatment of the Rana Plaza victims and as financial support to the families of the deceased and injured workers.
read more. & read more.& read more. & read more. & read more. & read more.
UNB BSS bdnews24 newstodayBD DAILYprime-news

* Three Months Since Rana Plaza, 200 Orphans Call for Compensation and Safe Jobs:

20130724 ILRF

Today, three months after the Rana building collapse of April 24 and eight months after the Tazreen fire of November 24, two hundred orphans participated in a demonstration organized by the National Garment Workers Federation (NGWF).

The demonstration called on all apparel brands and retailers that sourced from Tazreen and Rana to pay full and fair compensation to the injured workers and families who lost loved-ones, as well as urged all clothing companies that have not yet signed on to the Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh to do so immediately.

At the action in Dhaka, Amirul Haque Amin, president of NGWF presided over the meeting and NGWF leaders Safia Pervin, Faruk Khan, Sultana Akter, Nurun Nahar, and Kabir hossain spoke, along with three members of victims’ families. Special guest Fazle Hossain Badsha M. P expressed his solidarity and SalaUddin Swapon, secretary general of the Bangladesh Garment Workers Unity Council and Sabbah Ali Khan Koling, general secretary of the Bangladesh Youth Unity, shared their support for the demands.
read more.
ilrf

* Three months after Rana Plaza tragedy: Photo exhibition opened at crash site:

Drik Gallery on Wednesday opened a day-long group photo exhibition on ‘Rana Plaza Collapse: Death of Thousands Dreams’ in front of the demolished Rana Plaza building in Savar.

The exhibition was inaugurated in the morning by Anjuara Begum, mother of an ill-fated worker who went missing in the deadly Rana plaza collapse exactly three months ago.
Four photographers, who took part in the exhibition with their photos taken during the worst garment factory tragedy in country’s history, are–Abir Abdullah, Ayon Rehal, Shuvo Das and Taslima Akhter.
read more. & read more. & read more. & read more. & read more. & read more.
& read more.
logo BANGLA NEWS24 BSS DAILYprime-news daily star bd newstodayBD
DHAKATRIBUNE

* Photo show near Rana Plaza today:

Photographs featuring the victims of the recent Rana Plaza tragedy will be displayed today at a group exhibition in front of the depressed land on which Rana Plaza building stood once in Savar.

Four photo artistes have jointly organised the show to remind the people about the tragic building collapse on April 24 this year resulting in the loss of lives of over 1100 apparel workers, who used to work in different factories housed in the building.
About 400 workers are still missing and the thousands of survivors of one of the worst industrial disasters in the world are leading miserable lives.
The show titled ‘Rana Plaza Collapse: Death of Thousands Dreams’ will continue from 10:00 am to 5:00pm.
Mother of a missing apparel worker Shantona will inaugurate this exhibition. Abdul Aziz, father of a dead worker Shawon and Khadija, wife of a dead worker Khokon and many other workers will be present in the exhibition.
The show will display 10 enormous photographs in front of the barb wire, which the district administration has placed to demarcate the land on which Rana Plaza stood once near the Dhaka Aricha highway at Savar.
read more.

* Exhibition, rally marks three months of Rana Plaza tragedy:

Surviving workers, families of missing workers, labour organisations alongside several thousand people from different walks of life mournfully observed the passage of three months of the Rana Plaza tragedy amidst tears and protests on Wednesday.

A photo exhibition, a human chain, a rally was organised to commemorate the occasion while people placed wreaths at the site of the tragedy to remember the workers who were killed on 24 April.
The photo exhibition was jointly organised by four photographers under the title ‘Rana Plaza Collpase: Death of thousand dreams’ at the site of the collapsed building in the morning which was inaugurated by the mother of Shanta, a garment worker who is still missing. The exhibition will continue till 5:00pm today, organisers said.
About 10 large pictures of the collapsed Rana Plaza and mourning relatives have been put up in the exhibition.
The organizers Abir Abdullah, Ayan Rehal, Shuva Das and Taslima Akter said in a statement that they will continue the exhibition in different important places, including the BGMEA building and different industrial belts of the country, to raise awareness among factory owners about the safety of their workers.
read more.

* Savar municipality mayor arrested:

Police today arrested suspended Savar municipality mayor and BNP leader Refat Ullah in connection with a case on charges of giving illegal approval to construction of the collapsed nine-storey Rana Plaza building.

“Criminal Investigation Department (CID) personnel arrested Refat this noon when he came to its headquarters at Malibagh following a notice asking him to appear before them for interrogation,” Savar circle assistant police super Moshuddoula Reza told BSS.
Refat, who is also president of Savar municipality unit of BNP, was suspended immediately after the Rana Plaza collapsed on April 24 in which over 1,100 people, mostly garment workers, were killed and many others crippled.
Rajdhani Unnayan Kartripakkha (RAJUK) filed the case with Savar Police Station on April 26.
to read. & read more. & read more. & read more.
BSS  Ittefaq UNB

* Rana Plaza compensation: a botched disbursement:

Every month, Firoz Hossain, a worker at New Wave Bottoms Ltd, a garment factory that was housed at ill-fated Rana Plaza, would send a good portion of his monthly salary of Tk 11,000 back home in Rajbari.

Now jobless, after the collapse of Rana Plaza on April 24, Hossain is left wondering how he would be able to support his wife and two children through Eid-ul-Fitr, the country’s biggest religious festival.
“I’m desperately looking for a job. Had I received something from the government, I might have gotten by. A miserable Eid now awaits us,” he told The Daily Star yesterday.
So far, he received Tk 42,000 from the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) as salary, Tk 16,000 from British retailer Primark and Tk 3,000 as individual donations, most of which have already been exhausted. “I am the lone bread earner of my family.”
Hossain’s is not an isolated story. Like him, many of the victims of Rana Plaza collapse are yet to receive their due compensation, three months after the tragic incident.
“I did not get any money from the Prime Minister’s Office yet,” said Emdadul Islam, who used to iron clothes at Phantom Apparels Ltd that was located on the fourth floor of the complex. As of yesterday, Islam only received Tk 10,000 as salary from the BGMEA.
read more.
daily star bd

* Many families still wait for compensation:

Alif is only two and a half years old and he has already lost the dearest person of his life — his mother — who would, otherwise, have been by his side teaching him all the childhood lessons.

He was holding a photo of his mother Morzina Akter, at a rally organised yesterday by the National Garment Workers Federation to mark three months of the Rana Plaza collapse.  The tragedy cut short Morzina’s life at 21.
The boy accompanied his grandmother to the Central Shaheed Minar in the capital where many other family members of the dead victims gathered to demand their compensations.
“A building collapsed and my mother died,” was all he could come up with when asked where his mother is. And then he looked at the picture and kissed it.
Morzina had worked as a sewing operator of Phantom Apparels in the building for around six months. But the family did not receive any compensation except for Tk 20,000 that was given during the handing over of the body, said Mariam Begum who lives in Savar on the outskirts of the capital with her grandson Arif and his father.
She does not have enough money to look after the child because his father has been in distress ever since the death of his wife and is doing nothing.
read more.
daily star bd
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20130725-26

* Savar mayor arrested in Rana Plaza case:

With the mayor, the number of arrestees in connection with the Rana Plaza collapse stood at 21

The Criminal Investigation Department Wednesday arrested Savar Municipality Mayor Refayet Ullah, also the president of Savar Municipality unit of the BNP, for his alleged negligence in monitoring the construction of Rana Plaza.

The deadly collapse of the multi-storey building on May 24 claimed so far 1,131 lives, mostly workers of five garment factories housed in that building, and left around 2,500 others injured.
“The Savar municipality mayor was arrested in the afternoon after he was found guilty during an interrogation at the CID office,” said CID Inspector Mrinal Kanti Saha.
The CID investigation team led by Assistant Superintendent of Police Bijoy Kumar Kar conducted the interrogation.
read more. & read more. & read more. & read more. & read more.
DHAKATRIBUNE logo BANGLA NEWS24 NewNation

 * Grim picture of Rana Plaza victims’ compensation:

BGMEA’s ‘symbolic compensation’ for Rana Plaza victims heads for abrupt halt alleging false ID making; BGMEA disbursed only Tk 6 crore for outstanding salary of Rana Plaza workers of 5 factories, PM doles out Tk 11.97cr for families of 777 victims

Dhaka: Rozina Akhter and her daughter Bristi came to Dhaka few months back from Naogaon for changing their fate.
In March both the mother and daughter joined Ether Tech garments located at Rana Plaza in Savar. But just after a month, their dream of changing their lot turned into a nightmare as her daughter remained missing in the Rana Plaza rubbles that collapsed on April 24.

Now the hapless mother is still visiting door-to-door for the final resting location or grave of her dear one who might have been buries or remained missing like hundreds of others as an unidentified body or flattened under Rana Plaza rubbles for good as the final resting place.
Relatives of such hundreds of hapless victims of Rana Plaza are still grieving and knocking the doors of influential of the RMG sectors for the final news of their missing dear ones. But nobody is there in the big modern-day slavery industry to give them a consolation or give them a sympathetic answer.

But ironically and abruptly, the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters’ Association (BGMEA) is putting an end to its symbolic compensation for the Rana Plaza victims when hundreds of people still remained missing and is depriving victims’ relatives even with such ‘symbolic compensation’.
read more.
DAILYprime-news

* Relatives of 123 Rana Plaza victims get PM’s aid:

More than 175 family members of 123 garment workers who died in Savar building collapse on April 24, 2013 today received financial assistance from Prime Minister’s relief and welfare fund.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina distributed the cheques of financial assistance among them at a function at her Tejgaon office here.
Official sources said,
the Prime Minister in seven phases so far disbursed Taka 17,54,64,000 from her relief and welfare fund for treatment of the Rana Plaza victims and providing financial support to the families of the deceased and injured workers.

The Prime Minister distributed 1,016 cheques of total amount of Taka 11,97,50,000 for families of 777 victims. Besides, thirty injured garment workers received Taka 3.30 crore in the form of family saving certificates from the Prime Minister.
The Prime Minister made financial support of Taka 1,42,14,000 for treatment of the injured workers in 22 hospitals and Taka 35 lakh for sending critically injured rescue workers Kaikobad to Singapore for better treatment.
She also provide assistance of Taka 50 lakh to National Forensic DNA Profiling Laboratory for DNA profiling of the dead garment workers.
read more.
DAILYprime-news

* Time for brands to pay compensation to Bangladesh victims:

IndustriALL Global Union is organising meetings in Dhaka on 11 and 12 August to ensure the correct compensation payments are made to victims and survivors of the Tazreen factory fire and the Rana Plaza building collapse.

It is time for those responsible to dig deep and pay the families who are suffering from these avoidable tragedies. Responsibility is shared between the brands and retailers sourcing from Tazreen and Rana Plaza, the factory owners, the BGMEA employers association, and the Bangladeshi government.

The aim is to employ the industry’s best practice compensation mechanism that was developed after the Spectrum factory collapse in Bangladesh in 2005. That formula is in line with ILO Convention 121 on employment injury benefits.
read more.
Home

20130727-28

* After Rana Plaza collapse, reckoning looms: WSJ:

Three months after the deadly collapse of the Rana Plaza garment complex, authorities here face a key question—whether to charge anyone with a crime in connection with one of the world’s worst industrial accidents, reports The Wall Street Journal.

Twenty-one people are being held in jail in connection with the April 24 disaster, which killed more than 1,100 people. But no one has been charged.
The police say they hope to file formal charges soon against some of the people detained, possibly as early as July 31, when a court hearing is scheduled for all of them. The range of possible outcomes under Bangladesh law is broad — from no charges at all, to charges of culpable homicide, which carries a potential punishment of life in prison, according to a senior police official and the Bangladesh penal code as described in a report by the Home Ministry.
read more.

* Families of Rana Plaza missing get no help:

Though the injured, handicapped, survivors and families of the deceased garment workers of the Rana Plaza collapse are slowly getting compensation, donations and the victims’ arrears, families of the missing are getting none.

Take the case of the family of sewing machine operator Taslima Khatun.
Employed in a garment factory housed on the third floor of the nine-storey Rana Plaza, the 19-year-old went missing following the collapse on April 24, which claimed 1,132 lives.
This caused the world of her dependants living in Rajbari district to come crashing down. Her five family members include a rickshaw-puller father too ill to work regularly, a housewife mother, a fifth-grader brother and a widowed sister-in-law with a three-year-old son.
“She used to send us Tk 3,000, and sometimes a thousand or two more,” the father, Ayub Sheikh, told The Daily Star recently.
read more.
daily star bd

* 48 global retailers to meet in Dhaka:

Compensation packages for Rana Plaza and Tazreen victims will be fixed

Forty-eight international clothing retailers and brands will hold meetings in Dhaka next month to fix compensation packages for the victims of Rana Plaza collapse and Tazreen fire incident.

Sixteen retailers and brands will fix such packages for the Tazreen victims on August 11, and 32 will sit for Rana Plaza victims on the following day.
Initiated by IndustriALL Global Union, the meetings will take place in the city’s Sonargaon Hotel.
As per the charter of demand, every victim of the two tragedies will receive Tk 5 lakh, Roy Ramesh Chandra, general secretary of IndustriALL Bangladesh Council, told The Daily Star yesterday.
According to Section 121 of the International Labour Organisation, relatives of a dead worker will receive 50 percent of the salaries, which the worker was drawing at the time of his/her death, for the next 25 years with an annual inflation of 7 percent, Chandra said.
The relatives will also receive 10 percent of the dead worker’s salaries for their children’s education cost, he said.
read more.
daily star bd

* FBI to assist in matching DNA with family members:

Unidentified Victims of Rana Plaza Collapse

An FBI team will help identify the 321 unidentified bodies recovered from the Rana Plaza rubble by seeing if their DNA samples match those collected from people claiming to be their relatives, said Prof Sharif Akhteruzzaman yesterday.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) team, scheduled to arrive next month, will provide an advanced software programme, Combined DNA Index System (CODIS), said the national technical adviser of National Forensic DNA Profiling Laboratory (NFDPL).
The FBI team will train local experts on using the software which would help make the comparison process less time consuming and identify the bodies by September, he said.
read more.
daily star bd

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20130729-30

* Chaos over RMG checks:

Government agencies, shaken up by Rana Plaza disaster, are into frantic –
and uncoordinated – inspections of garment factories

But there’s little coordination between the agencies, and senior government officials are unable to say just how many factories have been checked. Estimates vary from just 60 to 340.

While US and European retailers which buy the bulk of Bangladesh-made clothing had hoped to complete factory inspections within 9-12 months, inspectors and government officials say this will take at least 5 years.
Bangladesh has fewer than 200 qualified inspectors.

The disconnect among the various agencies conducting what are often cursory visual assessments – Bangladesh has nowhere near enough technical equipment for sophisticated inspections – means some garment factories have been visited several times, while others have had no checks at all.

“It’s a big nuisance for us, and while we’re being put through this, nobody’s checking all the other factories in the vicinity that haven’t had a single inspection,” said Emdadul Islam, a director of Babylon Garments, which supplies Wal-Mart Stores Inc, Tesco Plc and Hennes & Mauritz AB’s H&M stores.
read more. & read more.
bdnews24 daily star bd

* BGMEA must disclose fund raised for Rana Plaza victims: activists:

A group of activists on Monday demanded the disclosure of the information about the victims of Rana Plaza collapse, fund raised by the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association for them and expenses made from the fund.

At a press conference in front of the BGMEA building at Karwan Bazar, 24 April, an activists group of writers, teachers, researchers, photographers and journalists, also demanded payment of Tk 48 lakh in damages for each of the workers killed or missing.
The eight-storey Rana Plaza ar Savar, which house five garment factories, a market and a bank, collapsed on April 24, leaving more than 1,100 people, mostly garment workers, killed and scores injured. At least 374 workers were still missing when the rescue operation was closed on May 13.
In the written statement at the press conference, 24 April member Samina Luthfa, also a Dhaka University teacher, said that the garments owners association’s activities following the Rana Plaza collapse was questionable as they showed total indifference to making a list of people who worked in the five garment factories housed in Rana Plaza.
read more. & read more.
daily star bd

* Rana Plaza victims receive grant from USA’s Gobindaganj Foundation:

A total of three Rana Plaza victims of Gobindaganj upazila under the district received a grant of Taka 80,000 from the USA’s Gobindaganj Foundation, an organisation of the expatriates of Gobindaganj upazila.

Upazila chairman Principal Abul Kalam Azad formally distributed the grant as the chief guest to the victims and their family members in a function held at the auditorium of Upazila Parishad. Vice chairman Mohammad Hossain Foku was present as the special guest.
read more.
BSS

* India to fix legs of Rana plaza victims:

Jaipur Foot’, a pan Indian outfit, also world’s largest organization serving the disabled by providing  assistance including artificial limbs, asserted to help 100 Rana Plaza victims ‘totally free of charge’.

The famous artificial limbs makers are likely to launch the aid operations from a temporary camp in October.
Porikkhit Chowdhury, Information officer of Health and Family welfare Ministry told banglanews that a highly efficient team organized by health ministry of India will visit Bangladesh in September to examine facts before the drive to provide artificial limbs for100 severely injured Savar victims.
read more. & read more. & read more. & read more.
BANGLA NEWS24 bdnews24 DAILYprime-news

* Demand compensation for the victims of the Bangladesh building collapse:

In April, the Rana Plaza building in Bangladesh collapsed killing over 1,100 people and injuring thousands more. The majority were female garment workers making clothes for the UK high street. Retailers Benetton, Bonmarché, Mango, Matalan and Primark all acknowledged recent production with the factories in the building.

Thousands of people now face destitution. Unable to work, or without the major wage earner in the family, they are struggling to make ends meet.  Yet despite this humanitarian catastrophe Benetton, Bonmarché, Mango and Matalan have all refused to offer compensation to the victims.

UK high street companies failed to ensure their supplier factories were safe. Now they must pay full compensation for lost earnings to the victims of this wholly avoidable tragedy.
read more and please sign here.
WAW 1

* Bangladesh factory collapse victims get help to cope with trauma:

Wounded survivors of Bangladesh factory collapse that killed more than 1,100 suffering from fear, flashbacks, nightmares and guilt — because they can no longer support their families.

When she went to work, Amrita said a grim goodbye to her three children and asked relatives to take care of them if she didn’t come back. She felt as though she were going to her death.
That was April 24, the blackest day in the history of Bangladesh’s garment industry: 1,127 people were killed when the Rana Plaza building in Dhaka collapsed. An inspector had warned it was unsafe; nevertheless, factory bosses ordered the workers back to their machines.

Amrita — not her real name — obeyed. Now a jobless double amputee, the young mother is going through the most wrenching experience of her 22 years, deeply traumatized and struggling to salvage what is left of her life.
She is one of 170 emotionally and physically shattered survivors who have received counselling from teams trained by Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors Without Borders). Dozens of others will also receive help.
read more.
theSTAR

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20130731

* Missing workers’ families block highway:

The families of the garment workers who went missing following the Rana Plaza collapse blocked Dhaka-Aricha highway at Savar for two hours on Tuesday demanding compensation before Eid-ul-Fitr.

Several hundred people from the families of the workers missing and injured blocked the highway for two
hours from 9:45am, formed a human chain beside the collapsed Rana Plaza site and laid siege to Savar upazila complex.
The families of the missing workers said that they were starving as the earning members of the families went missing and they got neither any compensation nor the wages of the missing workers, who were yet to be identified.
Abdus Salam, father of Liza Akter, 18, a missing worker of New Wave Style, one of the five garment factories housed in Rana Plaza, said that they was passing days with acute mental and financial problems.
read more.

* Alleged Lack of Support from BGMEA to Rana Plaza Victims:

Nearly Tk5m has been paid from the prime minister’s relief fund to cover the cost of DNA tests to confirm the identities of 321 bodies from the Rana Plaza disaster. The Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) recently issued a cheque for the amount to a government laboratory.

However, the state-run DNA lab did not send any request to the PMO regarding the expenses. Rather, they wrote a letter to the district commissioner (DC) of Dhaka to know who would bear the cost for the DNA tests.
The DC’s office also said they had written to the Bangladesh Garments Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) seeking financial assistance for the tests, but not to PMO.

But the BGMEA did not respond to the request, nor did it pay a single paisa for the analysis of 900 DNA samples from 321 unidentified victims and their relatives.
The sources claimed that some BGMEA officials tactfully collected the letter from the DNA lab authorities and forwarded it to the PM’s office, apparently to avoid making the payment from its account.
read more.

* CID fails to finish Rana Plaza probe:

Gets 45 days more to submit probe reports

A Dhaka court granted 45 days more to Criminal Investigation Department (CID) to complete the investigation into two cases filed over the Rana Plaza collapse as it failed to submit the reports by Wednesday.

Senior Judicial Magistrate Kazi Shahidul Islam asked CID to submit the probe report by September 15.
Meanwhile, the court rejected the bail petitions of seven accused in the two cases.
The accused are: Abdul Khalek, father of Sohel Rana and also owner of Rana Plaza, suspended Savar municipality mayor and BNP leader Refayet Ullah, Engineer Rafiqul Islam, Rana’s relative Abdul Hassan, New Wave Bottoms Chairman Bazlus Samad and its managing director Mahmudur Rahman Tapash and Rakibul Hassan Russel.
read more.
daily star bd

* Police Consider Manslaughter Charges for Rana:

Police are considering charging the owner of a collapsed garment factory building with manslaughter after the industrial disaster killed more than 1,000 people earlier this year.

“We are thinking about it seriously,” said Bijoy Krishna Kar, assistant superintendent of police. He is investigating the case that involves deaths of factory workers.
Sohel Rana, the owner of the eight-story complex that collapsed in April, is among the 21 people arrested in two cases tied to the collapse that killed 1,131 people. The investigation will take more than two months to complete before the police submit charges to court, Kar said.
read more.
Ittefaq
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20130801-02

* 100 days of Rana Plaza collapse observed:

Apparel manufacturers and workers Thursday observed the 100 days of Rana Plaza collapse remembering those who were killed in the tragic incident, urging authorities to take measures to check recurrence of such incidents. Bangladesh Garments Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) organised noontime ceremony at its  conference hall and observed one minute silence to honour the victims who were killed in the building collapse on April 24, 2013.

The meeting honoured eight persons and four organisations and handed over Tk 10 lakh reward to each of the organisations for their outstanding contributions in the rescue operations, treatment and rehabilitation of the victims.
The organisations included the 9th Infantry Division of Bangladesh Army, Bangladesh Fire Service and Civil Defense, Centre for the Rehabilitation of the Paralysed (CRF) and Anjuman-e-Mufidul Islam.

The apex body of apparel manufacturers also handed over seven children of victims, who lost their parents in the tragic incidents, to the representative of Old Rajshahi Cadet Association who will look after the children, bear all their educational expenses Besides until completion of their education.
The BGMEA took responsibilities of 300 children, who lost their parents in Rana Plaza incident, and bear all their  expenses until completion of their education and are provided with jobs.
read more.
logo

* Families of unidentified Rana Plaza victims yet to get help:

BGMEA to take care of 300 affected children

Families of the unidentified Rana Plaza victims are yet to get any financial support from any quarters even 100 days after the building collapse tragedy which left over 1,100 people killed and thousands injured.

This was stated Thursday at a discussion organised by the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) to mark the 100 days of the incident at its headquarters in the city.
Jahangir Kabir Nanok, State Minister of Local Government and Rural Development (LGRD) was present as chief guest while BGMEA President Atiqul Islam and its office bearers, Valerie Taylor, founder and coordinator of Centre for the Rehabilitation of the Paralysed (CRP), Dr Enamur Rahman of Enam Hospital, among others, were present.

“No initiative has yet been taken for the families of the unidentified Rana Plaza victims,” Nazma Akhter, President of Sammilito Garment Sramik Federation said.
She said, we don’t want any recurrence of such incident. All including the garment owners should change their mind set about cheap labour and tendency of profit maximizing, she opined.
read more. & read more.
daily star bd

* Rana Plaza site can’t be returned to owner: Nanak:

State Minister for LGRD and Cooperatives adv Jahangir Kabir Nanak on Thursday said the land on which Rana Plaza had been built cannot be returned to Rana as the garment workers bloodspots are there in the tragic site, reports UNB.

Indicating that the land will be confiscated, he said the government is planning to build a monument at the site in honour of the workers who lost their lives following the biggest tragedy in the RMG sector.
read more. & read more.
newstodayBD UNB

* Workers’ memorial at Rana Plaza collapse site: Nanak:

The state minister for LGRD and cooperatives, Jahangir Kabir Nanak, on Thursday said the land on which Rana Plaza had been built cannot be returned to Rana as the tragic site was stained with blood of several hundred garment workers.

Indicating that the land will be confiscated, he said the government is planning to build a monument at the site in honour of the workers who lost their lives following the biggest tragedy in the RMG sector.
Nanak was addressing a reminiscence programme at the BGMEA auditorium in the city remembering the 100-day of the tragedy.
read more.

* RMG disaster victims’ lives a ‘nightmare’:

Sumaya, a worker of Tazreen Fashions, received a blunt head trauma on the night the factory burnt down. Afterwards for several days, she was bleeding through the nose.

On July 4, eight months after the incident, doctors at Dhaka Medical College Hospital diagnosed her with exophthalmos, a swelling of the eye which is common among patients suffering from blunt head traumas. On July 14, she had a surgery. Further diagnosis suggested that she had developed a tumour which was cancerous.

Three months after the collapse of Rana Plaza in Savar on April 24, in which over 1,100 workers died and 2,500 others were injured, many survivors and even the rescue workers are facing post-traumatic problems.

Rubina Begum, who worked at one of the factories in Rana Plaza for two years, is suffering from a serious pelvic fracture. She has been unable to work and has been told by doctors that she may never engage in strenuous activities, such as intercourse. Speaking to our correspondent, Rubina expressed her fear that she would be “neither valued as a worker nor as a wife.”
read more.
DHAKATRIBUNE

* Rana Plaza victims left ignored to suffer:

BGMEA cannot even reach all victims in NITOR

Even though the owners of Bangladeshi garment factories vowed not to forget the victims of the Rana Plaza disaster _ as written on a banner at their association’s headquarters yesterday to mark 100 days of the tragic incident _ it meant nothing to injured survivor Ashraful Sujon, now under treatment at a Dhaka hospital.

Sujon, who used to work in a garment factory on the fifth floor of Rana Plaza, was admitted at the National Institute of Traumatolgy and Orthopaedic Rehabilitation (Nitor) as one of his legs was badly damaged in the building collapse on April 24.

He has neither received his due salary, nor did he get any sort of government aid, including donations made by the prime minister from the Bangabandhu Memorial Trust.

“I have not received a single penny of my salary. I asked my factory’s senior officials about my salary. Their response was: ‘You are too late in claiming.’ Getting my salary now seems an unattainable fact, although I am in Dhaka, close to the owners’ organisation,” said the 35-year-old worker, who has undergone three surgeries to repair the damaged muscle tissue in his crushed left leg.
read more.
DHAKATRIBUNE

* Benetton and Mango: Rana Plaza survivors risk losing their homes:

Thousands of you joined us last May by sending a message to the brands linked to the Tazreen fire and Rana Plaza collapse in Bangladesh, demanding that they take responsibility by paying compensation.

We need your help again. Without adequate compensation, workers now risk losing their homes. Tell Benetton and Mango that the right for compensation unites all people.

In May, one month after the collapse of the Rana Plaza building and six months after the Tazreen fire, thousands of you joined us in sending a message to the brands linked to the two factories, demanding that they take  responsibility by paying compensation to the survivors of these disasters and the families of those who were killed.
Together, we flooded the inboxes and Facebook pages of Walmart, Benetton, Mango, Disney and other brands that were at the factories. Thank you for joining the fight!

We need your help again. Without adequate compensation, workers now risk losing their homes. Shurima (30) lost her foot during the collapse. She has no income anymore. The room she lives in with two others costs 1500 Taka, a third of her monthly wage, which included her overtime payment. She says: “We haven’t been able to pay our rent for two months. If we do not pay this month, the landlord will end the contract. Already some people have lost their room.“
read more.
Site
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20130803-04

* Mourners, rights activists throng Savar:

Injured workers inaugurate a memorial monument at the Rana Plaza site marking 100 days of the disaster

A workers’ rights committee on Friday established a memorial monument for the workers who died in the Rana Plaza collapse at the building’s site.

Injured workers of the factories of Rana Plaza inaugurated the monument.
The committee, made up of representatives from several leftist groups, also held a meeting, a rally and a cultural programme at the site. Several victims of the collapse and relatives of missing workers spoke at the meeting.
The coordinator of monument organising committee Ashish Corraya told the Dhaka tribune: “Police blocked us from erecting the monument several times. They told us that there was no permission from the authorities to build a monument here.”
“But as so many lives have been lost here we did not care about any permission. The workers also supported this and they donated money to build the monument,” he added.
read more.
DHAKATRIBUNE

* Rana Plaza – In Protests and Resistance:

Family members of deceased victims and living victims Rana Plaza along with youths of the city have staged protest sitting in front of the Rana Plaza collapse site on 2 August 2013.

The poor distribution of humanitarian support and compensation among the relatives of the dead, injured and the hundreds of orphans created by this tragedy brought these grieved people on the streets, said a protestor.

The protest started 10 AM in the morning and lasted the whole day,
Later the group of youths built a monument at the site of Rana Plaza in Savar yesterday in memory of the victims of the worst industrial disaster of the country.

The youths, mostly students under several banners, called the monument “Protibade-Protirodhe” (in protest and in resistance). The simplistic monument is just two muscular hands, one holding a scythe and the other one holding a hammer. They are about 10 feet high.
read more.

* Pledges not fulfilled:

Finds civil society initive; suggests ways to avoid tragedies

A group of civil society organisations yesterday launched an initiative to follow through on the commitments made in the aftermath of the Rana Plaza tragedy over the course of next one year.

Following the building collapse on April 24, the government, Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) and many development partners, international organisations and retailers made a host of pledges to the victims and to improve the way the country’s garment factories function.
The forum, founded by the Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD) in partnership with 14 other organisations, intends to make sure that the promises get delivered.
“We want to make a difference this time. If this initiative can establish transparency and accountability, we will be able to redeem ourselves to some extent to those who died or were injured,” Mustafizur Rahman, executive director of CPD, said.
Rehman Sobhan, chairman of CPD, said the forum would put pressure on the government and other stakeholders so that “they discharge their responsibilities properly”.

“We, as a community, can at least try to ensure that incidents like this do not repeat.”
The think tank yesterday presented a report titled “100 Days of Rana Plaza Tragedy: A Report on Commitments and Delivery” at the CIRDAP auditorium in the city.
Following the tragedy that killed at least 1,132 workers and injured thousands, the government pledged to provide Tk 1 lakh to each of the deceased’s families and physiological treatment of two years for the injured workers and to rehabilitate the family members of the injured.
The BGMEA, separately, committed to raise Tk 25,000 from each of its member factories for the affected workers and provide employment of the disabled workers’ able-bodied family members.
read more.
daily star bd

* ORCA Homes takes charge of 10 kids of Rana Plaza victims:

BGMEA (Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association) handed over 10 orphans to ORCA (Old Rajshahi Cadets Association) Homes recently, who lost their parents in the Rana Plaza collapse on April 24.

The handing over was arranged in presence of the LGRD State Minister Jahangir Kabir Nanak as the chief guest at a small function in Dhaka BGMEA Bhaban to mark 100 days of the deadliest accident.

The children were received by president of ORCA Chittagong chapter Shakhawat Hossain. BGMEA has taken charge of 300 such orphans, from which ORCA has taken the responsibility of 10 children. ORCA Homes, a Chittagong-based orphanage home, is an initiative of the Old Rajshahi Cadets’ Association.
read more.

* Absence of good governance held responsible for Rana Plaza tragedy:

Speakers at a dialogue on Saturday held absence of good governance and dearth of efficient regulatory bodies responsible for the Rana Plaza tragedy that killed more than 1,100 people and injured several thousand others.

They recommended speedy implementation of the commitments made after the tragedy and formation of a central monitoring cell to oversee it.
They also suggested inclusion of professional expertise in the structural safety programme and implementation of existing laws to stop recurrence of incidents like the Rana Plaza collapse.

The observations came at the dialogue organised by the Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD) titled “100 Days of Rana Plaza Tragedy: A Report on Commitments and Delivery” held in the city.
The CPD along with its 14 partners prepared the independent monitoring report on the commitments and delivery by involved stakeholders to keep the issues alive and to bring transparency and social and collective accountability in the process of implementing the commitments.
read more.

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20130804-05

* Rana workers must be helped without delay:

The world is watching the RMG industry not just to ensure it gets its house in order to prevent future tragedies

20130804 DHAKATRIBUNE Savar_11_0
A monument, in memory of victims of Rana Plaza collapse, inaugurated on the 100th day of the tragedy on Friday

A hundred days on from the Rana plaza tragedy, a large number of workers remain without help.

Over a thousand employees from the collapsed factories gathered at the site this week for the unveiling of a memorial. Interviews with workers who have been left without livelihoods suggest that promises of help and rehabilitation made by the BGMEA and government have in many cases failed to materialise.

To some extent, notably in relation to bereaved families of workers killed at the site, compensation promised by the government is contingent on DNA reports and these cases will presumably be dealt with once reports are duly processed.

More generally however, whilst medical treatment appears to have been provided to the surviving injured, on leaving hospital a large number of victims have not received any compensation or outstanding salaries.
read more.
DHAKATRIBUNE

* Rana Plaza survivors block Dhaka-Aricha highway:

At least 15 people were injured as police charged batons on the survivors of Rana Plaza collapse, who blocked Dhaka-Aricha highway in Savar on Sunday demanding Eid bonus and salaries from the month of May.

Transport movement on the highway came to a halt on 10 kilometres area for 45 minutes since noon following the blockade, reports our Savar correspondent.
At least 1,132 people were killed and 2,438 people were rescued from the debris of the nine-storey building that collapsed in Savar on April 24.
Witnesses said over 300 survivors and their relatives blocked the highway at noon to press home their demands.
But police charged batons on them, leaving 15 people injured, they said.
Contacted, Mostafa Kamal, officer-in-charge of Savar Model Police Station, said they charged batons on the demonstrators only to free the busy highway.

Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) paid the salary for April to the workers after the deadly collapse.
But according to the rules, the authorities must pay salary of three months before terminating a worker, said Md Jalal, an injured worker of the collapsed building.
read more. & read more. & read more.
daily star bd UNB newstodayBD

* Rescuers slip into abyss:

More than three months into the country’s worst industrial tragedy in Savar, around 150 rescuers are still haunted by the trauma they suffered from the heartbreaking sights of people crying for help from under the Rana Plaza rubble.

Al least 500 civilian and government rescuers have developed post-traumatic disorder, with 150 of them facing it to an extent so extreme that it would hamper their professional and family lives, said Dr Abul Kashem, assistant registrar of the National Institute of Mental Health.
Take, for example, Swapan Hossain, 32, who often screams in his sleep at night.
“Right under the pillar there lies a woman. Time is running out. Let us save her,” Swapan is quoted as saying on some nights by his brother, Ripon.
He still lives under an illusion that had been a reality three months ago, when he, along with many other brave hearts, raced against time to save those trapped under the wreckage of Rana Plaza following its collapse on April 24.
read more.
daily star bd

* ‘It was an act of God’:

BGMEA boss says about Rana Plaza disaster, tries to save factory owners

The Rana Plaza victims were cheated out of their rightful dues by the BGMEA, which worked out the compensation package by profiling the industrial accident as a natural disaster.

“The building collapse was out of control of the owner. It was an act of God,” said Atiqul Islam, president of Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA), the garment sector’s apex trade body.
Consequently, the association employed sections 12, 16 and 20 of Bangladesh Labour Law 2006 to formulate the compensation package, which under-paid the victims significantly.
Section 12 of the law stipulates that owners can shut down their factories anytime in case of events beyond their control. Incidents of fire, malfunction, blackouts, epidemic and violence constitute such events.
Once it is established that the event activating section 12 has taken place, the factory owner is within his rights to lay off workers, as per section 16.
Section 20 stipulates that workers laid-off under section 16 are entitled to 30 days’ gratuity for every year of service.

“We paid the workers following this formula,” said Islam, adding that the BGMEA paid a month’s salary and overtime to each of the living workers.
The trade body has paid some 2,785 workers of the complex from the Tk 7 crore it pooled from its 2,500-odd members, who contributed Tk 25,000 each.
As for the families of dead or missing workers, Reaz-bin-Mahmood, vice-president of BGMEA, said they did not receive anything as their nominees could not be established at the time of disbursement of salaries.
read more.
daily star bd

* Rana Plaza survivors stage demo:

The garment workers who survived Rana Plaza collapse and the relatives of the deceased staged demonstration in front of Savar Bazar bus stand demanding arrear wages, festival allowance and compensation on Monday.

At least seven people were injured when police charged baton on the demonstrators as they blocked the Dhaka-Aricha Highway to press home their demand in the morning.
Witnesses said about 500-600 victims and relatives of the deceased staged demonstration in front of Savar Bazar bus stand at about 9.30 am.
read more. & read more. & read more.
UNB newstodayBD DAILYprime-news

* Rana Plaza survivors block Dhaka-Aricha highway:

The home-bound people had to suffer a lot stranding on a 6-kilometer tailback Monday morning as the survivors of Rana Plaza tragedy blocked the Dhaka-Aricha highway in Savar for two hours demanding their salaries and compensation.

Around 10 demonstrators were injured when law enforcers charged truncheons on them in a bid to clear the highway, reported our Savar correspondent quoting witnesses.
(…)
Several thousand vehicles carrying the home-bound people ahead of the Eid-ul-Fitr, the biggest religious festival of the Muslims, came to a halt as around 500 Rana Plaza survivors and their relatives took to the highway stretching from Ulail area to Radio Colony in Savar around 9:00am.
They demanded salaries for three months from May, Eid bonuses, compensation and costs of rehabilitation and treatment.
Under labour rules, the authorities of a factory must pay salaries for three months when they declare a factory closed, the agitating workers claimed.
read & see more (video).
daily star bd

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20130806-07

* Police charges batons on agitated Rana Plaza workers:

Police charged batons on agitated workers of different garment industries of the devastated Rana Plaza at Savar injuring at least thirty workers on Monday morning.

According to local sources, more than two thousand injured workers along with the family members of the missing workers brought out a procession from Rana Plaza area at around 10 AM.
While they were marching towards Upazila Nirbahi Officer’s office to seize it in demand of immediate compensations and Eid bonus along with due salary, police dispersed the procession by charging batons on the protestors.
Talking to The Independent, Inspector Aminul Islam of Savar Model Police Station said, “The protesters were blocking the road creating heavy traffic jam on the highway.” “That is why we dispersed them by mild baton charge,” he said.
Jui and Riya, two injured workers, told reporters that they were facing serious crisis as they have no job.
The owners did not pay due salary or any compensation to the injured workers, they alleged. Even they did not give any assistance to the family members of the missing workers.
to read.
INDEPENDENT

* Victims’demonstrate for dues, compensation:

20130806 DHAKATRIBUNE

A group of survivors of the Rana Plaza tragedy and family members of the deceased and missing workers demonstrated in Savar yesterday, demanding payment of their dues, Eid bonuses, and compensation.

Around 300 workers took position on the Dhaka- Aricha Highway for two hours from 8am. Police tried to disperse the crowd with batons but the protestors broke through the barricade.
They brought out a rally from the Rana Plaza premises under the banner of ‘Revolutionary Workers Committee’ blocking the Dhaka – Aricha highway for 30 minutes, leading to severe traffic congestion and causing inconvenience road-users.

One survivor, Monir, who used work on the fourth floor of the Rana plaza, told Dhaka Tribune: “Police confined us for 20 minutes in an alley beside the collapsed Rana Plaza premises.”
Another survivor named Saidul, who used to work on the sixth floor, said: “We are demonstrating for valid reasons. Although the government and Bangladesh Garments Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) assured us they would compensate us and pay our due salaries, the police charged us with batons and kept obstructing us repeatedly.”
read more. & read more.
DHAKATRIBUNE Ittefaq

* BGMEA president’s remarks condemned:

Eminent citizens and rights activists in a statement yesterday condemned BGMEA President Atiqul Islam’s claims that the Rana Plaza tragedy was “an act of God” and it was “beyond the owners’ control”.

Terming his claims shameless and audacious, they demanded that Atiqul withdraw what he said.
“His claims prove that Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) has taken sides with the murderous owners,” it said. The citizens and activists also demanded that proper compensation should be given to all workers and families affected by the building collapse.
Professor Emeritus of Dhaka University Serajul Islam Choudhury; theatre personality Mamunur Rashid; columnists Syed Abul Moksud and Rahnuma Ahmed; rights activist Khushi Kabir; professors Nasima Akter Hossain and Anu Mohammad, among others, signed the statement.
In another statement Bangladesh Garment Sramik Sanghati (BGSS) also refuted Atiqul Islam’s claims. “BGMEA is attempting to conceal the owners’ crimes and trying to clear itself of the liabilities of killing thousands of workers,” said the statement added.
to read.  & read more.
daily star bd

* 332 Rana Plaza victims still missing: CPD:

A large number of Readymade Garment (RMG) workers still remain missing since the incident of Rana Plaza that claimed 1,132 lives, injured thousand others and maimed a large number of workers.

“A total of 332 workers who were employed in these factories have not been identified,” said an Independent Monitoring Report on 100 days of Rana Plaza prepared by the civil society think tank Centre for Policy Dialogue quoting official estimates.
Relatives of missing workers, the report said, have authenticated documents such as pay slim, appointment letters, ID cards etc. Among the missing workers 69.8 per cent (235 workers) are female while 30.2 per cent (97 workers) are male.
Majority of missing workers are from Dhaka division (131), followed by Rajshahi (58), Rangpur (56), and Khula (39) and having age group ranging from 15 to 30 years. Quoting media reports, the report said that a total of 234 unidentified dead bodies have been buried from which 200 samples collected for DNA test. Part of these missing workers is supposed to be among these 234 unidentified workers even though another 98 workers will be remained untraced.
read more.
INDEPENDENT

* Workers’ organisation specifies compensation demands for victims:

Leaders of National Garment Workers Federation yesterday demanded that the families of workers killed in Rana Plaza tragedy should be given Tk 28 lakh each for their “loss of earning” while the injured workers should get Tk 5 lakh each.

Most families of the dead have not received any forms of necessary assistance let alone proper compensation, they added.
They said these while distributing sari, rice, sugar and vermicelli to 111 affected people of Rana Plaza tragedy, outside the office of Workers’ Party of Bangladesh in the capital.
The party President Rashed Khan Menon said the assistance provided from the prime minister’s fund as well as the the contributions made by different organisations were not enough.
read more.
daily star bd

* Eid brings no joy for Rana Plaza victims, families:

20130807 DAILYSTAR
The injured workers of the Rana Plaza garment factories and relatives of the missing and deceased victims stage a sit-in in front of the collapsed building in Savar from 3:00pm to 8:00pm yesterday as part of their continuous demonstration for payment of salaries from May, bonus, compensation and rehabilitation before Eid-ul-Fitr. Photo: Star

When most people around him are preparing to celebrate the Eid festival, Niru Sardar, a garment worker who lost the left eye in the Rana Plaza collapse, is fighting a battle for survival.

The 30-year-old sewing machine operator sold off a piece of land at his village home in Rajbari sadar upazila and spent the money for treatment for his wounded eye, nose, and head.
His four-member family is now totally dependent on charities for housing and food, as he has almost lost the capacity to work and needs more treatment, including a nose surgery.
With the hope to get some financial assistance, Niru came to Garment Workers’ Trade Union Centre in Genda, near Savar, where some donations arrived for the victims yesterday.
A total of Tk 2,000 is all he got there. Niru told The Daily Start that he did not receive any aid either from the government or the garment factory owners association, BGMEA, other than Tk 15,000 as his salaries.

Asked about his Eid plan, Niru said, “I cannot manage milk and barley for my four-month-old daughter. What will Eid mean to me?”
The baby was born four days before the nine-storey Rana Plaza in Savar crumbled on April 24, killing 1,132 people and leaving hundreds of others, including Niru, maimed or injured.
Six hours after he was pulled out alive from the rubble, Niru was sent to a local clinic before being shifted to the National Institute of Eye Science and Hospital at the capital’s Sher-e-Bangla Nagar.
He had been treated there for 51 days and then returned to his home in Savar.
“I didn’t get any financial help from anyone. I was at Sher-e-Bangla Nagar, and none visited me there or extended any help. But I have heard that many people helped the victims,” Niru said.
read more.
daily star bd

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20130807-08

* Rana plaza survivors want compensation, Eid bonus:

20130807 NEWAGE

The family members of victims and injured workers of Savar building collapse started a sit-in programme on ground zero of the Rana Plaza Wednesday morning to push their 4-point demands.

Their demand includes immediate compensation, paying their outstanding salaries and Eid bonuses before the Eid-ul-Fitr, permanent rehabilitation of the affected workers, publishing the DNA reports of the missing workers and settle their compensations and enlisting the missing persons as dead.
They threatened a hunger strike on the very day of the Eid if their demands were not met, family members of victims and surviving workers said.
They started the sit-in programme at about 8:00am with various banners, festoons and placards.
A police team led by additional police super of Dhaka Faruk Hossain rushed there at about 11 in the morning. The gatherers were using mike to chant slogans and their demands.
Police requested them to stop the announcement, as they had not sought permission.
An injured worker of Rana Plaza collapse, Yakub Ali, said, ‘The authority should immediately implement our demands.’
to read.

* Survivors, families go on hunger strike on Eid day:

Several hundred survivors of Rana Plaza collapse and the families of the workers who were killed or still missing or unidentified in the incident will have no celebration in the Eid-ul-Fitr as they are still crying for compensation and rehabilitation.

On Wednesday also they staged demonstrations for the compensation and threatened that they would go on hunger strike on the
Eid-day if their demands were not met immediately.
Many workers, who are still suffering from trauma and injuries at hospital and houses, could not be
employed yet and they it became almost impossible for them to run their family.
‘I am yet to buy fine rice for the Eid-day, how can I buy a dress for my only kid,’ said Mohammad Khokon, a worker of
New Wave Style one of the five garment factories housed in the collapsed building.
Khokon said he was yet to get employed due to ill physical condition.
read more.

* Another Rana Plaza worker dies:

Manowar, an injured worker of Rana Plaza, who had been fighting for live in a Savar hospital, died on Thursday morning.

Manowar, 18, had been in coma for more than 100 days after the devastating collapse of Rana Plaza, hospital sources said.
He died at about 8:45am in the ICU of Enam Medical College, the hospital management sources said.
His body was taken to Mithapukur upazila in Rangpur district, following completion of official procedures.
Manowar had sustained brain injury. He was admitted to the intensive care unit of the hospital on April 24.
The tragic collapse of eight-storey Rana Plaza left at least 1,131 people dead so far.
to read.& read more. & read more.
daily star bd

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20130809

* Workers decry non-payment of compensations:

Workers and relatives of the Rana Plaza victims slammed the government and the owners for denying them the compensations though three and a half months have passed by since the complex crashed down.

They observed a token hunger strike at the Shaheed Minar under the banner of Workers and Relatives Affected by Rana Plaza Building Collapse on the Eid day.
Rights activists, union leaders and leaders of the left-leaning parties also joined the demonstration expressing solidarity with the workers’ demands.
Many seriously injured workers are not getting the treatment as assured by the government and the owners, while the DNA-test of the dead bodies of about 300 workers is pending with the Dhaka Medical Hospital for an unreasonably long time, observed the workers and activists.
read more.
UNB

* Rana Plaza victims, families demo at Shaheed Minar:

20130809 DHAKATRIBUNE rana plaza
Survivors of Rana Plaza tragedy and family members of the deceased and missing workers demonstrate in Savar Monday 

Some 60 injured victims of Rana Plaza collapse and families of those missing and killed began a token mass sit-in programme at the Central Shaheed Minar on Friday.

The demonstrators, mostly women workers, gathered at the place around 11am and were chanting slogans demanding dues, Eid bonus, compensation and rehabilitation.
Jahangirnagar University teachers Prof Anu Muhammad and Prof Nasim Akhter Hossain, activists Rahnuma Ahmed and Arup Rahee, and Bangladesh Samajtantrik Dal leader Razequzzaman Ratan went to Shaheed Minar to express solidarity with the agitation.
read more.
DHAKATRIBUNE

* Rana Plaza survivors take part in hunger strike:

Around 200 family members of victims and surviving workers of collapsed Rana Plaza building in Savar went to the Dhaka Central Shahid Minar and took part in a hunger strike programme at about 11:00am Friday, the Eid-ul-Fitr, carrying out a prearranged programme.

Earlier, they started to gather on ground zero, renamed Shahid Bedi, of the Rana Plaza, at about 9:30am and left the place for Dhaka after half an hour.
A number of distinguished persons along with 10 to15 workers’ organizations expressed solidarity with the four-point demands of the protesters.
The demands include immediate compensation, payment of their outstanding salaries and Eid bonuses, permanent rehabilitation of the affected workers, publishing the DNA reports of the missing workers and settling their compensations, and declaring the missing persons as dead.
read more.

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20130810

* Rana Plaza victims, families protest at Shaheed Minar:

Politicians, professionals and academicians expressed solidarity with the token sit-in programme demanding dues

Injured victims of the Rana Plaza collapse, along with the families of those missing and killed, staged a token sit-in at the Central Shaheed Minar on Friday demanding their dues, Eid bonuses, promised compensation and rehabilitation.

Some 70 workers and family members of the victims gathered at the location around 11am and continued till 4pm, urging the government and the garment owners to realise their demands immediately.

Politicians, professionals and academicians expressed solidarity with them, and urged the government to streamline the compensation and rehabilitation activities, and ensure transparency in distribution.
read more.
DHAKATRIBUNE

20130807-12

20130807-11 * Bangladesh Factory Victims Wait as Compensation Meeting Delayed:

A meeting to determine compensation for victims of two factory disasters in Bangladesh was postponed until September after a union official fell ill, workers threatened to strike in Dhaka and European brands balked at attending over the summer.

“We thought it was a better solution to do this in Europe in September,” IndustriALL General Secretary Jyrki Raina, who is organizing the meeting, said by phone. “The problem is Rana Plaza workers and families aren’t receiving money, so it’s not as it should be.” The initial meeting to aid victims of the Rana Plaza collapse and Tazreen factory fire was planned for Aug. 11 and 12 in Dhaka.
The union and the Clean Clothes campaign want retailers including Benetton Group SA, Mango and Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (WMT) to agree to a lump sum payment for pain and suffering as well as lost earnings for the victims and dependents of those involved in the disasters.
IndustriALL estimates the long-term compensation cost will be $71 million for the Rana Plaza collapse, where 1,131 people were killed in the nation’s worst industrial accident, and $5.7 million for the Tazreen garment factory fire, which killed 112.
read more. & read more.
BLOOMBERG  DHAKATRIBUNE

20130809 * Bangladesh compensation meetings rescheduled:

The two compensation meetings for the victims and their families of the tragedies of Tazreen and Rana Plaza in Bagladesh planned to be held on August 11 and 12, have been postponed until September.

The meetings aim to put together a full and fair compensation package for all the victims and their families, and were to take place in Dhaka in August. After rescheduling the meetings will now be held in Geneva in September. The exact date has yet to be decided.

“With the sudden illness of a key union official and a strike threat in Bangladesh, we feel that the meetings will be more fruitful at a later date,” says IndustriALL General Secretary Jyrki Raina. “All major brands and signatories are invited and we are expecting a high level of attendance.”

Responsibility is shared between the brands and retailers sourcing from Tazreen and Rana Plaza, the factory owners, the BGMEA employers association, and the Bangladeshi government. The aim is to employ the industry’s best practice compensation mechanism that was developed after the Spectrum factory collapse in Bangladesh in 2005. That formula is in line with ILO Convention 121 on employment injury benefits.
read more.
Home

20130812 * Meeting to fix compensation package for Tazreen, Rana Plaza victims due next month:

The scheduled meeting to determine compensation for victims of Tazreen and Rana Plaza disasters this month has been postponed until September and is now due to be held in Geneva. But the date of meeting is yet to be fixed.

“Due to sudden illness of a key union official and a strike threat in Bangladesh, we feel that the meeting will be more fruitful at a later date,” said industrial General Secretary Jyrki Raina in a statement published on its website.
“All major brands and signatories are invited and we are expecting a high level of attendance,” he added.

“Because of my sudden illness, the scheduled meeting was postponed,” Roy Ramesh Chandra, general secretary of Industry — All Bangladesh Council told the FE.
Responsibility is shared between the brands and retailers sourcing from Tazreen and Rana Plaza, the factory owners, the BGMEA employers association, and the Bangladeshi government, the statement said.
read more.  & read more.

* Another succumbs to injuries:

After passing 107 days in a coma since the April 24 Rana Plaza building collapse, another victim succumbed to his injuries at the intensive care unit of Enam Medical College and Hospital in Savar on Thursday, bringing the death toll to 1,133.

The deceased Monwar Hossain, 22, used to iron clothes at New Wave Bottoms Ltd, housed in the nine-storey building, his father, Abul Hossain, told The Daily Star.
Hailing from Jadabpur village of Mithapukur upazila in Rangpur district, Monwar used to live with his uncle Atiar Rahman in Savar, he added.
The hospital’s Director (Media) Jahidur Rahman informed The Daily Star that the victim’s family members had received the body.
Right after his rescued, confusion had arisen over Monwar’s identity. His face was wrapped in bandages and two persons had claimed him as their child.
read more. & read more.
daily star bd INDEPENDENT

20130812 * Rana Plaza workers observe hunger strike on Eid day:

Politicians, academics and garment workers’ leaders on Friday at a mass hunger strike at the Central Shaheed Minar demanded adequate compensations for the workers affected by the collapse of Rana Plaza.

The affected workers of the Rana Plaza have not been compensated adequately and some workers still remain missing, the leaders said at the mass hunger strike rally.
The wounded workers and their families held a three-hour mass hunger strike on the Eid day.
The affected workers will hold a rally at Savar  Adhar Chandra High School ground on August 23  to press  home their demands, including sufficient com
read more.

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20130814

* Army seeks more information on Rana Plaza tragedy:

Bangladesh Army in a letter sought more information from Dhaka District Administration on Rana Plaza tragedy which had killed more than 1,133 people, mainly poor ready-made garment workers.

According to the official sources, Major Saidur Rahman, on behalf of Bangladesh Army, on July 31 wrote a letter to the Dhaka District Administrator seeking the death list, list of missing people, list of the patients who were under long-term physical treatment and names of the patients who left hospitals after getting treatment along with the total numbers of physically disable victims. Bangladesh Army also requested the local civil administration to provide the accurate numbers of the victimised shop keepers and the total figures of damaged vehicles at the destroyed Rana Plaza, where there were five garments factories, a shopping mall and a private bank in the nine storied building.
The office of Savar Upazila Nirbahi Officer received the letter at 11:49 AM on August 13 over the official fax, the Independent correspondent confirmed.
(…)
Meanwhile, in wake of allegation of lack of coordination among different government authorities over rehabilitation process, the International Labour Organization (ILO) is planning to set up a local coordination office at Savar very soon.
About the probable date of opening the ILO coordination office in Savar, UNO Kamrul Hasan Mollah said, ‘‘Still it is under consideration of the government.”
read more.
INDEPENDENT

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20130816

20130817 how much longer! 20

* Benetton and Mango: come to Bangladesh, and pay compensation!:

Recently, we asked you to call on Benetton and Mango to go to the Tazreen and Rana Plaza compensation meetings in Bangladesh because the right to fair compensation ‘unites all people’.

Both brands are getting the message LOUD and CLEAR; thousands of supporters are posting their concerns on their Facebook pages.

Benetton and Mango have not yet agreed to attend the meetings. These are well-known European brands. They can afford to make sure these families don’t continue to suffer.

Unfortunately, due to sudden ill health of IndustriALL’s Bangladesh representative, the meetings scheduled for August 11 and 12 have been postponed until September. This doesn’t mean we let the brands off the hook. Keep pushing Benetton  and Mango to attend the meetings and pay compensation. If you have a Twitter account, click here and leave your message automatically. You can of course also leave your own  message at @mango and @benetton.

United colours, united responsibility! @Benetton and @Mango, pay full #compensation now!
read more.
Site

* Bangladesh factory collapse victims seek help:

Orphans of workers killed in April disaster wait for compensation, as injured struggle to support their families.

In the wake of Bangladesh’s deadly garment factory collapse in April, the workers who were injured and family members of those killed, including orphans, were promised compensation.

But four months on, many of the victims and their relatives continue to struggle without work or a means to support themselves.
read & see more. (video report).
aljazeera

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20130822

* Bring initiatives under single umbrella:

Initiatives redressing the loss suffered by Rana Plaza victims must be brought under a single organisational umbrella to create a more transparent system for providing compensation, urged Dr Kamal Hossain at a discussion yesterday.

“A lot of people are donating money to funds created by different organisations but there is no actual record of the amount of money provided to victims so far and to whom. Moreover, there are several lists of the number of the dead, injured and missing victims but nothing absolute,” he said.
Representatives of 20 garment workers’ organisations and lawyers convened the discussion in the capital’s Supreme Court Bar Association premises.
They also demanded that the Prime Minister’s Office and Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association provide details on the amount of money which had accumulated in their funds and to whom it was being given.
A separate tribunal could be created to deal with cases, like those of the Savar victims, where victims could seek compensation for having been wronged, advised Barrister Amirul Islam.
“This is because the normal civil court proceedings are delayed by a backlog of cases,” he said.
read more.
daily star bd

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20130823

* Four months of Rana Plaza tragedy tomorrow:

On Saturday, different organisations will mark four months of the Rana Plaza tragedy.

On April 24, the eight-storey Rana Plaza at the Savar bus stand collapsed and killed 1123 people, most of whom were garment workers.
Different garment labour rights bodies have chalked out programmes to observe the day, both at Savar and in the capital.
Bangladesh Garment Sramik Sanghati will hold a protest rally in front of the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association Bhaban at 10:00am at Kawranbazar demanding compensation for the affected people in the collapse.
National Garment Workers Federation will hold a protest rally in front of the National Press Club at 11:00am.
Different garment labour rights bodies will hold rallies and processions on ground zero of the Rana Plaza at Savar.
to read.
BD new age
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20130824-25

* Apparel workers demonstrate before BGMEA building:

Survivors of the Rana Plaza collapse staged a demonstration in front of Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) building at Karwan Bazar in the city on Saturday, marking the four months into the devastation.

Bangladesh Garments Sramik Sanghati, a platform of garment workers, organised the protest.
The workers body demanded immediate payment of their arrears and compensations and make a final list of dead and injured workers.
They also pressed for implementation of the workers’ rights to associate at all garment factories and fix Tk 8,000 as the minimum monthly wage for a seamstress.
During the demonstration, many survivors burst into tears as they described their harsh struggle to live since the collapse of Rana Plaza.
More than 1,100 workers died and scores of workers were wounded in the worst factory devastation on April 24 this year.
They also called for help to trace out their missing loved ones.
They also demanded that the authorities give death penalties to the owners of the Rana Plaza and the several apparel factories housed there.
to read.
BD new age

* Apparel workers rally outside BGMEA building:

20130825 NEWAGE
The National Garment Workers Federation form a human chain in Dhaka on Saturday, protesting at the delay in the disbursement of compensation to Rana Plaza collapse victims. — New Age photo

Survivors of the Rana Plaza collapse went on demonstrations in front the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters’ Association building in the capital on Saturday marking four months of of the disaster.

Apparel workers’ platform Bangladesh Garments Sramik Sanghati organised the protests where they demanded an immediate payment of their dues and compensations. They also demanded that the association should publish a list of the people who were killed and wounded in the building collapse that took place on April 24.
The building collapse left 1,132 people, mostly apparel workers, dead and about 2,500 wounded.
According to a group working with apparel workers, the search for the deceased in the Rana Plaza rubble was called off on May 13 when 374 workers were still missing.
The National Garment Workers Federation, meanwhile on the day, formed a human chain in the capital demanding compensation for the survivors and the deceased in the building collapse. They also demanded workplace safety.
read more.
BD new age

* Human chain demands compensation for victims, families:

National Garment Workers Federation, survivors of Rana Plaza collapse and families of those who died during the disaster   formed a human chain yesterday demanding proper compensation for the victims and that the authorities disclose the list of dead and missing workers.

They formed the human chain in front of Jatiya Press Club in the capital after four months of the building collapse which killed at least 1,132 people.
Meanwhile, Bangladesh Garments Workers Samity also formed a human chain before the BGMEA building with the same demands.
Participants at the human chain said although four months have passed since the disaster, the victims have not received anything.
They urged the government to pay compensation on “the loss of earning” basis. In that case, the compensation should be Tk 28 lakh for dead victims’ families and Tk 5 lakh for the injured workers.
to read.
daily star bd
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20130826

* Workers Voice Discontent After 4 Months Of The Rana Plaza Tragedy:

4 months have passed after the tragic Rana Plaza Collapse at Savar, Bangladesh. Victims and families of the deceased still mourn their helplessness at the tragedy site everyday, while come together in protest when the pain grows unbearable.

On 24 August, as the 4th month of Rana Plaza passed away, victims-rights activists-families of victims came together in protest infront of the BGMEA Headquarters demanding compensation for the surviving victims and a full report on the identification of missing victims.

Later on Sunday morning, 25 August 2013, apparel workers blocked New Airport Road in Joar Sahara area of the capital demanding a hike in their salaries and other benefits including attendance bonus and lunch allowances.
The demonstration that started around 8:00am caused huge traffic congestion on the road in the morning rush hours.
read more.

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20130828

* Bangladesh textile workers await compensation:

20130828 DW

Since the collapse of a building in Dhaka, which killed over 1,000 textile workers, victims and their families have yet to be compensated. Negotiations are due in September, but most companies have refused to pay so far.

Some four million people work in Bangladesh’s textile industry, an economic sector expected to drive the country into a better future. But also Salma, who had left her nine-month-old daughter back in her parent’s village to find work in a garment factory in the Bangladeshi capital Dhaka, had hopes for a better life.

In a video commissioned by the Dutch church organization ICCO, she talks about her desperate situation after the factory building collapsed in Rana Plaza on April 24 this year and how an injury to her spine paralyzed her. She doesn’t know how she will be able to earn a living now.

’25 years of lost wages
The collapse of the illegally constructed factory building killed 1,134 people. To this day it remains unclear exactly how many people were injured, but Jyrki Raina, General Secretary of IndustriALL Global Union, puts the figure at 2,500. The unionist has called for binding and compressive compensation, based on the norms set by the International Labor Organization (ILO): “We calculate 25 years of lost wages for the victims,” Raina told DW.

IndustriALL, a federation with 50 million union members from 140 countries, recently invited the companies who had ordered garments from Rana Plaza to talk about compensation claims. The meeting, which is scheduled to take place in September, is supported by Clean Clothes Campaign, an Amsterdam-based organization focused on improving working conditions in the global garment industry.
read more.
DW

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20130829

* Govt to send rejoinder to NY Times editorial:

Rana Plaza victims’ compensation

The government has taken a move to send a rejoinder to The New York Times against its recent editorial on payment of compensations to the Rana Plaza victims.

It already asked the authorities concerned to take necessary steps for sending the rejoinder, sources mentioned.
There had been criticisms regarding the payment of compensation both at home in abroad, the sources said adding that labour leaders have been demanding specific announcement on the compensation package.

The NY Times said after the Rana Plaza disaster, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina promised to give the relatives of each dead worker about $1,250 in cash and $19,000 in savings certificates.
The money was supposed to come from the government and from private donations by, among others, the factory owners.

But the government is yet to distribute most of that money. It has provided sums ranging from $1,250 to $5,000 to about 777 families, far short of the total compensation it had promised.
Also, many of the remaining families have not received any aid at all, because the government has not moved fast enough to identify nearly 300 bodies, it added.

On august 21, ministry of foreign affairs in a letter to the ministry of commerce (MoC) asked to prepare a rejoinder/report against the NY Times’ allegation of insufficient compensation, distributed among the Rana Plaza victims.
read more.

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20130830

* Dear Friends of the NGWF:

Four months after the collapse of Rana Plaza, the children and family members of workers who lost their lives or were injured during the tragedy gathered to form a human to chain. They demanded immediate compensation, support for the families of workers who died or were injured at Rana Plaza, and the creation of safe workplaces.

Rana Plaza, human chain.

The NGWF has demanded that immediate compensation be paid to the families of the injured and deceased, the provision of proper medical treatment for injured garment workers, compensation for the children of dead garment workers, and the creation of safe workplaces within Bangladesh’s garment industry.

In a human chain formed with NGWF President Amirul Haque Amin in front of the National Press Club on August, 24th 2013 at 11 am, speakers repeated these demands. The speakers included NGWF General Secretary Ms. Safia Pervin & central leaders Nurun Nahar, Dr. Faruque Khan, Ms. Sultana Akter, Dr. Kabir Hossain, Dr. Rafiq and Ms. Arifa Akter. More than 100 orphans and other members of the families of injured and deceased workers participated in the human chain.

Speakers announced that the 24th of August marked the passing of four months since the Rana Plaza Tragedy. On 24 April, 2013, 1133 garment workers died and more than 1500 garments workers were seriously injured when the Rana Plaza building collapsed. Today, more than 100 injured workers are still under medical treatment in the different hospitals in Dhaka.  Some lost their hands, legs and other parts of their bodies.

The government and other relevant quarters committed to pay compensation within 3 months and to supply emergency support and rehabilitation to injured workers and the families of deceased injured workers, but they have yet to follow through on those commitments. Even the victims did not receive emergency help from the government and other relevant organizations like the BGMEA & BKMEA.
read more.
ilrf

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20130831

* Children of victims want education:

The school-going children of the victims of Rana Plaza collapse yesterday demanded that the government ensure education opportunities for them.

They said they will most likely have to stop going to school as their families cannot bear their education expenses.
The children were speaking at a programme organised by Socialist Students Front (SSF), student wing of Socialist Party of Bangladesh, at Savar Girls School yesterday.
Sagorica Akter Toma, a class II student of Emandipur Government Primary School, said her mother, Zahanara Begum, went missing in the collapse of nine-storey Rana Plaza. She said her mother used to work at New Wave Style Ltd, one of the garment factories housed in Rana Plaza.
“My mother used to pay my school fees. I will probably have to stop going to school now, she said.

She said her father Dukhu Miah is a rickshaw puller and earns only Tk 5,000 to Tk 5,500 monthly, which is not enough to maintain their household costs and education costs.
“I also have a younger brother who is a class one student of Emandipur Brac School,” she said.
read more.
daily star bd

* Yunus discusses Rana plaza with GITI in Berlin:

As a follow up of Nobel laureate Professor Muhammad Yunus a preparatory conference was held in Berlin on August 29, 2013 at the Humboldt-Viadrina School of Governance on addressing the issues raised in  Bangladesh after the Rana Plaza tragedy.

Conference was convened by Yunus Centre and the  Humboldt-Viadrina School of Governance to organize a global conference to launch Garment Industry Transparency Initiative (GITI) at the suggestion of Professor Yunus  in the backdrop  of  Rana Plaza tragedy.  Professor Peter Eigen, founder of transparency international, responded positively to the suggestion made by Professor Yunus and took steps to create GITI,  following the example of Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative (EITI).

This approach is set out as a joint approach of Governments, factory owners, labor, and the retailing companies, and the civil society in both producing and consuming countries.  It will find an agreement among the involved parties with regard to comprehensive standards on labor conditions.  GITI does not intend want to compete with other initiatives, but rather support these and complement their actions. Founding of GITI is being carried out jointly by Yunus Centre in Dhaka, and the Humboldt-VIADRINA School of Governance in Berlin.

Preparatory conference in Berlin was attended by 135 representatives from Government, NGOs, garment industries, labor associations, academics, and other.
read more.
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20130901

* 261 persons confirmed missing in Rana Plaza devastation: Army:

The Bangladesh Army, who led the Rana Plaza rescue operation, on Sunday said they have confirmed a list of 261 missing persons in the country’s worst industrial disaster, on the outskirt of the capital, this April.       

Following the Rana Plaza collapse, the army had prepared a list of 329 missing persons. But after verifying the data, they now trimmed the list and made a file of 261 missing workers.
The list has been sent to the Prime Minister Office, a press release of the Inter-Services Public Relations said on Sunday.
The eight-storey Rana Plaza, which housed five clothing factories, a shopping mall and a bank, collapsed on the morning of April 24, leaving at least 1,132 people dead and about 2,000 injured.
A meeting was held recently at Savar cantonment and formed two sub-committees—one led by Prof MM Akash to determine compensations for the victims and injured persons and another led by the directorate general of health services’ director professor ABM Abdul Hannan to evaluate physical conditions of the injured.
Both the sub-committees are supposed to submit their reports to the authorities by September 20.
to read. & read more.
BD new age BANGLA NEWS24++++++++
20130902

* Sub-committees formed to fix compensation:

A committee to set compensation rate for Rana Plaza collapse victims on Thursday formed two sub-committees asking them to submit their reports by September 20.

A sub-committee, headed by economist Prof MM Akash, will formulate a draft for providing financial benefits, while another sub-committee, headed by Dr ABM Abdul Hannan, director (hospital service) of the Directorate General of Health Services, will examine the health condition of the victims.
After scrutinising the two reports, the main committee will hold its next meeting by the last week of September, said an ISPR press release yesterday.
Following High Court directives, the committee comprising of general officer commanding (GOC) of Nine Infantry Division and officials of other related organisation was formed on May 6.
Besides, a list of 261 missing persons will be sent to the Prime Minister’s Office for further steps.
At least 1,133 people were killed and over 2,000 others injured in the collapse on April 24 in Savar.
to read.
daily star bd

* PM receives more donations for Rana Plaza victims:

Officials and employees of the Health and Family Welfare Ministry and other organisations under it on Monday donated their one day’s salary to the Prime Minister’s Relief and Welfare Fund for the Savar Rana Plaza collapse victims.

PM’s Press Secretary Abul Kalam Azad said they handed over a cheque of Tk 1. 54 crore to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina at her Secretariat office.
Health Minister Dr AFM Ruhal Haque and senior officials of the ministry were present on the occasion.
to read. & read more.
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20130904

* BASIS makes donations to 40 Rana Plaza victims:

Bangladesh Association of Software and Information Services (BASIS) yesterday distributed Tk 8 lakh among 40 victims of the Rana Plaza tragedy in an effort to improve their lives.

“Although it is a small contribution, it will encourage other corporate firms to come forward to assist the victims and their families,” said AKM Fahim Mashroor, president of BASIS, who handed over the cheques of Tk 20,000 each to the victims.
Two rescuers were also awarded at the event for their contribution to saving the victims of the building collapse. The association is set to remunerate 10 more victims of Rana Plaza.
to read.
daily star bd

* StanChart donates to Tk 29 lakh for Rana Plaza victims:

Standard Chartered Bank, Bangladesh has recently handed over a cheque of Tk 2,900,000 to Centre for the Rehabilitation of the Paralysed (CRP) for the victims of Savar Rana Plaza building collapse tragedy.

Abrar A Anwar, acting CEO of Standard Chartered Bangladesh along with Bitopi Das Chowdhury, Head of Corporate Affairs, handed over the cheque to M Shafiq –ul Islam, Executive Director of CRP, said a media release on Wednesday.
Standard Chartered Bangladesh previously also donated through Association of Bankers Bangladesh (ABB) to support these victims.
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20130906

* Geneva meet to fix compensation for RMG victims of Tazreen and Rana Plaza:

ILO facilitates global brands’ meeting Sept 11-12

An international meeting to determine compensation for readymade garment (RMG) victims of Tazreen and Rana Plaza disasters will be held in Geneva on September 11 and 12.

The meeting will focus on development of a collaborative process for determining the amount of compensation and the process of distributing those to those whose family life, economic well-being and health have been severely shattered as a result of these tragedies. The process will draw on an existing framework established following previous tragedies in the Bangladeshi garment industry.

Earlier the meeting was scheduled to be held in Dhaka on August 11 and 12 but was deferred due to sudden illness of a key union official and a strike threat in Bangladesh.
The first meeting will discuss compensation for the Tazreen victims while the second for the Rana Plaza and will seek to achieve proper compensation payments to the victims and survivors of the two industrial accidents, a statement issued by IndustriALL Global Union said Wednesday.
(…)
In an another statement, Clean Clothes Campaign (CCC)– the largest global alliance of labour unions in the ready-made garment (RMG) sector– said the CCC is increasing its pressure on Benetton, Mango and other fashion brands to pay full and fair compensation to victims of the Tazreen fire and Rana Plaza building collapse in Bangladesh.
All brands, including Walmart, which are linked to the Tazreen and Rana Plaza disasters are being called to attend the meetings.
read more.

* RMG victims compensation talks in Geneva next week:

The meetings will seek to achieve proper compensation payments to the victims and survivors of the two industrial accidents

Bangladesh compensation meetings, aiming to provide compensation package for victims of Rana Plaza collapse and Tazreen fire incidents, will be held on Wednesday and Thursday next in Geneva.

The meetings will seek to achieve proper compensation payments to the victims and survivors of the two industrial accidents, said a statement of IndustriALL Global Union.
“IndustriALL is working hard to get brands and retailers that sourced from Tazreen and Rana Plaza to participate in talks,” it reads.
The meetings will be hosted and neutrally chaired by the International Labour Organisation (ILO).
“The message to brands from IndustriALL will be clear,” stated IndustriALL Assistant General Secretary Monika Kemperle.
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20130907

* CCC, brands sit in Geneva Sept 11-12 to set compensation:

Clean Clothes Campaign and IndustriALL Global Union, the two largest global alliances of labour unions in the clothing sector, are going to sit with all the brands that were linked to the Tazreen and Rana Plaza factories on September 11 and 12 to fix the compensation package for the  victims.

Representatives of the Bangladesh government and the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exports Association have also been invited to attend the meeting to be facilitated by International Labour Organisation as a neutral and independent chair, the CCC said in a statement.
The Tazreen fire killed at least 112 RMG workers on November 24 last year and the Rana Plaza building collapse killed at least 1,133 workers on April 24.
‘A small amount of compensation has been paid to the victims in both cases which is insufficient and the information on who has received what is uncoordinated and lacking in transparency,’ the CCC said on its website.
The CCC expects the brands to make commitments to paying compensation and to collectively develop a mechanism with other stakeholders that will ensure the money is transparently distributed, so as to ensure the people affected can restart their lives, the statement said.
read more.
BD new age

* Global retailers urged to compensate Tazreen, Rana Plaza victims fairly:

All brands, including Walmart, who are linked to the Tazreen and Rana Plaza disasters are being called on to attend the meetings on compensation in Geneva

The Clean Clothes Campaign is increasing its pressure on Benetton, Mango and other fashion brands to pay full and fair compensation to victims of Tazreen fire and the collapse of Rana Plaza that housed five garments.

All brands, including Walmart, who are linked to the Tazreen and Rana Plaza disasters are being called on to attend the meetings on compensation in Geneva on September 11 (Tazreen) and 12 (Rana Plaza) convened by IndustriALL Global Union.
(…))
Consumers from all over Europe are using social media to call on Mango and Benetton to come to the compensation meeting and pay Rana Plaza survivors, according to a Clean Clothes Campaign (CCC) press release.
However, BGMEA Vice-President Reaz Bin Mahmood said they would not join the meeting, which he said was “meant for the retailers and the buyers.”
Moreover, the BGMEA was not invited to the meeting, he claimed.
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20130908

* Leading brands may announce compensation package for Rana Plaza victims:

An international trade union in its efforts to create a US$76.7 million compensation package for the victims of recent industrial disasters in Bangladesh has convened a meeting of leading brands and retailers in Geneva this week.

The meeting, to be held on Wednesday and Thursday, is likely to be attended specially by those reputed firms that procure their merchandise from Bangladesh garment factories, said the Copenhagen-based IndustriAll Global Union, an organisation dedicated to protect rights of workers.

To be presided over by a senior official of the International Labour Organisation (ILO) as a neutral and independent participant, the meeting besides realising commitment from the individual brands and retailers will also try to develop a mechanism to ensure quick and transparent distribution of the compensation amount to the real victims of the two recent most deadly industrial disasters, said the Union in a statement on its website.
read more.

* Survivors of Bangladesh garment factory collapse still suffering, 5 months later:

Rafiqul Islam can’t recall how many people he pulled from the rubble of Rana Plaza, the eight-story factory complex that collapsed in April, killing more than 1,100 people. But he knows how many he cut out with a hacksaw blade — eight. He did so in spaces so cramped that at one point he became trapped himself.

Those 18 days as a volunteer rescue worker left their scars. Islam has suffered memory lapses and had a series of violent outbursts, and wound up losing his job. Now he wanders alone most days, not sure where to go — until the voices bring him back to the place where he saved so many people and lost himself.

I hear them still, calling for me,” he says, staring into a mound of broken concrete, torn fabric and twisted iron.

Nearly five months after the deadliest incident in garment manufacturing history, the suffering is far from over for the victims, their relatives and the rescue workers. Many families have received only part of their promised financial compensation. And activists and health-care professionals decry a lack of psychological and financial support for scores of survivors and rescue workers stricken with invisible handicaps.

“After the Rana Plaza tragedy, people are so concerned with the physical impact, but they are completely ignoring the psychological,” said Abdus Sabur, an adviser to the Sajida Foundation, a leading Bangladeshi social development organization. “Mental health is not taken seriously at all in this country.”
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20130910

* Brands Failing Victims of Bangladesh Disasters:

* Over twenty brands refuse discuss compensation for dead and injured   workers
* Twelve brands committed to attend meetings
* Clean Clothes Campaign urges all, including Walmart, Benetton and
Mango to attend

The Clean Clothes Campaign welcomes the news that 12 brands have agreed to attend meetings in Geneva to discuss the provision of long term compensation to the victims of the Rana Plaza and Tazreen factory diasters in Bangladesh. However it remains shocked at the refusal of over twenty others to take responsibility. It calls
on the remaining brands, including Wlamart, Benetton and Mango to reconsider and take part in the negotiations.

The meetings have been called by the global union IndustriALL and will be hosted by the International Labour Organisation, who will also act as a neutral chair. The participants will discuss the setting up of a fund to pay out compensation to those families affected by the fire at Tazreen Fashions in November 2012 and the collapse of five garment factories housed at the Rana Plaza building in April 2013.
The compensation amounts under discussion should cover payment for pain and suffering, loss of income, educational costs for children who lost parents and medical expenses.
It is expected that funds will be contributed by all stakeholders including brands, the industry and the Bangladesh government.

 ”It is now almost nine months since the fire at Tazreen and five months since the collapse at Rana Plaza,” said Ineke Zeldenrust of the Clean Clothes Campaign. “Those families affected are struggling to cope in the aftermath of these disasters and we are hearing daily of families at risk of losing their homes and struggling to get the medical and psychological treatment they need. The issue of compensation is urgent and pressing and we hope for a constructive meeting and a positive outcome for these workers and their families.”

A number of brands and retailers have, to date, refused to accept responsibility for the fate of the workers killed and injured in the two disasters. Walmart, which was linked to both Tazreen and Rana Plaza, has yet to make any commitment to the payment of compensation in either case. Benetton and Mango, both of whom had orders at factories housed in Rana Plaza have also remained silent on whether
they will attend the meeting.

 ”These workers risked their lives earning a pittance to make clothes for Walmart, Benetton and Mango,” added Zeldenrust.
“As a result they have lost their jobs, their health and in the worst cases their lives. The least these brands can do now is commit to paying what is needed for these families to start rebuilding their future. We urge all of them to take responsibility for the lives ruined by these disasters and to attend the meetings this week.”
to read.
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Update on brands associated with Tazreen and Rana Plaza and compensation.
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* PM to give financial assistance to Savar building collapse victims Thursday:

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Thursday will give financial assistance to the Savar building collapse victims.

She will handover the cheques of financial assistance at her office at 10:30 am, said PM’s press secretary Abul Kalam Azad.
This will be the eighth phase of handing over of financial assistance to the victims and their family members.
So far, a total of Tk 11.97 crore has been provided from the Prime Minister’s Relief and Welfare Fund.to 1,016 persons belonging to the families of 777 victims of the Savar Rana Plaza tragedy.
Besides, savings certificates worth Tk 3.30 crore have been given to 30 injured persons from the same fund.
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20130911

* Compensation to BD RMG disaster victims- 12 brands agree to meet in Geneva, 20 others refuse:

Twelve brands have agreed to attend meetings in Geneva to discuss the provision for offering long-term compensation to the victims of Rana Plaza and Tazreen factory disasters in Bangladesh. Over twenty others have refused to take responsibility.

The meetings to be held on Wednesday and Thursday, called by the global union IndustriALL, will be hosted by the International Labour Organisation (ILO), which will also act as a neutral chair.

The first meeting will discuss compensation for the Tazreen Fashions victims, while the second one will have focus on the Rana Plaza, a statement issued by Clean Clothes Campaign (CCC) — the largest global alliance of labour unions in the ready-made garment (RMG) sector, said Monday.

The brands which agreed to attend the meetings are C&A(NL), El Corte Ingles (ES) and Karl Rieker (DE) to talk on Tazreen, and Bonmarché (UK), Camaieu (FR), El Corte Ingles (ES), Inditex (ES), Loblaw (CA), Mascot (DK), Matalan (UK), Primark (UK) and Store Twenty One (UK) will discuss the case of Rana Plaza.

The CCC called on the remaining brands, including Walmart, Benetton and Mango, to reconsider their stance and take part in the negotiations.
read more.

* Most brands staying away as meeting begins in Geneva today:

More than twenty clothing brands have refused to discuss with Clean Clothes Campaign and IndustriALL Global Union, two largest global alliances of labour unions in the clothing sector, over setting compensation package for the victims of Tazreen Fashions fire and Rana Plaza collapse in a meeting that begins today in Geneva.

The CCC and the IndustriALL Global Union are organising the two-day meeting with the global brands which had business link with Tazreen Fashions and factories housed in Rana Plaza.
Only 12 brands have pledged to attend the meeting, the CCC said in a statement posted on its web site on Monday.
The statement said the meeting was called mainly by the global union IndustriALL and would be hosted by the International Labour Organisation, which would also act as a neutral chair.
read more.
BD new age

* Garment makers to discuss Bangladesh compensation:

Some of the world’s major garment makers are to meet to discuss compensation for workers injured and killed in accidents in Bangladesh, reported BBC.

They are to work out details of damages for those affected by accidents including the collapse in April of the Rana Plaza building.
More than 1,200 people died and 2,500 were injured in the disaster.
BBC also reported trades unions say many families of those killed in the Rana Plaza collapse are now struggling to survive.
The meeting will also discuss compensation for victims of other accidents, including the fire at Tazreen Fashions in the capital Dhaka last November, in which over 100 people died.
The two-day meeting in Geneva has been called by the global trade union IndustriALL.
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BD new age  UNB INDEPENDENT BANGLA NEWS24

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20130912

* Retailers discuss compensation for BD factory disaster victims:

A dozen retailers and clothing brands are meeting in Geneva to discuss providing compensation to the victims of the Rana Plaza and Tazreen factory disasters in Bangladesh, although several companies were noticeable by their absence.
The talks, chaired by the International Labour Organisation in Geneva, are aimed at setting up funds to compensate the victims of both the Rana Plaza disaster in April, when an eight-storey building collapsed, killing 1,129 people, and the fire at the Tazreen Fashion factory in November, 2012 that killed 112 workers.
(…)
“The families and the injured have already waited far too long,” said Monika Kemperle, assistant general secretary of the IndustriALL international trade union federation that is coordinating the talks.
“Companies who are serious about conditions in their Bangladeshi production chain can send a clear sign of their sincerity at these meetings,” she said in a statement.
read more.

* Savar Building Collapse: PM gives financial assistance to more injured:

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina gave financial assistance from her Relief and Welfare Fund on Thursday to more garment workers injured critically in the tragic ‘Rana Plaza’ building collapse in Savar on April 24 this year.

She handed over savings certificates worth Tk 1.05 crore among 10 garment workers, who lost their physical ability to work, at a function at her Tejgaon office.
This was the eighth phase of financial assistance given to the victims and their family members.
The Prime Minister also provided financial assistance totaling Tk 1,42,14,000 to 22 hospitals and clinics in recognition of their services for the cause of humanity after the traumatic incident.
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UNB BSS DHAKATRIBUNE Ittefaq primenews bdnews24

* Rana’s father gets bail:

The High Court on Thursday granted interim bail to Abdul Khaleque, father of collapsed Rana Plaza’s owner Sohel Rana, in one of two cases lodged against them over Rana Plaza collapse on April 24.

A vacation bench of Justice Md Nizamul Huq and Justice Kashifa Hossain granted his bail, in the case filed by Rajdhani Unnayan Kartripakkha, on charge of constructing the nine-story Rana Plaza violating the Building Code.
The bench, however, returned to the counsel Khaleque’s petition seeking bail in the other case filed by police with Savar police station for causing death of 1,127 workers, scrores seriously injured,  with many losing their limbs in the collapse of Rana Plaza, that housed five clothing factories.
Additional attorney general MK Rahman opposed the bail petitions while Supreme Court lawyer Nazmul Huda represented the petitioner.
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* Pay more to ensure compliance: PM to int’l buyers:

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Thursday called upon the international buyers to play their due role in helping Bangladesh garment industries to follow compliance in the sector by raising product prices.

“The international buyers could help Bangladesh garment industries follow compliance in the sector through increasing product prices,” she said.
She came up with the view when British MPs Rushanara Ali and Shabana Mahmood met her at her official residence Ganobhaban in the evening.
read more.
UNB

* Retailers’ meet begins in Geneva to negotiate $77mn compensation:

A dozen global retailers began two days of meetings in Geneva has begun to negotiate a $77 million compensation package for the victims of two Bangladesh garment factory accidents, as labor unions pressed the companies for payments that would acknowledge their responsibility for the country’s worst facilities.

Companies including Primark, part of Associated British Foods PLC and German discounter KiK Textilien und Non-Food GmbH—all of which had clothes that were made at one of the stricken plants—are attending the meetings at the International Labour Organization, said the companies and organizers, reports The Wall Street Journal.
Many other major retailers with manufacturing links to the factories aren’t participating, including Benetton SpA and Mango MNG Holding SL, organizers said. The most notable absentee was Wal-Mart Stores Inc., one of the biggest buyers of clothes made in Bangladesh.

The meeting escalates the debate over who should bear responsibility for accidents that result from flawed manufacturing standards.

Some companies are reluctant to make payments to victims of those accidents that could acknowledge their responsibility—and open themselves to lawsuits—for events they believe they couldn’t control. Some labor groups counter that apparel companies are broadly responsible even if they weren’t producing in the factories at the time of the disasters.
(…)

Wal-Mart acknowledges some of its clothes were at the Tazreen factory, at the time of the November fire. It also said its clothes had previously been made in the Rana Plaza building but that it didn’t have production at the time of the disaster. In both cases, Wal-Mart said, its clothes were at the factories without its knowledge via unauthorized subcontracting.

The retailer wouldn’t say whether it will pay compensation to the families of the workers who died at Tazreen and declined to make its sourcing executives available for comment. “We are focused on investing our resources in proactive programs that will address fire safety in the garment and textile industry in Bangladesh and prevent fires before they happen,” said Wal-Mart spokesman Kevin Gardner.

Paying compensation implies greater responsibility than underwriting building repairs, labor activists say.

“A lot of brands want to be associated with prevention, but not with reparation,” says Ineke Zeldenrust, the lead coordinator at the Clean Clothes Campaign, a garment workers’ rights group.
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UNB

MUST WAIT

A disappointing outcome, as many brands fail to live up to their responsability and leave Bangladeshi victims and their relatives in the cold.

  • Eleven brands join discussions on compensation to victims of Bangladesh factory disasters.
  • Other key brands turn their back on workers’ plight.
  • Some advance payments agreed

Eleven of the brands and retailers sourcing from the factories involved in the Tazreen and Rana Plaza disasters joined high-level compensation meetings, facilitated by the ILO as a neutral chair, on 11-12 September in Geneva.

Many other major companies failed to attend, showing total contempt for the 1,900 workers who were injured and the families of over 1,200 workers who were killed making their products.

IndustriALL Global Union Assistant General Secretary Monika Kemperle stated: “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 victims. I respect those brands that came to these meetings. But I cannot understand brands that are not around the table.” 

Regarding Rana Plaza out of a total of 29 brands that were invited the following 9 brands showed good faith by attending the meeting: Bon Marché, Camaieu, El Corte Ingles, Kik, Loblaw, Mascot, Matalan, Primark, Store Twenty One.

20 other companies, all of whom were invited, failed to show up: Adler, Auchan, Benetton, C&A, Carrefour, Cato Corp, The Children’s Place, Dressbarn, Essenza, FTA International, Gueldenpfennig, Iconix Brand, Inditex, JC Penney, Kids Fashion Group, LPP, Mango, Manifattura Corona, NKD, Premier Clothing, PWT Group, Texman and Walmart.

IndustriALL, the Clean Clothes Campaign (CCC) and the Workers Rights Consortium (WRC) presented a proposed model for compensation, which has been used by brands and retailers in previous factory disasters in Bangladesh. The model includes payment for pain and suffering and loss of income. For Rana Plaza US$74,571,101 would be needed to provide full compensation to all workers, of which the brands are being asked to contribute US$ 33,556,996. For Tazreen US$6,442,000 is required, with US$2,899,000 being asked from the brands.
(…)

Bangladeshi workers and victim’s families hoping for immediate aid will be disappointed. Brands’ commitments after two days were limited to:

  1. Meeting again within the next two weeks to share information and tools, exchange views, and consider next steps.
  2. To contribute financially to a fund to assist injured workers and victims’ families, and commit to move the process of establishing the fund forward quickly.  A coordination committee was created to take the process forward through a multi-stakeholder forum which would be open to the Bangladesh government and employers, together with the brands and retailers, unions and NGOs.
  3. Commitment to coordinated work going forward, building on initial assistance U.K. retailer Primark has already provided to victims. Primark made available their local banking infrastructure in Bangladesh to deliver any funds that are made available on an emergency basis.

Immediately after the meeting Primark committed to providing a further three months salary to all affected families as emergency relief. Unfortunately, none of the other brands or retailers present at the meeting committed to provide such emergency relief.

ZM Kamrul Anam of the IndustriALL Bangladesh Council called on brands to act swiftly:
“We appreciate Primark having already made a three month salary payment to the injured and victims’ families. But when I go back to Bangladesh they will ask me what more was decided here.
Those families need food, medicene and housing.
Please, all brands and retailers, match that three months salary for these people in urgent need. Some time can be expected to establish a sustainable solution, but an immediate payment to help these families must be made now.”

At the Tazreen compensation meeting on the previous day, C&A tabled its substantial compensation initiative for the victims and demonstrated its continued commitment to finding a definitive solution. Karl Rieker, which was also in attendance also signaled a readiness to contribute and was commended for positive participation in the Tazreen discussion.

Of the brands and retailers invited to the Tazreen process the following companies failed to participate in the 11 September meeting:
Delta Apparel, Dickies, Disney, El Corte Inglés, Edinburgh Woolen Mill, Kik, Li & Fung, Piazza Italia, Sean John, Sears, Teddy Smith, and Walmart.

IndustriALL Assistant General Secretary Monika Kemperle stated:
“The disregard of the absent brands for the plight of workers in Bangladesh whose lives have been destroyed by the avoidable accidents at Tazreen and Rana Plaza is shocking in the extreme. Empty promises and direct untruths since the Tazreen fire and the Rana Plaza collapse all so that these Western multinationals can avoid making payments that amount to a minute percentage of turnover.”

UNI Global Union General Secretary Philip Jennings stated:
“Walmart is the world’s largest retailer and one of the largest buyers from Bangladesh. They should be a leader in taking responsibility for their global supply chain. Once again Walmart had failed to make a commitment to the workers in Bangladesh who produce the millions of garments sold around the world at large profit.”

Clean Clothes Campaign’s Ineke Zeldenrust stated:
“CCC will continue to put pressure on those brands who have not yet committed to immediately and actively engage in the negotiation process and commit to providing sufficient funds to meet the amounts needed to provide the workers and their families with the compensation they are entitled to under international standards.”

Worker Rights Consortium Executive Director Scott Nova added,
“It is past time that the victims of the worst industrial disaster in history and their families receive assistance from the international brands and retailers that profited from these workers’ labor. It is shocking that not only have hardly any brands committed to any concrete level of assistance, but even more so that most of the companies implicated in the disaster did not even bother to show up to discuss helping the victims.”
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20130913

* Primark pledges more compensation:

Primark has pledged to pay three months more emergency aid to the victims of the Rana Plaza building collapse which killed over 1,100 people.

More than 1,100 people were killed and more than 2,500 injured after the eight-storey Rana Plaza factory building near Dhaka, Bangladesh collapsed on April 24.
The retailer revealed that only nine out of the 28 brands who used the factory attended a meeting on long term recovery in Geneva on September 12.
to read.
BANGLA NEWS24

* Bangladesh factory compensation talks fail: organisers:

A two-day meeting of high street clothing brands and pressure groups aimed at reaching a compensation deal for victims of two Bangladesh factory disasters ended Thursday in failure, organisers said.

The Geneva talks came after a building housing garment factories collapsed in Bangladesh in April, killing more than 1,100 people. They were aimed at agreeing compensation for the families of those victims and those of other factory disasters.
The disaster placed the international spotlight on the often appalling conditions and the lack of rights for workers at the country’s 4,500 garment factories, and retailers responded with a pledge to improve safety.

But the campaign groups that organised the meeting said only around a third of the firms invited had even turned up, with key names including Walmart, Benetton and Mango staying away.
Primark was the only clothing retailer to make a concrete commitment at the meeting, vowing to provide a further three months salary to families affected by the Rana Plaza factory collapse.
The 11 brands that made an appearance were mainly European and also included Bon Marche, Camaieu and Store Twenty One.

“We are disappointed that they didn’t commit to an amount,” said Ineke Zeldenrust, international coordinator at the Clean Clothes Campaign. “We had hoped to achieve much more.”
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INDEPENDENT

* No deal on Bangladesh garment disaster damages:

International clothing makers have failed to reach a deal on the creation of a compensation fund for victims of two Bangladeshi factory disasters.

Only a third of the retailers who used the factories turned up for a two-day meeting on the issue in Geneva.
Only Primark was reported as making a firm commitment on funding.
More than 1,200 Bangladeshis died in the two garment factory accidents. Trade unions say many of their families are now struggling to survive.

The talks in Geneva were called by the global trade union IndustriALL and chaired by the International Labour Organisation.
The aim was to provide compensation to families of those who died in the Rana Plaza disaster in April, when the collapse of a factory building killed more than 1,100 people, and in the Tazreen factory fire in November 2012, which killed 112 workers.
Only nine of the brands being produced at the Rana Plaza were represented at the meeting, IndustriALL said in a statement.

Key absentees included Wal-Mart and Benetton, whose chief executive said many companies had stayed away because of a “lack of clarity” around the talks. Benetton would focus on “working directly with those affected by the Rana Plaza disaster”, a statement said.
read more.& read more. & read more. & read more. & read more.
daily star bd BD new age BANGLA NEWS24 bbc UNB

* Geneva: no compo secured for RMG victims:

A third of all retailers who used the factories met for a two-day meeting on the issue in Geneva

International garment makers have failed to sign a deal to create a compensation fund for victims of the Rana Plaza disaster and Tazreen factory fire.

The BBC reports that a third of all retailers who used the factories met for a two-day meeting on the issue in Geneva.
Sources said Primark was the only retailer that made a firm commitment on funding.
At least 1129 people died and around 2500 were injured in the Rana Plaza collapse in April of this year, while 117 people died and at least 200 were injured when fire engulfed the Tazreen factory in November of last year.
Trade unions say many of the victim’s families are now struggling to survive.
(…)
The fact that only a handful of the companies invited turned up for the meeting reflects deep differences within the industry on how to compensate victims of garment factory disasters in countries like Bangladesh, said the BBC’s Anbarasan Ethirajan.
read more.
DHAKATRIBUNE

* Retailers divided over Bangladesh factory victims compensation:

A group of retailers and clothing brands failed on Thursday to establish compensation funds for the victims of two Bangladesh factory disasters, as many companies that sourced clothes from the buildings decided not to take part in the process.

(…)
But only nine out of the 28 brands being supplied from Rana Plaza came to the Geneva meeting, with some of the absentees saying they preferred to pursue their own compensation plans or citing issues with the approach adopted at the talks.

The IndustriALL trade union, which coordinated the talks, said the group that met on Thursday agreed to contribute to a fund, but would meet again in the next two weeks to establish such a fund, coordinating the process with parties including the Bangladesh government and employers.
“It is difficult to understand why some brands are using any excuse to try to avoid responsibility. The workers are waiting for money and medical assistance,” Monika Kemperle, assistant general secretary of IndustriALL, told Reuters.
(…)
LACK OF CLARITY?
Several retailers were criticized for staying away from the talks, including U.S. group Wal-Mart (WMT.N), which sourced garments from the factory hit by the fire, as well as Italian clothing retailer Benetton and Spanish fashion chain Mango.

Benetton’s chief executive Baigio Chiarolanza said many companies had not joined the Geneva talks due to a “lack of clarity” around objectives and a lack of involvement by several key stakeholders.
“We decided to focus our efforts and resources in working directly with those affected by the Rana Plaza disaster and their families so that we can provide them with concrete help while they need it the most,” he said in a statement.
read more.& read more. & read more. & read more.
reuters BDCHRONICLE bdnews24 BD new age

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20130914

* Global buyers fail to reach consensus:

Global buyers, after holding meetings in Geneva, failed to reach any consensus on creation of a fund for providing long-term compensation for the Tazreen and Rana Plaza victims, as majority of the buyers did not join the initiative.

The meetings, convened by IndustriALL Global Union on September 11 and 12, were facilitated by the International Labour Organisation (ILO) as a neutral and independent chair.
However, the stakeholders concerned decided to sit again within next two weeks to discuss the issue, according to a statement issued by IndustriAll Thursday.

It said: international experts outlined best practices for the establishment of a compensation fund, overseen by a multi stakeholder committee, which could be created through an agreement by all the parties involved. No such agreement was reached at these meetings, although the brands present committed to continue discussions on this issue.

Immediately after the meeting Primark committed to provide a further three months salary to all affected families as emergency relief, while no other brand or retailer committed such relief, it added.
A total of 29 brands were invited to join the meeting on Rana Plaza victims. Among them, Bon Marché, Camaieu, El Corte Ingles, Kik, Loblaw, Mascot, Matalan, Primark and Store Twenty One attended it.

However, Adler, Auchan, Benetton, C&A, Carrefour, Cato Corp, The Children’s Place, Dressbarn, Essenza, FTA International, Gueldenpfennig, Iconix Brand, Inditex, JC Penney, Kids Fashion Group, LPP, Mango, Manifattura Corona, NKD, Premier Clothing, PWT Group, Texman and Walmart failed to show up.

In the meetings Z M Kamrul Anam of the IndustriALL Bangladesh Council called on brands to act swiftly.
read more.

* Failure in Geneva meet draws flak:

International trade unions and rights campaigners yesterday heavily criticised fashion brands for their complete disregard to the victims of recent garment factory tragedies in Bangladesh after major players even failed to show up at Geneva to talk on compensation package.

“It is shocking that not only have hardly any brands committed to any concrete level of assistance, but even more so that most of the companies implicated in the disaster did not even bother to show up to discuss helping the victims,” said Worker Rights Consortium Executive Director Scott Nova.
His comments came as a two-day meeting in the Swiss city wrapped up on Thursday without firm commitments on a compensation package for the families of those who died in the Rana Plaza disaster and Tazreen factory fire.
read more.
daily star bd

* Bangladesh RMG factory compensation talks fail:

A two-day meeting of high street clothing brands and pressure groups aimed at reaching a compensation deal for victims of two Bangladesh factory disasters ended Thursday in failure, organisers said.

The Geneva talks came after a building housing garment factories collapsed in Bangladesh in April, killing more than 1,100 people.
They were aimed at agreeing compensation for the families of those victims and those of other factory disasters.
The disaster placed the international spotlight on the often appalling conditions and the lack of  rights for workers at the country’s 4,500 garment factories, and retailers responded with a pledge to improve safety. But the campaign groups that organised the meeting said only around a third of the firms invited had even turned up, with key names including Walmart, Benetton and Mango staying away.

Primark was the only clothing retailer to make a concrete commitment at the meeting, vowing to provide a further three months salary to families affected by the Rana Plaza factory collapse.
The 11 brands that made an appearance were mainly European and also included Bon Marche, Camaieu and Store Twenty One.
“We are disappointed that they didn’t commit to an amount,” said Ineke Zeldenrust, international coordinator at the Clean Clothes Campaign. “We had hoped to achieve much more.”
read more.
INDEPENDENT

* JUVA gives financial assistance to Rana Plaza victims:

The Jahangirnagar University Volunteers’ Association (JUVA) gave financial assistance to 55 victims’ families of Savar Rana Plaza collapse.

The JUVA distributed Tk 6,000.00 to each family of 55 victims amounting to a total of Tk 0.330 million at a function at the Zahir Rihan auditorium on JU campus Friday.
read more.

* Hope never fades for survivors of Rana Plaza disaster:

20130914 FE news_image

That a picture expresses what thousands of words cannot was amply highlighted by the front-page picture captioned: HOPE NEVER FADES carried in The Financial Express’s Saturday issue.

The picture concerned two female garments workers beaming with smile no words can possibly capture. Undergoing treatment and rehabilitation at the Centre for the Rehabilitation of the Paralysed (CRP), Savar, the two girls are trying to come to terms with realities of life. Losing both her legs, one of the girls is practising walking and the other in her wheel-chair looks on.

Who says life does not triumph over death? If one has any doubt, one should see the beatic smile on the two girls’ faces. The glow that emanates tells it all. They have seen death from close quarters amidst the ruins of the ill-famed Rana Plaza.
They even carry with them the legacy of the consequence of endless avarice and degenerative values of a spoiled segment of society for no fault of their own. But still the lust for life lingers in them forever.

The first impression people are most likely to have to see the two girls in the picture is that they have made tremendous recovery. This is how life does not bow out in the face of struggle. Human life is precious and man has invented how to drink the last dreg with relish. These are simple girls who did not receive enough education for making it to the desk jobs.
They however knew how to earn a livelihood honestly. Although they are the wheel of progress the garments industry in this country has made, they are grossly neglected and at times abused or maltreated.
They are denied the minimum wages enough for survival of a human being let alone other members of their families for 10 to 12 hours of labour. Survival here means the least possible living standard by human beings in this particular society.
read more.

* Little change for Bangladesh factory workers:

Safety questions remain, months after the world’s deadliest garment factory fire killed more than 1,000.

20130915 ALJAZEERA
Garment workers attend a protest rally organised by a union in Bangladesh’s capital, Dhaka [EPA]

What once was her right arm is now just a stub lying limp next to her torso. She sits with a far-away look in her eyes and a sad smile. Morium Begum was working inside Rana Plaza when it collapsed, in what has been dubbed the deadliest garment factory accident in history.

“I was stuck in the rubble for three days,” said the 30-year-old. ”There were about 10 of us in one place. At first, no-one outside could hear us. We couldn’t tell if it was night or day. I could feel the blood falling from my arm. It was already severed and hanging by the skin.”

More than 1,000 people died, and a further 2,000 were injured, on April 24 in the Savar sub-district of Bangladesh’s capital, Dhaka. The scale of the accident prompted a massive rescue effort and tremendous media attention, but many questions remain about where the responsibility for such calamities lies, and if anything has really changed.
read more.
aljazeera

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20130916

* Rana Plaza victims get assistance:

A total of 20 Rana Plaza building collapse survivors were given Tk 20,000 each from Meril-Prothom Alo Savar Assistance Fund at the daily’s office in the capital yesterday.

Hundred more survivors will get assistance from the fund, said the organisers.
One survivor, Shahida Akhter, who is now jobless and facing health problems, said she did not get any aid from any government fund.
Prothom Alo Associate Editor Abdul Quayum and Madonna Group Chairman Md Akhteruzzaman, who donated the money, also spoke.
to read.
daily star bd

* Strategies developed to boost rehab of Rana Plaza victims, families:

Stakeholders in Bangladesh’s garment industry have developed strategies to strengthen the rehabilitation of garment factory workers and their families affected by the Rana Plaza building collapse, said a press release.

Delegates at an information sharing session on Saturday in Dhaka were presented the results of a needs assessment of more than 2,200 affected people. These will guide future rehabilitation work.
This initiative was supported by the Promotion of Social and Environmental Standards (PSES), a joint project of the governments of Bangladesh and Germany, implemented by Deutsche Gesellschaft fur Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH. PSES, in collaboration with International Labour Organization (ILO) engaged Action Aid Bangladesh to carry out the needs assessment.
The strategies focus on three key areas: health and rehabilitation; livelihoods, skills development and employment; and education justice and empowerment. Responsibility for implementation will be shared among members of the government, employers, trade unions, NGOs, civil society bodies, international buyers and research units.

“We will be working in close cooperation with industry associations and organizations to ensure reintegration of victims and injured workers who have acquired disabilities due to this incident,” said Olaf Handloegten, Country Director, GIZ.
Tariq-ul-Islam, Secretary, Ministry of Women and Children’s Affairs, Government of Bangladesh added, “The government has already paid compensation to the families of 782 deceased workers in the last 100 days and payment for other commitments are underway.”
ILO Country Director, Srinivas Reddy, said, “This needs assessment will be used to guide our continuing response. Bringing the range of involved organizations together for well-coordinated rehabilitation efforts will avoid duplication and ensure coverage.”
Country Director of ActionAid Bangladesh, Farah Kabir, stressed, “We need to implement these commitments as soon as possible.”
read more. & read more.
   newstodayBD

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20130917

* Rana Plaza victims still await compensation:

Brands fail to show up for an International Labour Organisation-chaired meeting due to decide on long-term compensation for thousands affected by April’s factory collapse in Dhaka

Victims of the world’s worst garment factory disaster at Rana Plaza in Bangladesh are still no closer to compensation after a meeting called to mediate demands was deemed a failure by organisers.

Global labor union IndustriALL slammed retailers after only a third of the brands that used the Dhaka manufacturing hub, which collapsed on April 24, turned up in Geneva on Thursday.
“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,” IndustriALL assistant general secretary Monika Kemperle stated. “I respect those brands that came to these meetings. But I cannot understand brands that are not around the table.”

IndustriALL, which represents 50 million workers in the mining, energy and manufacturing sectors, arranged the meeting with the International Labour Organi-zation as a neutral chair. Their framework for assessing long-term compensation stems from a disaster similar to Rana Plaza in 2005, when the eight-story Spectrum factory outside of the Bangladeshi capital collapsed. Surviving victims and families of the 62 fatalities were compensated for lost income, pain and suffering up to 25 years after the incident.
read more.
daily star bd

* Update on the Bangladesh Injured Worker Relief Fund:

We are delighted to share with you that, thanks to your generous support, we have raised over $25,000 for the Bangladesh Injured Worker Relief Fund. 

In Savar, Bangladesh in April 2013, over 1,129 workers were killed and approximately 2,500 injured in the collapse of the Rana Plaza building, with five garment factories on its upper floors.

In early May, the Institute established the Bangladesh Injured Worker Relief Fund to raise emergency support to assist victims and their families in getting through this tragedy – especially since any possible compensation would be months in coming, if it came at all.
To date, $20,000 has been disbursed to 396 workers and their families by the Institute’s Bangladesh team, mostly in collaboration with the Garment and Industrial Workers Federation, whose office is just behind the Rana Plaza collapse site.
The distribution work is painstaking, since much of it has had to be done by going to the homes of workers, many of whom are still too ill to come to a central meeting place.
read more.
IGLHR

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20130918

* No RMG compensation without DNA identification:

Earlier this year a Bangladesh clothes factory collapsed, killing more than 1,000 people. Five months later, many of the dead have yet to be identified – prolonging the anguish for relatives, and denying them the right to compensation.

A summer has passed since the Rana Plaza complex crashed to the earth. Plants are creeping over the tangled debris. Steel cables have rusted. Rolls of blue and cream fabric have gone moldy. A fading pair of jeans hangs from a jagged piece of wire.
A stone memorial remembers the 1,133 garment workers who died.

But hundreds of families who lost a mother or a daughter never have never been able to prove it to the authorities’ satisfaction.
The US offered relatives DNA testing kits, and samples have been collected – but Bangladesh doesn’t have the computer software to match those samples with the dead.

Every day Babul Soiaal walks to the Rana Plaza site, with a roll of papers and documents in his hand – and a small passport photo of a woman in a blue headscarf.
It is his wife Shahida. She’s still missing, and she’s probably among the nearly 300 people buried without being identified. Only when, or if, she is identified will the authorities provide financial help.

Soiaal has Shahida’s payslip to prove she worked in the Rana Plaza – but that’s not been enough to persuade officials to pay up.
“I have made a copy of these papers and given them to the government and other concerned bodies and I said if you have any doubt you can send an inspection team to our home town and they will find that she is still missing,” he says.
“I have five children. I have lost my partner. If the government would help us then we will find some way, but I don’t know what will happen to me.”
read more.
primenews

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20130919

* Concert in Dhaka tomorrow for Savar victims:

Maya Foundation, a Canadian charity, will organise a concert in Dhaka tomorrow to raise funds for the survivors and the families of the victims of Rana Plaza building collapse.

“We want to help the survivors of Rana Plaza tragedy get back on their feet,” said Tanvir Siddiqui, executive director of the charity.
The funds will be used for income generating activities so that the survivors and the families of the deceased become financially independent on their own source of incomes, he said.
The nine-storey building that had housed five garment factories and many shops caved in on April 24, killing at least 1,132 people, mostly garment workers.
The army with the help of local people and fire brigade rescued 2,438 people alive from the rubble, according to official data.
Maya Foundation, an initiative of the Bangladeshis living in Toronto, also arranged a concert — Made in Bangladesh — in Canada on July 6.
“I have tried my best to raise funds for these people who are really in need than anyone else,” said Siddiqui, who is involved in garment business in Canada and has buying house in Bangladesh.
The charity has so far provided between Tk 10,000 and Tk 30,000 to 52 survivors each.
Siddiqui said the survivors of the worst-ever industrial tragedy in the country are still recovering from the physical injuries and psychological trauma.
“Still, most of these people have not received the help they need,” he said.
read more.
daily star bd

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20130920

* Rana Plaza victims still wait for compensation:

The victims of Rana Plaza tragedy are yet to get the full compensation they were promised to be given.

The victims have suffered financially and psychologically. It is also creating despair in their lives. If they get all the compensation at a time, they can make their future safe and financially secure.
read more.

* Body to propose Tk 23 lakh in damages for each dead worker:

A committee on the compensation for Rana Plaza victims is likely to propose today that each of the apparel workers who died or went missing in the building collapse should get about Tk 23 lakh in damages and one member from each of the families should get a job.

The committee will also propose that each of the workers who lost a limb should get about Tk 10 lakh
and each of the workers who lost two limbs should get about Tk 20 lakh in damages. The compensation for the loss of each additional limb should be Tk 5 lakh.
The committee that Dhaka University economics teacher MM Akash heads will today submit its report to a high-powered committee, headed by the ninth infantry division general officer commanding, Major General Chowdhury Hasan Suhrawardy, that the High Court set up in May to prepare compensation packages for the victims.
The high-powered committed set up the sub-committee, headed by the university teacher, to finalise the compensation for Rana Plaza victims after the main committee had proposed Tk 20 lakh in compensation for each of the people who died or went missing.
The committee will propose that the earning of lost work years for each worker will be 30 years.
read more.
BD new age

* Clothing corporations need to step up for BD factory collapse victims:

There was a meeting that took place last week in Geneva. A big meeting. An important one. It was one that had nothing at all to do with the situation in Syria. Did you hear about this meeting in Geneva? Chances are, you didn’t. To say it was an under-reported story would be generous.

It was a meeting to work out compensation for the victims of the Rana Plaza disaster: the garment factory in Dhaka, Bangladesh that collapsed last April leaving over 1,100 dead, and another 2,000 injured.

You may remember the feelings of helplessness, of anger and, above all, of outrage that many of us in the global community felt as a reaction to the tragedy in Bangladesh at the time. Over 1,000 dead, with western manufacturers complicit.

Many questions were asked in its aftermath. How could the garment trade allow such an enormous industrial accident to happen in this day and age? How could we, the consumers who buy what the garment industry is selling to the tune of billions of dollars a year, allow this to happen with our sanction?
read more. & read more.
UNB BANGLA NEWS24
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20130921

* RMG workers rally in city’s Suhrawardy Udyan at 2pm Saturday:

Shipping Minister Shahjahan Khan on Friday called for making Saturday’s grand rally of readymade garments workers a success.

Garments Sramik Samannoy Parishad, an association of RMG workers, will organize the rally in the capital’s Suhrawardy Udyan to demand rational minimum wages for the garment workers for their survival.
Briefing journalists at the temporary office of the association, Shahjahan Khan, also the convenor of Garments Sramik Samannoy Parishad, said the logical minimum wages for the RMG workers should be ensured for the sake of protecting the country’s garment industry.
He said the grand workers rally will not be held for gaining any political benefit.
The reactionary clique has become frightened seeing the enthusiasm among the readymade garment workers centering the rally.

“It is now the demand of time to forge a strong unity against the ‘conspiracy’ to confine women workers in the houses. The rally will be held protesting the retrenchment of RMG workers,” Shahjahan Khan added.

In the rally, the garments workers will place their demands for ensuring rational minimum wages, reinstatement of GSP facilities, and providing adequate compensation to the victims of Rana Plaza collapse and devastating fire incident of Tazreen Garments factory.

Shajahan Khan will preside over the rally scheduled to begin at 2pm.
to read  & to read.  & to read. & to read. & read more. &
UNB INDEPENDENT  DHAKATRIBUNE primenews

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20130922

* Governance failure, not engineering:

The April 24 Rana Plaza collapse, claiming around 1,132 lives, was more of a governance failure than of engineering, said Prof Jamilur Reza Choudhury yesterday.

The collapse resulted from the vibrations of nearly six generators which were turned on simultaneously on the building’s rooftop, coupled with the cracks it already had, he said.
Initially constructed for commercial purpose, the building was later used for industrial purpose, a major reason behind the collapse, said the eminent civil engineer.
Moreover, steel used for the construction was mostly obtained from ship breaking yard scraps and was of poor quality, he told the formal launching of “Beyond Building”, a monthly magazine on construction engineering, in the capital’s The Daily Star Centre.
read more.
daily star bd

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20130923

* Committee proposes Tk2.2m for each victim:

It proposed more than Tk500,000 as compensation for the loss of each additional limb more than two

The sub-committee on compensation for the Rana Plaza victims has proposed at least Tk2.2m against each of the victims of Rana Plaza tragedy be they killed or missing.

It also proposed job facility for at least one member from each of the families.
The committee, formed to prepare compensation limit, submitted a set of proposals, including Tk1m as compensation for a worker who lost one limb in the building collapse and Tk2m for a person who lost two limbs.
It proposed more than Tk500,000 as compensation for the loss of each additional limb more than two.

MM Akash, who teaches economics at Dhaka University and the head of the committee, on Friday submitted its report to a high-powered committee, headed by the ninth infantry division general officer commanding Major General Chowdhury Hasan Suhrawardy.
read more.
DHAKATRIBUNE

* Identities of Rana Plaza victims: DNA test results expected in 3 weeks:

Experts from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) of the USA on Sunday finished setting up a software called the Combined DNA Index System (Codis) in the DMCH DNA Laboratory

The relatives of those who went missing after the Savar Rana Plaza tragedy have been waiting for nearly six months to know what has actually happened to their loved ones.
Out of the 1,115 bodies pulled from under the rubble of the collapse, 234 that could not be immediately unidentified mainly because they had decomposed beyond recognition, were buried to the Jurain Graveyard in the capital.

The authorities, before burying the bodies, kept DNA samples from each of the bodies so that they could be later identified; but did not have the necessary apparatus to do the tests.
Apart from these 234, the rescuers could not find any trace of 87 other people who were reportedly inside the building when it collapsed.
read more.
DHAKATRIBUNE

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20130926

* German ambassador visits victims of Rana Plaza collapse:

Underlining the support of the German government for the victims of the Rana Plaza building collapse, German Ambassador Albrecht Conze and Madam Véronique Conze visited the Centre for Rehabilitation of the Paralysed in Savar on Wednesday.

Right after the disaster, the German government had released an amount of 50,000 Euro (approx. Tk 50 lakh) to support those victims of the building collapse who lost limbs or were seriously injured, a release of the German embassy said.
read more. & read more. & read more. & read more.
BD new age DHAKATRIBUNE BSS daily star bd

must wait 2

* Reparation after the Bangladesh garment factory disaster:

In the wake of the Rana Plaza factory collapse in Bangladesh this April, the corporations who use the factory expressed grave concern for the deceased workers and their families and committed to helping them.

Built on swampland outside the capital city of Dhaka and housing five factories, when the Rana Plaza building collapsed, 1,100 workers were killed and 1,900 injured. Most of the workers, and thus the victims, were women.
Although one of the world’s worst industrial disasters, to date only one retailer has given compensation to the victims of the Rana Plaza disaster.

No agreement was reached at the recent Geneva meetings to address compensation, which many called a failure. Meanwhile, trade unions report that many victims and their families are barely surviving and may lose their homes.
Ongoing but separate talks on safety, rather than compensation, have proven more fruitful. Over 80 retailers ‑- but reportedly not Wal-Mart or Gap, which insist on self-regulation ‑- have agreed to a binding, five-year accord to improve safety in Bangladeshi garment factories.

The agreement includes a binding arbitration process that can be enforced through the court system in the country where the retailer is based.
However, according to Ikeke Zelderust of Clean Clothes Campaign, many brands “want to be associated with prevention,” but they do not wish to be associated with reparation.

Indeed, only nine of 28 retailers whose garments were made by Rana Plaza workers bothered to show up at the compensation talks held in Geneva on September 11 and 12, 2013.
Called by the global trade union IndustriALL and chaired by the International Labour Organization, the meeting was intended to address compensation for the Rana Plaza disaster as well as the Tazreen factory fire, which killed 112 workers and injured over 120 in Bangladesh in November 2012.
read more.
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20130929

* Thai govt provides artificial legs for Rana Plaza victims:

Thai government in collaboration with Prostheses Foundation of HRH the Princess Mother and Bangladesh government provided artificial limbs for Rana Plaza victims.

A total of 107 disabled including Rana Plaza victims and other were given these prosthetic limbs at a week-long limbs donation programme from September 22-28 at National Institute of Traumatology and Orthopaedic Rehabilitation (Nitor).
read more.
primenews

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20131001

Committee to place report to HC soon proposing Tk 2.0m:

The committee on fixation of compensation for the Rana Plaza victims will place its report to the High Court (HC) shortly, proposing Tk 2.0 million for deceased and missing worker amid disagreement from the apparel leaders.

The report also recommended Tk 1.5 million compensation for each of the injured workers, who lost than two limbs and Tk 2.0 million in case of losing more than two limbs.
Besides, Tk 1.0 million compensation has been recommended for each of the workers, who lost one limb in the building collapse.
The committee finalized its report Monday at a meeting with the members of sub-committees and representatives from apparel sector.
read more. & read more.
DHAKATRIBUNE

* Families of dead workers to get Tk 19.5 lakh each:

Rana Plaza compensation committee makes recommendations

A high-powered committee on fixation of compensation for the victims of Rana Plaza collapse in a meeting in Savar on Monday set about Tk 19.5 lakh as compensation to be paid to the families of each of the deceased, meeting sources said.

The committee proposed that the total compensation would be calculated on the basis of ‘earning of 25 work years lost’ with a starting wage of Tk 5,000 per month.
The meeting chaired by the nine infantry division general officer commanding, Major General Chowdhury Hasan Sarwardy, at his office also fixed the compensation for 221 injured workers, considering their physical condition.
The committee, however, did not include the annual inflation of 6.72 per cent as recommended by a sub-committee considering that each family of the victims would get the ‘compensation’ in coming days.
‘It means, the salary of each dead worker has been calculated at Tk 5,000 per month throughout his or her 25 work years lost,’ said a source.
But, the committee took into consideration 2.5 per cent discount on the total amount as proposed by the sub-committee.
In total, the compensation for each dead workers was set at Tk 19.50 lakh that would include salary for 25 years, Tk 25,000 for burial cost and Tk 1,80,000 for welfare allowance, and onetime payment of Tk 5 lakh for ‘pain and suffering cost’ of the victim’s family, the educational expenditure of Tk 1.13 lakh for their children up to higher secondary level.
read more.
BD new age

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20131002

* IBC urges global brands to join compensation plan:

The IndustriALL Bangladesh Council (IBC) again urged global apparel brands Tuesday to participate in the compensation programme for the Rana Plaza collapse victims.

The IBC demanded $71 million for compensation and long-term rehabilitation of the victims, 45 per cent of which was demanded from global brands who resource garments products from Bangladesh, 28 per cent from factory owners, 18 per cent from the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA), and 9.0 per cent from the government.

“Six months have passed since the deadly incident. So far, only nine brands have made concrete commitment to join the compensation plan, though a total of 29 brands were invited to join it,” said IBC general secretary Romesh Chandra Roy at a press conference.

The IBC organised the press meet at the National Press Club (NPC) to reiterate their demands, marking six months of the tragedy.
read more. & read more.
BD new age

* IndustriAll demands $71m for Rana Plaza victims:

201301002 DAILYSTAR Business2

The Bangladesh chapter of IndustriAll Global Union yesterday demanded Tk 28.32 lakh in compensation for each of the apparel workers who died or went missing in the Rana Plaza collapse on April 24.

“Many victims are yet to be compensated properly though the factory collapse occurred around six months ago,” Roy Ramesh Chandra, general secretary of IndustriAll Bangladesh Council, said at a press briefing at the National Press Club.
IndustriAll estimated that $71 million or Tk 547 crore would be needed to compensate and rehabilitate the victims of Rana Plaza.
The collapse of the building which housed five garment factories has so far brought 1,135 deaths, according to IndustriAll. Another 318 went missing and 1,723 were injured.
“We have estimated the compensation package for all these segments,” he said.
Of the amount, 45 percent will have to be paid by retailers, 28 percent by owners, 18 percent by BGMEA and the remainder by the government, he said.
read more.
daily star bd

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20131005

* Ten children of victims get scholarships:

Mehedi Hasan, 7, who became an orphan due to Rana Plaza collapse, now dreams of becoming a doctor.

The boy lost his mother Sheuli Aktar when he was much younger. His father Idris Ali who worked in a garment factory at Rana Plaza in Savar died in the incident.
Accompanied by his grandmother all the way from Savar, Mehedi yesterday came at the CBCB centre on Asad Avenue in the capital’s Mohammadpur to receive a new schoolbag and Tk 1,000 scholarship funded by Y’s Men Club of Dhaka.

Choked with emotion his grandmother Rozia Begum told The Daily Star that her grandson was a student of class I of Village Education Resource Centre.
Like Mehedi nine other children of Rana Plaza victims yesterday received new schoolbags and Tk 1,000 each.

One of the victims’ daughter Bristi Aktar is a student of class III wants to be a teacher. She lost her elder sister who was the only source of income of her family.
Omar Faruk Tareq loves to play cricket.
Her mother has been suffering from burn injuries. “I want to be a police officer,” said Tareq after receiving the scholarship.
read more.
daily star bd
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20131007

* DNA test results of Rana Plaza victims likely after Eid:

The process of matching the DNA profiles of 321 unidentified victims against those of 550 relatives is almost complete

The DNA test results of the unidentified victims of the Rana Plaza tragedy will be made public after Eid-ul-Azha, sources have said.

The Combined DNA Index System (Codis) software, set up at the National DNA Profiling Laboratory of the Dhaka Medical College Hospital (DMCH), has already successfully traced most of the identities.
The Dhaka Tribune has learnt that the process of matching the DNA profiles of 321 unidentified victims against those of 550 relatives is almost complete.

However, it could not be known how many of the victims have so far been identified.
Seeking anonymity, a senior official of the women and children affairs ministry told the Dhaka Tribune that Prime Minister’s Office had given strict directive to keep the test reports confidential until it got approval from there.
read more.
DHAKATRIBUNE

(Eid on 16 October)

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20131009

* Rana Plaza tragedy victims get donation:

Donation was distributed among the family members of the victims of Rana Plaza tragedy in Habiganj on October 7.

Jamayetul Khair and Madania Welfare Trust UK organised a meeting in this connection at Deputy Commissioner’s conference room with Shaikhul Hadith Allama Tafazzul Hoque in the chair. Deputy Commissioner of Habiganj Manindra Kishore Majumder addressed the meeting as chief guest.
The meeting was addressed by former president of Habiganj Press Club Advocate Ruhul Hasan Sharif, President of Habiganj TV Journalists  Association Md Alamgir Khan, media personality Mufti Abdul Muntakim and General Secretary of Madania Welfare Trust UK Hafiz Hussain Ahmad. Teacher Jalal Uddin Rumi conducted the meeting.
The speakers said, the family members of the victims of Rana Plaza tragedy have been passing their days in distress. The speakers expressed their satisfaction as expatriates are donating the helpless family members of Rana Plaza tragedy victims of Habiganj district. Tk 10,000 was handed over to each of the 37 families in the meeting.
to read.
INDEPENDENT

* The wait for help goes on six months after the Bangladesh factory collapse:

‘Two bags of rice’ – the support given to the sister of one of the victims of Rana Plaza. Nurbana must now look after her sister’s son, Rubel who is seven-years-old. She told me she will beg in the streets if she has to, even with nothing, she will stand by her sister’s boy.

It’s six months after the factory that made cheap clothes for you and me collapsed, five months after we revealed no compensation had reached victims here in Dhaka. Then, the Western brands who used suppliers in the building, like Primark and Matalan, vowed they would help. But we found chaos and confusion, and time running out.

Primark has made more than three thousand payments to survivors and victims’ families. The brand has made significant efforts to track them down and is committed to agreeing a long term plan too. But clearly, it has been extremely difficult to make the process work. We spoke to victims like Nurbana, Munna, who lost her daughter, and Nazma, who lost her husband. They all told us they had not yet had any payouts from Western firms.
(…)
Nazma is just days away from giving birth to their first child. She was on the eighth floor of Rana Plaza when it collapsed, he was on the tenth and was killed. The former garment worker showed me the baby blankets she has stitched for the child who will never meet his father. She has had a little money from the charity ActionAid, and some help with medical bills. But although she has been able to bury her husband, Nazma told me there’s been no sign of Western money that was promised. She said, “the brands were supposed to come for us, but no one ever did.”
read more (+ video).
ITV

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20131011

* Victims’ relatives still waiting for compensation:

Ful Mala, mother of Rikta Akter who died when Rana Plaza collapsed on April 24 in Savar, is yet to get any compensation due to wrong information.

Rikta, 18, was a swing operator at Ether Tex in the nine-storey building and was the only earning member of her family.
The family members took her body two days after the disaster and gave their address to the authorities concerned.
Mala claimed that the authorities registered their district Dinajpur instead of Manikganj.
Mala told The Daily Star yesterday that she had been suffering for around six months due to the wrong information which was not her fault.
She said this while visiting the Rana Plaza site.
Mala said her village was Purba Vakum in Singair upazila in Manikganj district.
She had got only Tk 20,000 to bury her daughter’s body. She said, “I’m leading an inhuman life.”
Like her many relatives of Rana Plaza victims, including Hanufa Begum, wife of Abdul Gani; Shahida Begum, mother of Shanta Akter, are still waiting for compensation.
read more.
daily star bd

* Rana Plaza sweatshop disaster survivors: “We need compensation”:

Survivors and relatives of garment workers that died in the Rana Plaza building collapse in Bangladesh talk about their experiences and the failure of brands and retailers to provide compensation.
see video.
WAW 1

* Demand justice for victims of Bangladesh building collapse:

On 24 April 2013, over 1,100 people were killed and thousands more injured in the collapse of a building in Bangladesh which housed factories making clothes for Benetton, Primark, Matalan, Mango and other major brands. The majority of the victims were female garment workers. The disaster was entirely preventable.

This was the worst accident in a manufacturing facility in recorded history, graphically exposing the failure of the fashion industry to ensure workers’ rights are respected. Yet in its wake huge public pressure has forced the industry to unprecedented change. Now we need to ensure the brands responsible compensate the victims and all companies act to ensure these disasters never happen again.

The Rana Plaza – an avoidable disaster
This tragedy was a disaster, but it was not an accident. Before the day of the disaster, building inspectors had spotted massive cracks in the building and ordered the evacuation of all the businesses inside. However workers in the garment factories were forced to return to work the following day under threat of punishment from their bosses, where over a thousand of them would later die. Despite the building being audited twice by western brands, the risks were never spotted and nothing was done to prevent it.

Compensation
The workers injured and the families of those who died now face a bleak future, without work and without an income. The companies that sourced from these factories failed to ensure that the safety of their workers, now they must compensate the victims of this wholly avoidable tragedy.
Take action now and demand UK high street brands compensate the victims
read more.
WAW 1

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20131012

* Bangladesh factory collapse: Sheuly Begum, the survivor:

20131011 the STAR Sheuly_Begum
“The factory owners … promise change, promise safer buildings, promise compensation for us who were hurt. But they don’t actually do anything,” says Sheuly Begum, who worked at the doomed Rana Plaza.
Rick Westhead / Toronto Star

Sheuly Begum spent four hours trapped in the rubble after the Rana Plaza collapse. She has received $100 from the Bangladeshi government.

The Survivor: Sheuly Begum, 34, was rescued after two hours from the Rana Plaza rubble. She received $100 from the government on May 1 to cover immediate medical bills but has received nothing since.

Sheuly Begum is not overly concerned about why the Rana Plaza collapsed. “It happened and that is all,” she says. “I was not killed. But I have been ruined.”
She had been at work at the New Wave Style factory on the seventh floor for only about an hour on the morning of the collapse.
“The electricity was cut, the generators all started and the building shook,” she says. “I rushed for the stairwell and then was just falling.”

She was rescued — one of the lucky ones — but was hospitalized for a week with head and spinal cord injuries.
Now the single mother can’t work and the future is bleak. She can’t afford the $10 monthly school fees for her daughters, Ishrat, 14, and Shonali, 11. She believes she will have to marry them off soon.
“I am doing nothing now. I can’t even lift a kilogram,” says Begum. “The factory owners speak to our face and promise change, promise safer buildings, promise compensation for us who were hurt. But they don’t actually do anything.”
read more.
the STAR 2

* Bangladesh factory collapse: Shahera Akter, a survivor:

20131011 theSTAR Shahera
 I just stayed at my (work) station. Then the floor disappeared, I was falling, and it was black,” says Shahera Akter, who spent hours under the rubble.
Rick Westhead / Toronto Star

Shahera Akter, 30, who worked on the eighth floor of the Rana Plaza at New Wave Style, was rescued from the rubble after several hours. Akter has received no compensation.

Shahera Akter’s job cutting and measuring, stitching and folding clothes at a factory meant she could afford a few simple pleasures.
It pleased her that she made enough to give her family of five a Friday night feast — beef stewed in a rich curry of tamarind, chilies, garlic and potatoes.

Those meals had been hard to imagine for a family that had arrived in Dhaka from the countryside five years ago, a journey that saw them climb out of a hand-to-mouth existence and mounting debt.
“My husband worked as a farmer during the dry season and a fisherman in the rainy times,” Akter says. “We never had enough to eat. We never could afford real meat, only fish, and our expenses were always more than he was able to make. I said one day that we don’t know anyone in Dhaka, really, but we have to go there because that’s where the good jobs are.”

Akter’s husband, Mohammad Chandan Mir, soon started driving a cycle rickshaw, pocketing about $2.50 a day after paying the bike’s six-cent daily rental fee.
Akter spent a year working as a housemaid, then found a job as a finisher, fixing labels, buttons and hanging tags on shirts, then tucking them into packaging in the Rana Plaza factory.
read more.
the STAR 2

* Bangladesh factory collapse: Morium Bibi, the widow:

Bangladeshi wife found husband job in doomed Rana Plaza factory. When cracks developed, she told him he was worried. His body was never found
21031013 the STAR Bibi
Morium Bibi, 20, now lives with her in-laws and young daughter, Rani. She hopes to never again have to work in a garment factory.

Rick Westhead / Toronto Star

Morium Bibi, 20, lost her husband, Raja Mir, 25, a material cutter for Phantom Apparel on the fourth floor of the Rana Plaza. Bibi has received no compensation.

Morium Bibi didn’t mind her arranged marriage.
She was only 16 when her father announced she would wed 21-year-old Raja Mir, but Bibi thought her fiancé was more handsome than most and that he seemed kind.
“He really liked me,” Bibi says.
It didn’t hurt that she had a well-paying job at the Rana Plaza.
At the age of 13, after leaving school, Bibi found a job at the Blue Star Factory in Savar, working as a dyeing helper. She was making about $16 a month.

Four years later, in 2010, she found a better job as a finisher for Phantom Apparel, a factory on Rana Plaza’s fourth floor, making as much as $90 with overtime each month.
Bibi soon helped her husband find work as a material cutter in the same factory.
“He didn’t try talking very much during work,” Bibi says. “He was by my work station, but was respectful of our managing director. He thought when we were working, we should not talk.”

A day before the Rana Plaza collapse, word spread that cracks had been discovered in its load-bearing walls. That evening, as she fed their 9-month-old daughter Rani, Bibi told Mir she was worried about going to work
“He never really said anything,” Bibi says. “He never said whether he would go to work the next day or not.”
read more.
the STAR 2

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20131019

* Rana Plaza survivor passes Eid in loneliness:

She wishes if someone at least visits her time to time just to talk for few minutes

After losing two legs and six family members in the deadliest Rana Plaza tragedy, 20-year-old Rebeka Begum passed the Eid-ul-Azha lying on a bed at the National Institute of Traumatology and Orthopaedic Rehabilitation (NITOR) alone.

“Eid? Eid has not been an occasion to rejoice, neither has it brought any patch of happiness for me since the accident. It is rather a day when I particularly know that everybody is celebrating outside while I am stranded inside this hospital alone,” says Rebeka.

Rebeka lost her mother, grandmother, two cousins and an aunt in the collapse of the Rana Plaza in Savar this year, an incident considered the deadliest disaster in the history of the garment industry in the country.

“The bodies of my mother, grandmother, one cousin and an aunt could not be traced. We received the headless body of one of my cousin brothers,” said a teary Rebeka.
read more.
DHAKATRIBUNE

* DNA tests identify 300 Rana Plaza victims:

DMC used Codis software to successfully match DNA samples provided by relatives of Rana Plaza victims

DNA tests have been able to confirm the identities of around 300 previously unidentified victims of the Rana Plaza disaster, sources said.

The national DNA testing laboratory at the Dhaka Medical College used Combined DNA Index System (Codis) software to successfully match DNA samples provided by relatives of Rana Plaza victims.
Although the DNA matching procedure is yet to be finalised, sources said 290 bodies have been identified. Of all the DNA samples taken, only 30-35 are yet to be matched to victims.
DNA specialists expressed hope of providing detailed information and confirming relationships between the victims and the sample donors once the process is completed.
read more.
DHAKATRIBUNE
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20131021

* Rana plaza tragedy: Pregnant wife of a slain worker left ‘abandoned’:

20131021 DHAKATRIBUNE Mahmud-Hossain
Rana plaza victim’s pregnant wife Asha Akhter 

Asha has received only two packets of biscuits and eggs worth of Tk300 till date. She received no compensation yet from the government or any other organisations

Abandoned by in-laws ever since her husband died in the Rana Plaza collapse back in April, Asha Akhter, 18, is now suffering from malnutrition seven months into her pregnancy because of poverty.

“In April, my husband and I were celebrating my pregnancy. In the same month my husband died. I remember the morning of April 24. Before leaving for his workplace, he said ‘I will make sure you are being well-fed. Our kid will be a healthy one,’ and I smiled at his joy. He used to work in a factory on the fourth floor of Rana Plaza,” Asha told the Dhaka Tribune with a blank look.

Following the incident, Asha has received only two packets of biscuits and eggs worth of Tk300 until date. Neither she received her husband, Abu Zafar Sentu’s due wages, nor did she get any compensation from the government or any other organisations.

Asha claimed that none of her in-laws came to see her after she had moved in with her mother at Bakhtarpur, Savar due to pregnancy. Her in-laws live in a different area of Savar.
“I understood the fact that they do not want me anymore. Although I have heard they will take my child away if it is a boy,” said Asha.
read more.
DHAKATRIBUNE

* Rana Plaza survivors encouraged by Bangladesh Accord:

A group of survivors of the Rana Plaza factory collapse in Bangladesh say they have been encouraged by news of the Accord on Fire and Building Safety, the landmark agreement that aims to improve factory safety in the country’s garment sector, but called on global brands to step up compensation payments.

In a visit to the site of the tragedy, in which 1,129 workers lost their lives six months ago, representatives from IndustriALL and UNI, the two global unions that drove the accord, spoke to survivors and explained the series of new commitments, to which over 100 global brands have now signed.

Compensation negotiations are continuing on the international level, chaired by the ILO, convened by IndustriALL and supported by UNI. Whilst Primark has lead the way by paying six months worth of wages to families, the payments run out this month and all other brands are still to follow suit.

At the site of the tragedy, families held pictures aloft of their loved ones still to be traced. Many told stories of what happened to them on 24th April this year.
read more.
UNIglobalUNION

* DNA test to identify dead garment workers soon:

The identities of those killed in the Rana Plaza and Tazreen Fashion tragedies will be revealed within two weeks, said experts of the National DNA Testing Laboratory at the Dhaka Medical College Hospital (DMCH).

DMCH sources said about 300 bodies have been identified and out of all the DNA samples taken, only 20 to 25 are yet to be matched with the deceased RMG (readymade garments) workers. Considering the task as highly sensitive, the whole process is being directly supervised by the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO), said sources in the PMO and DMCH.
The laboratory has reportedly used the ‘Combined DNA Index System’ software to successfully match the DNA samples donated by the relatives of Rana Plaza victims, a source said.
Talking to The Independent, Sharif Akteruzzaman, adviser of the National DNA Testing Laboratory, said, “From the second step of DNA test, we are analysing the collected DNA sampling and after completing it, we shall make DNA profile of the deceased RMG workers.”
read more.
INDEPENDENT

* Compensation for Rana Plaza victims :

As the dust has settled down on the rubble, the much-talked-about compensation package for the Rana Plaza victims is yet to show prospects of materialising.

There were moves, some quite determined, both at home and abroad, to push things forward so that the brunt could be shared by all stakeholders involved in garment making, buying and selling.

But that the things did not kick off the way it was designed from the verbal promises of the stakeholders is becoming sadly apparent. Of the stakeholders, it is the retailers who constitute a crucial component.

It all began with the poor turn-out of the retailers and clothing brands last month in a meeting in Geneva to establish compensation funds for the victims of the two Bangladesh garment disasters — the collapse of the Rana Plaza in April this year killing 1,129 people and the fire in Tazreen Fashions in November last year that took 112 lives. The meeting chaired by the International Labour Organisation (ILO) and coordinated by the international labour union, IndustriALL, was attended by only nine out of the 28 brands which sourced from the factories in Rana Plaza.

Shocked, the IndustriALL spokesperson told Reuters, ‘It is difficult to understand why some brands are using any excuse to try to avoid responsibility.
The workers are waiting for money and medical assistance.’ The Primark discount chain owned by Associated British Foods, present at the meeting, also expressed frustration saying, ‘the company remains concerned about the length of time it is taking to agree on a framework for long-term compensation.
As a result the company will now pay a second round of emergency aid, lasting three months.’ So far, Primark has been quite forthcoming to respond positively to the victims of the factory accidents.

However, hoping that things may not actually be as bad as they look like, the IndustriALL spokesperson said the group that attended the meeting agreed to contribute to a fund, but would meet again to create a compensation fund, coordinating the process with parties including the Bangladesh government and the employers.
This does not sound strong enough to suggest that the group of nine — in the event of the majority of the retailers staying away from a combined endeavour — would be encouraged to go ahead with their commitments.
read more.
FE bd

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20131023-24

* Rana Plaza survivors work at self-owned factory:

20131023 DHAKATRIBUNE
Survivors of the Rana Plaza disaster working at their self-owned factory Oparajeyo initiated by Mukto Tarunno, an organisation of a few voluntary rescue workers 

Six months into one of the worst factory disasters in the history of the country, Savar has now become synonymous with the Rana Plaza building collapse, which brought to light the appalling working conditions, little or no workers’ benefits and low wages in the RMG sector.

However, behind the rubble and sordid remnants of the disaster, today there is a change happening which has become a driving force for some of the survivors.
This driving force is the one-room bag-making factory in a roadside store, which was initiated by a few voluntary rescue workers with an aim to rehabilitate some of the Rana Plaza’s survivors.

The factory, which started four months ago with six machines, has 26 machines and accommodates 20 workers with enough breathing space inside and a healthy working environment.
The factory, aptly named Oparajeyo (meaning “undefeated”) by Kazi Monir Hossain Rintu, the man behind the concept, makes cotton and jute bags for local and international buyers.
read more.
DHAKATRIBUNE

* Six months on from Rana Plaza – survivors still fighting for compensation:

20131023 ILRF  imageImage courtesy of ILRF

Six months after the Rana Plaza building collapse, history’s deadliest garment industry disaster, a new report from the Clean Clothes Campaign and the International Labor Rights Forum examines what progress has been made on delivering compensation to the families and workers most affected by the tragedy.

CCC and ILRF report that some progress has been made, but not enough yet to keep some of the permanently injured workers from having to pull their children out of school.

CCC and ILRF have supported IndustriALL global union in calling the Rana Plaza buyers and other key parties to come to the table and agree full and fair compensation for all the victims. First meetings in September, chaired by the ILO in Geneva, led to discussions on an “Arrangement” to provide a mechanism for calculating and distributing compensation to Rana Plaza families and establish a fund into which brands can contribute.

There are promising signs that this Arrangement, which is being developed by a Rana Plaza Compensation Coordination Committee made up of brands, the Bangladesh government, the BGMEA, local and global trade unions and NGOs, may turn demands for long-awaited compensation into a reality. However, CCC and ILRF warn that there remains a lack of commitment from the majority of brands implicated in the disaster to contribute the funds so desperately needed.

The report also details which of the brands are stepping up to their responsibilities, and which aren’t. Primark and Loblaw are singled out for committing to providing short-term relief and, in the case of Primark, for establishing a process of delivering this to the affected families.
These two companies, along with Benetton and El Corte Ingles, are participating in the Coordination Committee. Inditex, Bon Marche and Mascot have signalled their commitment to contribute to a fund established under the Arrangement.

The report calls for all remaining brands linked to Rana Plaza to commit to joining the Arrangement, to paying into the fund and to ensuring the compensation fund is sufficient to provide full and fair compensation.
Those brands which have so far failed to agree include: Adler Modemärkt (Germany), Auchan (France), Camaieu (France), Carrefour (France), Cato Fashions (US), Children’s Place (US), LPP (Poland), Iconix (US), JC Penney (US), Kids for Fashion (Germany), Kik (Germany), Mango (Spain), Manifattura Corona (Italy), Matalan (UK), NKD (Germany), Premier Clothing (UK), Store 21 (UK), Texman (Denmark), Walmart (US), and YesZee (Italy), C&A (Germany/Belgium), Dress Barn (US), Gueldenpfennig (Germany) and Pellegrini (Italy).

“As we pass six months since the horror of Rana Plaza it is outrageous that those families who lost loved ones and those survivors who sustained horrific injuries continue to pay the price for the negligence of employers, brands, and government by barely making ends meet,” said Ineke Zeldenrust of the CCC, “It is time that all brands linked to the tragedies step up and commit to supporting the Arrangement and pay into the fund, and thereby take financial responsibility for a disaster that they failed to prevent”.

The publication also highlights the link between poverty wages and safety, showing that low pay effectively forces workers to continue to work in unsafe buildings.
“The workers of Rana Plaza were trapped into a cycle of poverty and debt and forced to choose between losing desperately needed income and their own safety,” noted Judy Gearhart of the ILRF. “Many workers knew it was unsafe and some even asked managers if they could shut down for the day, but quick turnaround and on-time delivery are critical demands from apparel brands,” added Gearhart.

The report concludes with a series of recommendations for how to meet the urgent needs of the workers and their families affected by the recent disasters and how to secure sustainable reforms in the industry in the near term.
Read the report here.
Site ilrf

* Rana Plaza disaster: victims still waiting for compensation:

20131023 ITTEFAQ

Six months after the collapse of the Rana Plaza garment factory building in Bangladesh, more than 15 brands whose clothes were produced there have yet to agree to pay long-term compensation to injured workers or the families of the 1,129 people who died.

The Clean Clothes Campaign, an international workers’ rights pressure group, has written to brands including Spanish fashion brand Mango, UK workwear producer Premier and US supermarket Walmart, all of which had sold clothing made within Rana Plaza, calling on them to help victims of the disaster.

It says: “Clean Clothes Campaign would like to see all brands who were sourcing either directly or indirectly from factories housed in Rana Plaza commit, and implement, the payment of full and fair compensation for all victim’s families and the survivors of Rana Plaza.

“They must also agree a way forward in dealing with compensation when accidents do occur, to avoid making a tragic situation worse with months of uncertainty, for the survivors and families left behind, who are left with no income, high medical bills and a real risk of destitution.”
(…)
Jyrki Raina, the general secretary of international union IndustriALL, says: “The immediate concern is to keep the money flowing to victims.”

The debate about compensation comes amid a fraught atmosphere in Dhaka as the Bangladeshi government prepares to announce an increase in the minimum wage which will affect millions of factory workers. Workers have demanded 8,000 taka (£64) a month, more than double the current 3,000 taka rate, but the government is expected to set rates at 5,500 taka.
read more.
Ittefaq

* Savar factory collapse victims no closer to recovery:

Six months after the garment factory disaster at Rana Plaza in Savar, victims of the deadly building collapse are still awaiting compensation and suffering debilitating physical and psychological injuries that have prevented the vast majority of them from returning to work, according to a recent survey.

It says that 90 percent of the victims reported that they have not received any legal benefits from their employers including sick pay or compensation since April this year.
ActionAid, an international NGO, conducted the survey on 2,297 people — nearly two-thirds of survivors and families of those who died in the eight-storey factory collapse on April 24 this year.

The survey comes as the Bangladesh government along with the global alliance of trade unions continues to negotiate compensation for survivors and families of the deceased.
The study reveals that about 92 percent of survivors have not yet gone back to work. About 63 percent respondent said physical injury such as amputations, paralysis, severe pains in head, and leg and body have stopped them going back to work.
read more.& read more.
UNB newstodayBD

* Compensation for Rana Plaza tragedy victims still a far cry:

20131024 FE news_image
Survivors of the Rana Plaza disaster and activists of different organisations Wednesday demonstrated on the site at Savar where the building collapsed. photo AFP

Uncertainty looms large over the fate of Rana Plaza tragedy victims as no clear announcement regarding their compensation has been made so far either by buyers or apparel makers even six months after the deadliest accident.

The worried relatives are still waiting for help and have been moving desperately from here and there after the apparel factory owners pledged adequate compensation for family members who lost their near and dear ones in the Rana Plaza collapse.

The eight-storey commercial building that housed five garment factories in Savar, on the outskirt of the capital, collapsed on April 24. The accident claimed at least 1,100 lives, most of them workers.

Several hundred others were also critically wounded in of the country’s worst-ever industrial disaster that not only came as a great shocked for the whole nation, but also raised the questions about workplace safety of the country’s apparel industry both at home and abroad.

“I am totally in the dark about the fate of my family as I am unable to do any work and earn my livelihood after the accident that caused back pain and I can’t even seat for more than 15 minutes at a time,” Md Alauddin, a 24-year-old youth who worked as a sample man in the New Wave Style located at the Rana Plaza, told the FE last week.

The accident also took away my hearing ability, Mr. Alauddin, who is now under treatment at CRP (Centre for Rehabilitation of the Paralysed), told the FE.

“Despite all these, I and my other unfortunate colleagues did not get any financial support either from the government or garment manufacturers,” he said adding that he only got Tk 30,000 in two installments disbursed from Primark.
Monika Hembrom, another worker of the New Wave Style who had an operation in her leg, did not even get the Primark support.

“I did not get a single penny from either the government or the BGMEA or any buyer,” she said adding even not the Tk 10,000 support from the government given at the hospital.
Shapla Begum, a worker on the third floor of the Rana Plaza, is among others who did not even get her wage.
“I and my younger brother Solaiman Hossain worked at the same factory. I am lucky to survive while my brother is still missing,” she said adding “Now I am in a dire situation as I have to look after two kids of my brother.”
(…)
Nazma Akter, a labour leader, said lack of transparency still persists over the compensation of the victims even after six months of the disaster.
“There are lots of commitments from both local and international arena but things are progressing very slowly, especially the compensation issue,” she said adding the financial assistance received from different agencies including PM is something like ‘charity’ not ‘compensation’.
read more.
FE bd

* 6 months on, Rana Plaza probe still incomplete:

The Criminal Investigation Department is yet to complete the investigation of the cases related to the Rana Plaza collapse even six months after the incident that took place in April, leaving at least 1,133 people dead.

‘We have some jobs still incomplete and we have plans to submit charge sheet by December,’ senior superintendent of police Bijoy Krishna Kar said when he was asked about the delay in investigations.
He said that they had identified the involvement of about 30 people, including the accused already arrested and some other officials who were yet to be arrested.
CID officials said that some officials of the Savar municipality and the civil administration had been arrested and some other officials, who had a role in the incident, would be named accused in the cases.

The investigation officer said that his team was examining reports of inquiries carried out after the incident and expert opinions.
On the morning of April 24, the eight-storey Rana Plaza, which housed five clothing factories, a shopping mall and a bank, collapsed, leaving at least 1,133 people dead and about 2,000 injured.
After the disaster, the police brought criminal charges against owners of the building, including Sohel Rana, and the owners of the five clothing factories. Rajdhani Unnayan Kartripakkha filed another case against the Savar municipality.
read more.
BD new age

* No progress in ACC probe of Rana Plaza collapse:

The Anti-Corruption Commission has not made any progress in the inquiry it planned into the allegation of illegal wealth being amassed by Sohel Rana, also a local Juba League leader, whose Rana Plaza at Savar collapsed on April 24, killing at least 1,133 people.

Commission officials said that the inquiry team had sent a notice to Rana’s mother as Rana and his father
are in jail. Six months after the institution of the team, the commission sent the notice on Sunday.
The commission’s director Tawhidul Islam said that the team was trying to collect relevant documents from the local administration. ‘We have no scope to send any notice to Rana as he is in jail.’
read more.
BD new age

20131023 MIKE SToday’s human chain at the site of the Rana Plaza factory collapse in Bangladesh. photo by

* German Development Cooperation, CRP and BGMEA join hands six months after Rana Plaza:

A first of its kind, an Orthotics and Prosthetics School is in the process of being established in Savar. On 23rd October 2013 a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU)has been signed, six months after the tragedy of Rana Plaza.

Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH, Centre for Rehabilitation of the Paralyzed (CRP) and Bangladesh Garments Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) have joined hands to make it happen. The MoU includes several components with the intention to support people with disabilities, especially those affected by the Rana Plaza building collapse, but also other disabled people.

The ongoing GIZ project “Promotion of Social and Environmental Standards” (PSES), which already has a proven track record in improving the RMG sector in Bangladesh constitutes the framework under which the different measures of the MoU will be implemented.
read more.
Ittefaq

* MoU signed to train disabled RMG workers:

Under the MoU, training would be provided to the people with disabilities through a school namely ‘Orthotics and Prosthetics School’

A tripartite Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) has been signed in Dhaka on Wednesday to provide training to people with disabilities, particularly the victims of Rana Plaza collapse and other readymade garment factory accidents.

Under the MoU, training would be provided to the people with disabilities through a school namely “Orthotics and Prosthetics School”, the first of its kind in Bangladesh to be established.

Marking six months of the Rana Plaza tragedy, the agreement was signed among Promotion of Social and Environmental Standards in the Industry (PSES), a joint project of the governments of Bangladesh and Germany, implemented by Deutsche Gesellschaftfür internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), Centre for Rehabilitation of the Paralyzed (CRP) and Bangladesh Garments Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA).
read more.
DHAKATRIBUNE

* No charge sheet yet:

People accused in cases in connection with the Rana Plaza disaster are out on bail

Six months have passed since the Rana Plaza building collapse, but the investigating agency is yet to present a charge sheet before the court in cases filed in connection with the disaster.

Many of the accused in the cases are enjoying a free life after securing bail from the High Court. Savar municipality engineers Emtemum Hossain and Refayet Ullah; Ward Councilors of Savar municipality Mohammad Ali Khan and Abul Hasan Abul Hasan, who gave shelter to the building’s owner Sohel Rana at Faridpur and Jessore; are all now out on bail.

Rana’s father Abdul Khalek also received bail from the High Court in the case filed under the building construction act. However, both Rana and his father remain behind bars as they were denied bail in the murder case.
read more.
DHAKATRIBUNE

* Rana Plaza collapse victims yet to get compensation:

20131024 DHAKATRIBUNE rana-plaza-6

Six months after the Rana Plaza collapse, the stakeholders are yet to disburse financial assistance and other benefits to the victims and their families.

The government and the organisations involved in garment business have failed to deliver on their much-talked-about promise of a compensation package for those affected by the tragedy.

However, the country has seen some determined individuals from different quarters, both at home and abroad, work tirelessly to bring relief to the families of the 1142 garment workers that were killed and more than 2500 injured who were injured.

On August 29 five months and six days after the April 24 tragedy, a high-powered committee formed on the instruction of the High Court recommended Tk1.951m in compensation for each of the apparel workers who died or went missing in the collapse based on worker’s basic salary, annual inflation, gratuity, pain and sufferings of victims.

The committee also proposed Tk1m each for a victim who lost one limb and Tk1.5m to Tk2m each for a victim who lost two limbs.
read more.
DHAKATRIBUNE

* Caught between fear and need:

Rana Plaza survivor hopes to live ‘like a human’

When Pintu Kumar Shaha emerged from the rubble of Rana Plaza after three days, his photos took the media by storm. With his head held high and arms stretched, gesturing his victory against death, he immediately became an icon for many who had been devastated by the news of deaths, injuries and amputations.

“When I came out, I felt like I was reborn. I had given up my hopes of living while I was inside. But when I saw the light, I felt that I was born again,” Pintu told the Dhaka Tribune.

But that has changed. Six months have passed since, and except for a month’s salary, Pintu is yet to receive any compensation either from the government or any other organisations. His right arm and hip still ache, and he has to bear the medicinal expenses himself. He has to pay Tk500-700 for his medical expenses every month.

“I do not feel that positive energy inside me anymore,” he said, sitting in his tin-shed room next to his son Gourango Shaha, 18, who was also a worker at Rana Plaza.
read more.
DHAKATRIBUNE

* Family seeks better recognition of Kaykobad’s heroic deeds:

Kaykobad was burnt in a fire ignited inside the rubble of Rana Plaza while trying to rescue victims

Mohammad Ejajuddin Ahmed Kaykobad, 35, was burnt in a fire ignited inside the rubble of Rana Plaza on April 28 as he was trying to rescue Shahina Akhter, a garment worker who was also burnt to death.

Kaykobad remained in hospital for about a week before he succumbed to his injuries in Singapore. Although he was awarded a Guard of Honour at his funeral, family members worry his story may fade with time.

“We do not want our brother’s deeds to be forgotten,” said Nurun Nahar Yasmin, elder sister of Kaykobad. She along with Kaykobad’s wife Jarmin Akhter is seeking a bigger recognition to commemorate his bravery.

“He is a hero only in people’s speech…We want something more concrete,” Jarmin told the Dhaka Tribune.
read more.
DHAKATRIBUNE

* Specialised school planned for victims:

The school will have a training lab and library facilities, student exchange programme, and consultation programme

Rana Plaza victims, who lost their limbs and were disabled, are going to get a specialised school in Savar.

According to a press release of GIZ, an international enterprise owned by the German Federal Government, GIZ, CRP and BGMEA signed a MoU on Wednesday to establish an orthotics and prosthetics school to support the people with disabilities, especially those affected by the Rana Plaza building collapse.
read more.
DHAKATRIBUNE

* Six months after Rana Plaza – Brands must pay compensation NOW:

Today is the solemn milestone of six months since 1,129 garment workers were killed in the industrial homicide at the Rana Plaza factory building collapse in Savar on 24 April. Only one brand has paid any compensation.

IndustriALL and UNI, the two global unions jointly working to make the garment industry in Bangladesh safe and sustainable, will stand with survivors and families of the dead at Rana Plaza today for a candlelit vigil at sundown. The two unions are shocked that still after six months Primark is the only brand to have paid anything to the victims.

Primark worked with local trade unions, organised through the IndustriALL Bangladesh Council (IBC), to establish the mechanism for distribution of compensation payments to over 3,600 workers and families. The method of payment, through bKash, cuts out any middleman and has the full endorsement of Rana Plaza workers.

IndustriALL Global Union general secretary Jyrki Raina focuses on the Accord as the way to ensure that lasting change to the industry will be the legacy of the tragedy of Rana Plaza:

“All actors in the supply chain in Bangladesh agree that the enormous scale of the devastation at Rana Plaza gave all involved the historic chance to fix the industry’s safety problems. The Accord for Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh answers that call. The next five years will see the Accord regularly reporting success stories of factory repairs and improvements.”

UNI Global Union general secretary Philip Jennings continued:
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Home UNIglobalUNION

* Primark announces long-term compensation for Bangladesh factory collapse victims:

Primark has announced plans to pay long-term compensation to the victims, or their families, involved in the Bangladesh building collapse in April.

Primark, which trades as Penneys in Ireland, is owned by Associated British Foods.
More than 1,100 people died in the Rana Plaza factory collapse and over 2,500 were injured in the disaster.
In a statement, the company said it had set a timetable for beginning long-term compensation payments to the 550 victims, or their dependents, of the firm that was producing clothing for Primark at the time.
It said the long-term compensation scheme involves medical and vulnerability assessments.
The company will also make another short-term compensation payment while the long-term scheme is implemented.
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RTE-news BD new age INDEPENDENT Ittefaq

* Primark extends payouts to Rana Plaza victims:

Clothing retailer Primark on Thursday announced that it was to provide further compensation to victims of the Rana Plaza collapse that had killed more than 1,000 people in April.

Primark, one of many international retailers that were supplied by factories housed within the Rana Plaza complex, said it would pay an extra three months’ salary to 3,600 victims and their families while the terms of a long-term compensation deal are worked out.
The discount fashion brand, which has 258 stores across Europe, had made two earlier payments to the 550 staff of the factory inside Raza Plaza that supplied it.
But it said it the third payment would be given to wider victims of the April 24 disaster on the outskirts of Dhaka, many of whom were left with terrible injuries.
‘Primark will guarantee a further three months salary to the 3,600 or so victims of Rana Plaza to alleviate their immediate hardship, many of whom worked in the supply chain of other brands,’ a spokesman said.
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BD new age daily star bd

* Loblaw to compensate BD garments’ workers:

Loblaw announced on Thursday that it will provide long-term compensation to victims and their families in the Rana Plaza garment factory collapse in Savar, at the outskirt of Dhaka that killed more than 1,100 workers six months ago.

The company will also pay three months` wages to all workers at New Wave Style, the company that makes its Joe Fresh clothes.
Loblaw said that the money “will assist in financial needs until long-term funds begin to flow.”
The factory made clothes for Loblaw and other companies in the clothing industry.
The company said it supports a proposal by UK clothing retailer Primark for funding compensation to clothing-factory victims. It also encouraged other brands that had clothing manufactured at Rana Plaza to take part.
read more.
BANGLA NEWS24

* Accord statement upon the six-month anniversary of the Rana Plaza disaster:

Upon the six-month anniversary of the building collapse in Dhaka that resulted in the deaths of 1,133 people, Andy York, member of the Steering Committee of the Accord for Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh today commented on behalf of the signatories of the Accord.
Speaking from Dhaka, he said:

“Six months since tragedy struck at the heart of Dhaka’s garment manufacturing community, taking the lives of 1,133 innocent, hardworking people, the tragedy is still all too fresh in the memories of the victims’ friends and families. The signatories to the Accord for Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh send our thoughts and sympathies to them all.”

Also speaking from Dhaka, Jenny Holdcroft from IndustriALL Global Union added:
“Sadly, we can’t turn back the clock, but we can at least take action now, and that is what the Accord is doing, by focusing on the future.
The Accord commits its signatories – now numbering more than 100 – to the goal of a safe and sustainable Bangladeshi ready-made garment industry, in which no worker needs to fear fires, building collapses or other accidents that could be prevented with reasonable health and safety measures.
Our goal will require a deep commitment from all stakeholders so that the tragic events of the past are substituted with positive examples of transformative change in the future.”
to read.
ACCORD

Rana’s father Abdul Khalek also got bail from the High Court in the case filed under Building Construction Act.
But neither he nor his son Sohel Rana managed to get bail in the case of murder and are now in jail.

Additional public prosecutor of Dhaka Chief Judicial Magistrate Court Anowarul Kabir Babul told bdnews24.com that the investigation report of the case will be submitted in court on Oct 24.
He said the CID was investigating the case but the Investigating Officer (IO) was taking his time to gather sufficient evidence to make the charge-sheet as ‘water-tight as possible’.
“80 percent of our work is finished,” IO Bijoy Krishna Kar told bdnews24.com.
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bdnews24

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20131024-25

* ‘Little help’ for Rana Plaza victims:

Six months after a major clothing factory collapse in Bangladesh, 94% of the victims are still awaiting compensation, a charity says.

The charity, Action Aid, says many survivors have serious injuries that have prevented them returning to work.
More than 1,130 people died when the Rana Plaza building near Bangladesh’s capital, Dhaka, collapsed in April.
Action Aid, questioned nearly two-thirds of survivors and victims’ relatives for its survey.

It found that 94% of those questioned said they had received no legal benefits from their employers, including sick pay or compensation.
It also found that 92% of survivors had not gone back to work, with 63% of those reporting physical injuries including amputations, paralysis and severe pain.
Of those surveyed, 92% said they were deeply traumatised.
read more. & to read. & to read.  & read more.& read more.
daily star bd primenews Ittefaq daily star bd UNB

* Bangladesh commemorates tragedy victims, survivors seek compensation:

Survivors and their loved ones on Thursday marked the six-month anniversary of Bangladesh’s worst- ever industrial tragedy, while many families express anger and annoyance due to lack of proper aid.

Rana Plaza, an eight-story building housing five garment factories crumbled into a cement grave on April 24 in Savar on the outskirts of capital Dhaka, killing more than 1,130 people, mostly workers.
Family members of some victims say they still had not received any compensation.

Many survivors also came in wheelchairs to commemorate friends and raise voices for compensation.
“I had to come to raise voice with all,” said a tragedy survivor sitting in a wheelchair.
“We need support from all to return to normal life.”

Hundreds of agitating workers along with survivors and victims’ family members rallied at the tragedy site, staged a sit-in and formed a long human chain in the morning. In the night many workers also held a candlelight vigil to mark the day.

During the morning’s sit-in, many family members wore black badges and ribbons. Survivors, family members and hundreds of workers, carrying banners and placards inscribed with slogans in favor of their demands, shouted slogans for due compensation from global brands for which the tragedy victims worked in the Rana Plaza factories.
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GLOBALTIMES

* Families hold candlelit vigil at Rana Plaza site six months on:

20131024 UNI CANDLELIGHT VIGIIL RANA PLAZA small

Families of workers who died during the Rana Plaza factory collapse in Bangladesh have held a candle-lit vigil to mark six months since the day the tragedy occurred.

The families were joined at the site of the former factory by survivors as well as national trade unions, UNI Global Union and IndustriALL Global Union.
Rana Plaza, a structurally flawed building containing five garment factories and seven floors came down on 24th April, killing 1,129 people. More than 300 bodies are still to be identified, whilst thousands of workers have suffered injuries.
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UNIglobalUNION Home

* Rana Plaza collapse victims, families demand compensation:

Several workers groups gathered there, demanding compensation for the missing, injured, and killed workers

Around 500-600 survivors and family members of victims of the Rana plaza collapse gathered in front of the collapse site remembering coworkers, family members or relatives on Thursday, six months from the day of the tragedy.

Several workers groups also gathered there, demanding compensation for the missing, injured, and killed workers.
They also demonstrated on the Dhaka-Aricha highway at 10am.

Leaders from National Garments Workers Federation of Bangladesh told a press conference in front of the collapse site that the 20 world recognised buyers of readymade garments did not attend the compensation fixing meeting that took place in Geneva on September 12.

The 20 companies which failed to show up were Adler, Auchan, Benetton, C&A, Carrefour, Cato Corp, The Children’s Place, Dressbarn, Essenza, FTA International, Gueldenpfennig, Iconix Brand, Inditex, JC Penney, Kids Fashion Group, LPP, Mango, Manifattura Corona, NKD, Premier Clothing, PWT Group, Texman and Walmart.

The leaders of workers organisations and survivors of Rana Plaza called on the retailers to come forward to provide them the compensation they deserved.
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DHAKATRIBUNE

* Orphans Vent Grief, Six Months After Tragedy:

Orphans who lost their parents when a garment factory complex collapsed in Bangladesh vented their grief and anger at leading Western retailers Thursday on the six-month anniversary of the disaster.

As relatives of the 1,135 people killed in the collapse of the Rana Plaza complex gathered at the site, British clothing chain Primark urged other retailers to follow its lead and pay compensation to the victims.

Primark said it would pay an extra three months’ salary to 3,600 workers or their families, as a new report showed more than 90 percent of victims have not yet received any financial assistance.

“Primark is calling on other brands involved in the Rana Plaza disaster to make a contribution by paying short-term aid to some 3,000 workers or their dependents who made clothes for their labels,” the retailer said in a statement.

The discount fashion brand, which has already made two payments to the 550 staff of its supplier, said it would make the new payment while the terms of a long-term compensation deal for the 550 are worked out.
read more. & read more.
jak-globe Return to frontpage

* Factory deaths fail to spur inspections:

Six months ago, when 1,127 Bangladeshi workers were killed in the collapse of a high-rise warren of garment factories, international outcry led to pledges by western retailers and the government to set up a large-scale inspection regime and a new wage system.

Today, not a single Bangladeshi garment factory has been inspected under any of the three programmes that sprang from those promises, according to officials at the programmes. Nor has danger ceased in the $19 billion industry: Two weeks ago, a fire ripped through a factory in a Dhaka suburb that provided material for plants supplying clothing to companies including Wal-Mart Stores Inc. Nine workers died.
The slow implementation comes against a backdrop of worker unrest that has stalled production in factories and led to massive street demonstrations over safety conditions and wages, which are set at $39 a month before overtime. One, on October 15, was quelled by the Industrial Police, a rubber-bullet-firing riot force set up two years ago to bring protesting garment workers under control.
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daily star bd

* Why the problem of Bangladesh isn’t solved yet:

It is now six months since the Rana Plaza factory collapse in Bangladesh, where over 1,100 people died, and the garment industry is still scrabbling to pick up the pieces.

Over 100 companies have now signed up to an agreement on monitoring factory fire and building safety in Bangladesh, and international efforts are being made to sort out compensation for the workers.

But will this mean that all is well with global trade again? Can we all go back to buying cheap clothes without guilt, telling ourselves that low-paid jobs are good for their economy and fast fashion good for ours?

Let us go back to six months ago and revisit the scene of the building collapse. A few days before the collapse a crack appeared in the side of the Rana Plaza building – workers from all the businesses in the eight-storey building were sent home while the building was surveyed.
The owner of the building was told by experts that there was a serious issue, yet workers from the garment factories were commanded to return to work the next day. This the garment workers did (and workers from the bank on the ground floor did not); then, during the morning rush, disaster struck.

Why the garment workers returned on the morning of the collapse is the essential point of this story. The reason is economic.
The minimum wage for a factory worker in Bangladesh is currently $38.69 a month – a pittance. Women and men working in the Rana Plaza clothing factories couldn’t afford to miss a day’s work and risk losing a month’s salary. They were forced to choose between their own safety and being able to feed their families.
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NEWINT

* Improvements since Rana Plaza- Six Months Later:

Joseph Allchin speaks to the deputy director general of the International Labour Organisation (ILO) Gilbert Houngbo about the progress in the RMG sector

20131025 DHAKATRIBUNE

Scenes of chaos gripped the world as the scale of what ultimately was a multinational tragedy became clear.

Multinational, because those who went to the site were all too often standing on products that were destined to clothe far flung European nations. A rapacious industry has led to brands and retailers seeking to cut corners on costs, and here in Bangladesh that means cutting corners on worker’s wages and ultimately their safety. The efforts to rehabilitate the industry will be crucial to the sustainability of Bangladesh’s industrial economy.

Six months since our worst industrial tragedy, we should ask ourselves: what progress has been made? Do the promises that were made by the politicians, NGOs and foreign stakeholders stand the test of time and their world? The ILO thinks it can, and Gilbert Houngbo tells us how.

What’s your evaluation of the new labour law amendment?
read more.
DHAKATRIBUNE

* Buyers make no compensation pledge yet for Rana Plaza victims:

Apparel buyers have not committed yet to compensate the victims and their families of Rana Plaza collapse.

At least 1,129 garment workers were killed in the industrial disaster that took place in Savar six months ago.
Primark is the only brand, which has paid something to the victims and made promises to provide compensation for the victims as per requirement.

The IndustriALL and UNI are shocked that still after six months Primark is the only brand to have paid anything to the victims, said a statement on Thursday.
“Six months have gone but the victims did not get any compensation from any quarter. What they got so far are charity,” Ray Romesh Chandra, general secretary of IndustriALL Bangladesh Council (IBC) told the Dhaka Tribune.

As per the ILO convention, compensation is a right for the workers and in that sense workers did not get compensation, he said. Ray termed the prime minister’s financial support to the victims as charity.He said they (workers) would stage demonstration in front of the brand shops, including Walmart, if they do not take effective measures to compensate victims by November.

Till today, only Primark has given Tk30,000 each to 3,629 workers who worked at the Rana Plaza, and made commitment to provide compensation as per the laws, he added. “We’ve demanded Tk2.8m compensation for each worker. Of which, 45% would be paid by brands, 28% by factory owners, 18% by BGMEA and 9% by the government.”
He said they (workers) would stage demonstration in front of the brand shops, including Walmart, if they do not take effective measures to compensate victims by November.
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DHAKATRIBUNE

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20131027

* Emerging from Rana Plaza ruins:

When Minu’s limp body was piled onto the mass of corpses after Rana Plaza collapsed, she prayed that someone would notice that she was still alive.

Too weak to call out, she had been smothered under dead bodies in the rubble without food or water for three days. As they laid her out in the makeshift mortuary on the Adhur Chandra High School playground in Savar, someone heard the faintest of cries and realised she was still alive.

“As I laid on the school oval, I thought I couldn’t even make enough noise for someone to notice me. I had nothing left in me at all – I was just like another one of the bodies in the pile,” she recalls.

Minu Aktar had been working in Phantom Apparels on the fourth floor of Rana Plaza for four and a half years. She still suffers from physical injuries sustained during the collapse, as well as ongoing trauma, from being trapped under the building.

Six months on, however, Minu is starting to overcome her grief with the support of her family and through the ILO’s Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET) Reform Project in partnership with Brac, a major non-governmental organisation.
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UNB

* Primark, Loblaw pay out to Bangladesh factory victims:

British clothes retailer Primark and Canadian grocer Loblaw laid out plans on Thursday to pay more compensation for the collapse of a Bangladeshi factory that killed almost 1,130 people, as protesters demanded other brands follow suit.

The disaster on April 24 has galvanised most of the clothing industry’s big names to try to improve safety standards but they have failed to agree on a compensation fund for victims despite months of wrangling.

It was the world’s most deadly industrial accident since the 1984 Bhopal disaster in India and turned a spotlight on working conditions of those making clothes for global household names for a fraction of what they cost in the West.

Children carried placards reading “Please come forward, our parents were killed while working for you. Compensate us”, during a rally on Thursday of hundreds of survivors and victims’ families at the site of the collapsed Rana Plaza complex.

Primark, the only retailer to pay compensation so far, said it would pay another three months of wages to workers and their families of its Rana Plaza supplier, a pledge matched by Loblaw Cos Ltd for those who produced garments for its Joe Fresh brand.
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BDCHRONICLE  bdnews24 newstodayBD

* Compensate Rana Plaza victims asap:

It has to be made sure that nobody is able to get away with their crime and the culprits are taken to task

It is six months since more than a thousand people lost their lives and many others were injured in the Rana Plaza collapse. This incident, understandably, had adverse, long-term implications for many families.

The rescue operations have had substantial contributions from the mass people, and individuals have tried hard to stand by the affected in an effort to rehabilitate them.

What has been lacking is any substantial initiative from the sectors concerned and responsible for the accident due to negligence. The RMG sector and the government have, until now, failed to deliver on their promises of compensation.

Six months is enough time for these people to have been compensated and parties concerned should not be allowed to escape their responsibilities again, having failed to ensure a secure work environment for the labourers and having failed to assess the risk of working in a building that already had cracked walls.
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DHAKATRIBUNE

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20131031

* Assessment Report of the Rehabilitation and Reintegration of Rana Plaza Victims:

Bangladesh witnessed reportedly its worst man-made industrial disaster on the 24 April 2013. The eight- storey commercial building, Rana Plaza, which housed five ready-made garment factories, a commercial bank and a market, collapsed in the early hours in Savar, Dhaka leaving a large number of garment workers, mostly women, trapped under the rubble.

The collapse focused the world’s attention on Bangladesh’s garment industry which contributes to 13 per cent of GDP, adds value to 78% of total
exports and employs more than 3.6 million workers

At the end of three-week rescue operation on 14 May 2013, the government reported that 2438 workers had been rescued alive.
Of these, 17 died later in medical facilities, increasing the total deaths to 1133.
Eight hundred and thirty six bodies were handed over to the relatives, while 301 unidentified bodies were buried in Jurain graveyard. DNA tests were conducted on the unidentified bodies for cross-matching.

Different organizations conducted rapid assessments following the incident and produced various datasets, information and lists of the survivors, the deceased and missing workers.
The Bangladesh Garments Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA), the main group representing the garment factory owners, had not developed a comprehensive list of survivors and deceased at the time of this survey.
Following the disaster, government, non-government organisations and other institutions immediately helped the rescue operation. Gradually other support and services were provided, ranging from cash support, medical treatment to health and livelihood rehabilitation.
However, as the reintegration and rehabilitation needs of the survivors and the families of the deceased are diverse, it is difficult to plan a comprehensive support and service package for those affected. Neither has there been any database or mapping of the range of institutional services and support that are already provided or planned to be provided.
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ACTIONAID

* Rana Plaza victims continue to suffer:

Six months after the worst man-made disaster in Bangladesh’s history, safety conditions in garment factories have a chance to improve. But not the lives of survivors or the victims’ next of kin.

On April 24, the collapse of Rana Plaza factory building took 1,133 lives of mostly female workers. The disaster was too big to ignore. The unprecedented scale of the tragedy shocked people the world over, many of them dressed in clothes made in Bangladesh on request of giants such as Tesco, Carrefour, Benetton or Walmart.

Today, the site in the Dhaka suburb is enclosed by a barbed wire and metal fence covered with banners. “How long do we have to wait for compensation for the death of our parents?” asks one.
What was left of Rana Plaza can be seen from the top floor of a neighboring building. Debris has been cleared, but the bodies of two cars stick out of a vast pool of mud water.
“They were parked in an underground garage,” Hassan, one of the volunteer rescuers told IPS. His team, he said, took some 400 people out of the rubble.

A survivor, Hasina, pulled her scarf up showing a deformed right arm with extensive scars.
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asiantimes

* Rebuilding lives:

In the midst of disaster there is always hope. But while a disaster may occur in a split second, hope is more often cultivated over time, with patience and effort.

Aparajeyo, a bag factory in Savar, may look like a small-scale enterprise, but there is more to it than that. It is an enterprise of hope.
“This establishment has helped me with my medical and household expenses as I support my elderly parents and myself,” said 27-year-old Sabina Khatun, who works at the factory.
Like the other 16 workers of Aparajeyo, she was a victim of the Rana Plaza tragedy.

The eight-storied building in Savar collapsed on April 24, claiming over a thousand lives and injuring scores. While it was the worst factory tragedy in Bangladesh, it brought out the compassionate side of people. Many came forward to help rescue and rehabilitate the survivors.
Like many Bangladeshis and others from around the world, Sami Al Islam was deeply moved by the disaster. Wanting to do something about it, he worked with a Facebook group called Mukto Tarunyo to set up an establishment that could offer the survivors an opportunity to earn a living.
“When we first collected donations from family and friends to help the survivors, we visited Enam Medical [at Savar] and other medical camps where many victims wanted to know if we could do something to help them earn again,” said Sami.
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daily star bd
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20131103

* DNA test results of Rana Plaza victims to go to ministry on Sunday:

The laboratory finished all the formalities of preparing the reports of the DNA tests on Saturday

The National DNA Testing Laboratory at the Dhaka Medical College Hospital will send the test results of 321 unidentified victims of the Savar Rana Plaza disaster to the labour ministry on Sunday.

The laboratory finished all the formalities of preparing the reports of the DNA tests on Saturday.
Laboratory Head Dr Sharif Akteruzzaman told the Dhaka Tribune that they would place the DNA test results before the labour ministry. He, however, declined to disclose the results before it was placed officially.
However, a reliable source said tests had been able to confirm the identities of around 300 unidentified victims.
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DHAKATRIBUNE

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20131104

* DNA tests confirm identities of 157 Rana Plaza victims:

DNA tests have confirmed identities of 157 out of 322 Rana Plaza victims with samples collected from their family members matching the deceased nearly six months after the most tragic incident that killed more than 1100 workers, official sources said Sunday.

However, the DNA (Deoxyribonucleic Acid)  tests could not confirm the identities of the remaining 165 victims as samples collected from the dead bodies did not match, they added.
An official of the National Forensic DNA Profiling Laboratory (NFDPL) of the Dhaka Medical College handed over the test report to the ministry of labour and employment Sunday.
“”We have submitted the DNA test report identifying 157 Rana Plaza victims to the concerned authority Sunday,” Laboratory Head Dr Sharif Akteruzzaman told the FE.

Out of 322 bodies 165 bodies remained unidentified because the samples taken from the victims’ relatives and family members did not match, he added.
“We will re-analyse those 165 profiling to find out whether there is any fault in collecting samples or other related matters,” he said adding after re-examining they might identify some more victims.
Replying to a question, he said they will prepare a final report after it.
They would not collect further samples, if the result again is found negative, he added.
read more. & read more. & read more.
FE bd BD new age DHAKATRIBUNE

* 157 DNA test matched, victims to get Tk 2-5 lakh:

The government would provide financial support to each family of Rana Plaza victims Taka 2-5 lakh as the DNA test result identified 157 out of 322 RMG workers, Labour and Employment Secretary Mikail Shiper said.

“Each worker will get Taka 2-5 lakh from the government within two months,” he said while addressing a press conference at the ministry’s conference room here today.
He said the DNA test results of 157 out of 322 Rana Plaza victims have matched with the samples collected from their immediate family members. Of the family members whose DNA test matched included 116 females and 41 males. The DNA test of the rest 165 is underway, Shiper said .
read more. & read more.& read more. & read more. & read more. & read more.
& read more. & read more.  & read more.
BSS BANGLA NEWS24 UNB BDCHRONICLE primenews  Ittefaq
newstodayBD FE bd daily star bd

* Emerging from the ruins of Rana Plaza:

When Minu’s limp body was piled onto the mass of corpses after Rana Plaza collapsed, she prayed that someone would notice that she was still alive.

Too weak to call out, she had been smothered under dead bodies in the rubble without food or water for three days. As they laid her out in the makeshift mortuary on the Adhur Chandra High- School playground in Savar, someone heard the faintest of cries and realized she was still alive.

“As I laid on the school oval, I thought I could not even make enough noise for someone to notice me. I had nothing left in me at all – I was just like another one of the bodies in the pile,” she recalls.

Minu Aktar had been working in Phantom Apparels on the fourth floor of Rana Plaza for four and a half years. She still suffers from physical injuries sustained during the collapse, as well as ongoing trauma, from being trapped under the building.

Six months on, however, Minu is starting to overcome her grief with the support of her family and through the ILO’s Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET) Reform Project in partnership with BRAC, a major non-governmental organisation.
read more.
EQUALtimes

++++++++++
20131105

* Wait now is for inheritance check:

After DNA tests, families need to have their identities confirmed by DC offices, PMO

Although DNA tests have confirmed the identities of 157 dead victims of the Rana Plaza disaster, the wait of the relatives for financial assistance gets longer as their inheritance also must be proved first.

The relatives of the collapse victims, whose identities could not immediately confirmed, have been waiting for seven months for monetary assistance.

Sources said the offices of deputy commissioners (DCs) of the respective districts would confirm the identities recovered from the DNA tests by visiting the addresses given against their names and finalise a list of lawful heirs. The list would then be sent to the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO), who would then decide on the amount the families would get from its relief fund.

Sources also said the families would get compensation in the range Tk200,000-Tk500,000 and the process of finalising heirs would take at least two more months.
The PMO and the BGMEA, association of readymade garment exporters, have so far donated Tk320m to the victims of the biggest industrial disaster in history.
read more.
DHAKATRIBUNE

+++++++++
20131107-08

* Office opened at Savar to collect data about Rana Plaza victims:

National Skills Development Council (NSDC) on Thursday opened a new office of ‘Coordination Unit for Rehabilitation of Rana Plaza Victims’ at Savar.

The main objective of the coordination unit office, located at the Centre for Disability in Development (CDD) at Ulail bus stand, is to collect and analyse information of the status of all victims.
The unit will also act as a point of contact for the Rana Plaza building collapse victims to receive information about the discharge of compensations.
to read. & read more. & to read.
UNB daily star bd newstodayBD

* Coordination unit for Rana Plaza victims’ rehab opens:

National Skills Development Council (NSDC), under the Ministry of Labour and Employment (MoLE), launched the operation of the ‘Coordination Unit for Rehabilitation of Rana Plaza Victims’ at the Centre for Disability in Development (CDD) at Savar on Thursday.

The key objectives of the coordination unit is to collect and analyse information from all stakeholders on the needs, services provided and current status of all victims. The unit will also act as a contact point for the Rana Plaza building collapse victims to receive information on their rights, and services available. The unit consists of a coordinator, data analyst, social worker and liaison officer.

At an information sharing session held on September 14 last, NSDC members along with stakeholders in Bangladesh’s garment industry developed strategies to strengthen the rehabilitation and reintegration of garment factory workers and their families affected by the Rana Plaza collapse.

Under the leadership of NSDC, a coordination committee was formed comprising representatives from international organizations, NGOs, trade unions and industry associations. This coordination committee meets on a regular interval to follow up progress on the on-going activities. To take this initiative forward, NSDC is now coordinating the activities proposed in the action plan through the establishment of this unit.
read more.
FE bd
+++++++

20131109

* BB honours 150 Rana Plaza volunteers:

Bangladesh Bank (BB) Saturday accorded reception to the 150 volunteers who helped rescue the victims of Rana Plaza building collapse in Savar on 24 April this year.

The central bank organised the reception at its training academy in Mirpur where the volunteers were rewarded with honorary certificates and a check of taka 5,000 each.
Addressing the programme, governor Dr Atiur Rahman urged the banks and financial institutions to offer jobs to the unemployed volunteers.
(…)
He said the volunteers and the family members of the Rana Plaza victims should be given more social and financial supports.
read more. & to read. & to read. & read more.
BD new age BSS INDEPENDENT daily star bd

+++++++++++++++++++++++++

Read more in Part 3.

 

map of Asia

20130524
* Workers cannot claim further compensation
* Savar Tragedy: Probe panel for action against those responsible
* Lists of injured, missing not yet completed
* Aid for Rana Plaza victims

20130525
* Wait not over for them

20130526
* Two more Rana Plaza workers die
* Pay for pain, sufferings – Victims deserve compensation from Brands
* Rana Plaza death toll rises to 1,129

20130528
* HC asks BB to submit bank statements of Sohel Rana, 5 factory owners

20130529
* Owners, BGMEA, buyers should pay compensation to Rana Plaza victims
* Lack of punishment responsible for Rana Plaza tragic: Speakers
* Govt reports 379 workers missing
* PM to receive cheques for Savar victims tomorrow (Thursday)

20130531
* PM gives financial assistance to families of 125 Savar victims- Govt
takes step for better treatment
* Engineer Rakibul on 5-day remand
* Dhaka- One Time Order

20130601
* Savar survivors: supports poured in; coordination a big problem
* Compensation money eludes families of Rana Plaza collapse victims
* Rana Plaza rescuers set example: speakers
* Waiting for mother
*The Savar disaster, and what next?
* Mourners build temporary memorial

20130602
* Savar tragedy: An emblem of poor governance
* A long wait, all in vain

20130603
* Rana Plaza Tragedy: 4 accused on remand
* BGMEA report still not submitted

20130604
* PM to receive donation for Savar victims Wednesday

20130605
* Families of Rana Plaza victims blockade highway
* BGMEA yet to announce damages for victim families
* Savar horror documented in photographs
* Relatives block Dhaka-Aricha highway
* PM gives financial assistance to 167 families of Savar victims
* Tk 6.24 crore provided to family members of 555 Savar tragedy victims
* 50 injured as police, BCL men attack Rana Plaza survivors

20130607
* JBFH and AMDA conduct follow-up treatment to Savar Rana Plaza victims

20130608
* Bangladesh survivors fear for work prospects
* Injured workers need follow-up treatment
* Primark begins paying compensation over Bangladesh factory disaster

20130609
* Bangladesh suspends factory inspectors over disaster
* Another arrested in Rana Plaza case

20130610
* Rana Plaza Tragedy: 4 accused on fresh remand

20130611
* Chief factory inspector changed
* 7 inspectors of Rana Plaza factories suspended
* Uncertain future for Survivors

20130612
* 4 staff held, remanded

20130614
* Rana Plaza victims claim foreign aid distribution non-transparent
* 4 garment owners denied bail
* 25km foot-walk to protest death of apparel workers
* The victims of Rana Plaza Bangladesh

20130616
* Lack of proper database deprives Rana Plaza workers of benefits

20130617
* Rana Plaza units exported products worth $28.4m
* Honouring RMG workers

20130618
* DNA tests may be delayed for money
* 3 engineers remanded in custody
* Three Rana Plaza engineers placed on two-day fresh remand
* DNA testing of Rana Plaza collapse victims uncertain
* Families of Rana Plaza victims receive cheques from PM
* Railway minister hands over Tk 45 lakh to PM for Rana Plaza victims

20130621
* Bangladesh collapse left many amputees
* BGMEA probe finds factory, building owners guilty

20130624
* Many workers yet to get compensation
* Rana Plaza collapse victim Manowar still in coma

20130625
* Fashion Victims

20130626
* Savar Tragedy: Thailand provides 5mn baht in humanitarian aid
* Uniliver donates Tk 10 lakh for Savar victims
* Rana Plaza tragedy exposes complete disregard for rules
* Savar tragedy and what next

20130627
* BGMEA probe finds Sohel Rana, RAJUK officials responsible for building collapse
* BGMEA blames bldg, factory owners
* Design violation led to disaster: BGMEA
* BGMEA avoids responsibility
* Rana Plaza: BGMEA probe accuses building, factory owners
* BGMEA holds Rana Plaza, 5 RMG owners responsible for disaster, shirks its responsibility
* PM receives donations for Rana Plaza victims
* Thailand grants $166,000 for BD
* Rana Plaza: Savar ward councillor on three-day remand

20130702
* US offers help in DNA testing for Rana Plaza victims

20130703
* PM gives financial help to 144 kin of 101 victims of Savar tragedy
* DU donates Tk 25 lakh to PM’s relief fund for Savar victims
* Rehabilitation of injured Rana Plaza victims

20130710
* BB receives Tk 20 lakh from Woori Bank for Savar victims
* Aftermath of the Rana Plaza Tragedy: Social and Health Issues Emerge Amid Struggle for Workers’ Rights

20130711
* Victims’ protest in front of BGMEA office
* Rana Plaza survivors seek fair compensation
* Portraits of Pain

20130714
* PM relief fund receives Tk 128cr
* Poverty, trauma tags Rana Plaza survivor

20130721
* BGMEA lists 1,107 Rana Plaza survivors for jobs
* Call for quick compensation for Rana Plaza victims
* Rana Plaza survivors demonstrate with coffin
* BGMEA yet to contribute to PM fund

20130722
* Artificial legs for victims by Sep
* Foreign help for Savar’s maimed: Ruhal Haque

20130723
* Rana Plaza tragedy: victims form human chain demanding compensation
* Victim families survivors, still rally for damages

20130724
* Compensation- Not Charity- for Bangladesh Factory Fire and Collapse
Victims

20130724-25
* CCC calls meeting of brands in BD to fix compensation for victims
* PM gives financial assistance to 175 family members of Savar victims
* Three Months Since Rana Plaza, 200 Orphans Call for Compensation and Safe Jobs
* Three months after Rana Plaza tragedy: Photo exhibition opened at crash site
* Photo show near Rana Plaza today
* Exhibition, rally marks three months of Rana Plaza tragedy
* Savar municipality mayor arrested
* Rana Plaza compensation: a botched disbursement
* Many families still wait for compensation

20130725-26
* Savar mayor arrested in Rana Plaza case
* Grim picture of Rana Plaza victims’ compensation
* Relatives of 123 Rana Plaza victims get PM’s aid
* Time for brands to pay compensation to Bangladesh victims

20130727-28
* After Rana Plaza collapse, reckoning looms: WSJ
* Families of Rana Plaza missing get no help
* 48 global retailers to meet in Dhaka
* FBI to assist in matching DNA with family members

20130729-30
* Chaos over RMG checks
* BGMEA must disclose fund raised for Rana Plaza victims: activists
* Rana Plaza victims receive grant from USA’s Gobindaganj Foundation
* India to fix legs of Rana plaza victims
* Demand compensation for the victims of the Bangladesh building collapse
* Bangladesh factory collapse victims get help to cope with trauma

20130731
* Missing workers’ families block highway
* Alleged Lack of Support from BGMEA to Rana Plaza Victims
* CID fails to finish Rana Plaza prob
* Police Consider Manslaughter Charges for Rana

20130801-02
* 100 days of Rana Plaza collapse observed
* Families of unidentified Rana Plaza victims yet to get help
* Rana Plaza site can’t be returned to owner: Nanak
* Workers’ memorial at Rana Plaza collapse site: Nanak
* RMG disaster victims’ lives a ‘nightmare’
* Rana Plaza victims left ignored to suffer
* Benetton and Mango: Rana Plaza survivors risk losing their homes

20130803-04
* Mourners, rights activists throng Savar
* Rana Plaza – In Protests and Resistance
* Pledges not fulfilled
* ORCA Homes takes charge of 10 kids of Rana Plaza victims
* Absence of good governance held responsible for Rana Plaza tragedy

20130804-05
* Rana workers must be helped without delay
* Rana Plaza survivors block Dhaka-Aricha highway
* Rescuers slip into abyss
* ‘It was an act of God’
* Rana Plaza survivors stage demo
* Rana Plaza survivors block Dhaka-Aricha highway

20130806-07
* Police charges batons on agitated Rana Plaza workers
* Victims’demonstrate for dues, compensation
* BGMEA president’s remarks condemned
* 332 Rana Plaza victims still missing: CPD
* Workers’ organisation specifies compensation demands for victims
* Eid brings no joy for Rana Plaza victims, families

20130807-08
* Rana plaza survivors want compensation, Eid bonus
* Survivors, families go on hunger strike on Eid day
* Another Rana Plaza worker dies

20130809
* Workers decry non-payment of compensations
* Rana Plaza victims, families demo at Shaheed Minar
* Rana Plaza survivors take part in hunger strike

20130810
* Rana Plaza victims, families protest at Shaheed Minar

20130807-12
* Bangladesh Factory Victims Wait as Compensation Meeting Delayed
* Bangladesh compensation meetings rescheduled
* Meeting to fix compensation package for Tazreen, Rana Plaza victims due next month
* Another succumbs to injuries
* Rana Plaza workers observe hunger strike on Eid day

20130814
* Army seeks more information on Rana Plaza tragedy

20130816
* Benetton and Mango: come to Bangladesh, and pay compensation!
* Bangladesh factory collapse victims seek help

20130822
* Bring initiatives under single umbrella

20130823
* Four months of Rana Plaza tragedy tomorrow

20130824-25
* Apparel workers demonstrate before BGMEA building
* Apparel workers rally outside BGMEA building
* Human chain demands compensation for victims, families

20130826
* Workers Voice Discontent After 4 Months Of The Rana Plaza Tragedy

20130828
* Bangladesh textile workers await compensation

20130829
* Govt to send rejoinder to NY Times editorial

20130830
* Dear Friends of the NGWF

20130831
* Children of victims want education
* Yunus discusses Rana plaza with GITI in Berlin

20130901
* 261 persons confirmed missing in Rana Plaza devastation: Army

20130902
* Sub-committees formed to fix compensation
* PM receives more donations for Rana Plaza victims

20130904
* BASIS makes donations to 40 Rana Plaza victims
* StanChart donates to Tk 29 lakh for Rana Plaza victims

20130906
* Geneva meet to fix compensation for RMG victims of Tazreen and Rana Plaza
* RMG victims compensation talks in Geneva next week

20130907
* CCC, brands sit in Geneva Sept 11-12 to set compensation
* Global retailers urged to compensate Tazreen, Rana Plaza victims fairly

20130907
* Leading brands may announce compensation package for Rana Plaza victims
* Survivors of Bangladesh garment factory collapse still suffering, 5 months later

20130910
* Brands Failing Victims of Bangladesh Disasters
* PM to give financial assistance to Savar building collapse victims Thursday

20130911
* Compensation to BD RMG disaster victims- 12 brands agree to meet in Geneva, 20 others refuse
* Most brands staying away as meeting begins in Geneva today
* Garment makers to discuss Bangladesh compensation

20130912
* Retailers discuss compensation for BD factory disaster victims
* Savar Building Collapse: PM gives financial assistance to more injured
* Rana’s father gets bail
* Pay more to ensure compliance: PM to int’l buyers
* Retailers’ meet begins in Geneva to negotiate $77mn compensation
* Bangladesh workers must continue to wait for full compensation

20130913
* Primark pledges more compensation
* Bangladesh factory compensation talks fail: organisers
* No deal on Bangladesh garment disaster damages
* Geneva: no compo secured for RMG victims
* Retailers divided over Bangladesh factory victims compensation

20130914
* Global buyers fail to reach consensus
* Failure in Geneva meet draws flak
* Bangladesh RMG factory compensation talks fail
* JUVA gives financial assistance to Rana Plaza victims
* Hope never fades for survivors of Rana Plaza disaster
* Little change for Bangladesh factory workers

20130916
* Rana Plaza victims get assistance
* Strategies developed to boost rehab of Rana Plaza victims, families

20130917
* Rana Plaza victims still await compensation
* Update on the Bangladesh Injured Worker Relief Fund

20130918
* No RMG compensation without DNA identification

20130919
* Concert in Dhaka tomorrow for Savar victims

20130920
* Rana Plaza victims still wait for compensation
* Body to propose Tk 23 lakh in damages for each dead worker
* Clothing corporations need to step up for BD factory collapse victims

20130921
* RMG workers rally in city’s Suhrawardy Udyan at 2pm Saturday

20130922
* Governance failure, not engineering

20130923
* Committee proposes Tk2.2m for each victim
* Identities of Rana Plaza victims: DNA test results expected in 3 weeks

20130926
* German ambassador visits victims of Rana Plaza collapse
* Reparation after the Bangladesh garment factory disaster

20130929
* Thai govt provides artificial legs for Rana Plaza victims

20131001
* Committee to place report to HC soon proposing Tk 2.0m
* Families of dead workers to get Tk 19.5 lakh each

20131002
* IBC urges global brands to join compensation plan
* IndustriAll demands $71m for Rana Plaza victims

20131005
* Ten children of victims get scholarships

20131007
* DNA test results of Rana Plaza victims likely after Eid

20131009
* Rana Plaza tragedy victims get donation
* The wait for help goes on six months after the Bangladesh factory collapse

20131011
* Victims’ relatives still waiting for compensation
* Rana Plaza sweatshop disaster survivors: “We need compensation”
* Demand justice for victims of Bangladesh building collapse

20131012
* Bangladesh factory collapse: Sheuly Begum, the survivor
* Bangladesh factory collapse: Shahera Akter, a survivor
* Bangladesh factory collapse: Morium Bibi, the widow

20131019
* Rana Plaza survivor passes Eid in loneliness
* DNA tests identify 300 Rana Plaza victims

20131021
* Rana plaza tragedy: Pregnant wife of a slain worker left ‘abandoned’
* Rana Plaza survivors encouraged by Bangladesh Accord
* DNA test to identify dead garment workers soon
* Compensation for Rana Plaza victims

20131023-24
* Rana Plaza survivors work at self-owned factory
* Six months on from Rana Plaza – survivors still fighting for compensation
* Rana Plaza disaster: victims still waiting for compensation
* Savar factory collapse victims no closer to recovery
* Compensation for Rana Plaza tragedy victims still a far cry
* 6 months on, Rana Plaza probe still incomplete
* No progress in ACC probe of Rana Plaza collapse
* German Development Cooperation, CRP and BGMEA join hands six months after Rana Plaza
* MoU signed to train disabled RMG workers
* No charge sheet yet
* Rana Plaza collapse victims yet to get compensation
* Caught between fear and need
* Family seeks better recognition of Kaykobad’s heroic deeds
* Specialised school planned for victims
* Six months after Rana Plaza – Brands must pay compensation NOW
* Primark announces long-term compensation for Bangladesh factory collapse victims
* Primark extends payouts to Rana Plaza victims
* Loblaw to compensate BD garments’ workers
* Accord statement upon the six-month anniversary of the Rana Plaza disaster
* Waiting for the charge-sheet

20131024-25
* ‘Little help’ for Rana Plaza victims
* Bangladesh commemorates tragedy victims, survivors seek compensation
* Families hold candlelit vigil at Rana Plaza site six months on
* Rana Plaza collapse victims, families demand compensation
* Orphans Vent Grief, Six Months After Tragedy
* Factory deaths fail to spur inspections
* Why the problem of Bangladesh isn’t solved yet
* Improvements since Rana Plaza- Six Months Later
* Buyers make no compensation pledge yet for Rana Plaza victims

20131027
* Emerging from Rana Plaza ruins
* Primark, Loblaw pay out to Bangladesh factory victims
* Compensate Rana Plaza victims asap

20131031
* Assessment Report of the Rehabilitation and Reintegration of Rana Plaza Victims
* Rana Plaza victims continue to suffer
* Rebuilding lives

20131103
* DNA test results of Rana Plaza victims to go to ministry on Sunday

20131104
* DNA tests confirm identities of 157 Rana Plaza victims
* 157 DNA test matched, victims to get Tk 2-5 lakh
* Emerging from the ruins of Rana Plaza

20131105
* Wait now is for inheritance check

20131107-08
* Office opened at Savar to collect data about Rana Plaza victims
* Coordination unit for Rana Plaza victims’ rehab opens

20131109
* BB honours 150 Rana Plaza volunteers

latest tweets (& news)

Convention on the Rights of the Child
Universal Declaration of Human Rights

I wonder who they are
The men who really run this land
And I wonder why they run it
With such a thoughtless hand

What are their names
And on what streets do they live
I'd like to ride right over
This afternoon and give
Them a piece of my mind
About peace for mankind
Peace is not an awful lot to ask
    David Crosby

I wonder who they are
The people who are buying these clothes
I'd like to know what they've paid for it
How much the makers have paid for this
Fairer income is not an awful lot to ask
Better working conditions is not an awful lot to ask
    A. Searcher

For more and other (labour) news you can follow on twitter: @asearcher2