24 April 2013 THE RANA PLAZA BUILDING COLLAPSE Part 3 20131109- 20140313

18:37:54 local time map of bangla_desh BANGLADESH

THE RANA PLAZA BUILDING COLLAPSE – Part 3

20131116

* All brands responsible should compensate the Rana Plaza victims now:

The Clean Clothes Campaign and IndustriALL Global Union are today urging all brands and retailers linked to the disaster at the Rana Plaza building in Bangladesh to work together to sign up to a credible and collaborative process for delivering compensation to the victims of the disaster.    

Since September the Rana Plaza Compensation Coordination Committee, comprised of the Ministry of Labour, the BGMEA, four international brands, IndustriALL global union, local trade unions and the Clean Clothes Campaign, has been negotiating a process for calculating, funding and delivering compensation to the families of those killed and injured when the Rana Plaza building collapsed in April.

The process is being facilitated by the International Labour Organisation.    In the last two months members of the Committee, along with ILO, have been engaged in an intensive programme of work to develop a credible and transparent system which would deliver a single approach to the provision of compensation owed
by both local and international stakeholders.
This has included several meetings and technical missions to Bangladesh, the involvement of international technical experts on compensation and the collection
and analysis of data collected in regard to those killed and injured.

Yesterday the Committee met to discuss final outstanding issues of the proposed “Arrangement”, which lays out practical guidelines for compensation provision. This includes the establishment of a voluntary international fund, which will channel contributions from brands and retailers into the compensation scheme. Negotiations towards this are ongoing with the aim of formalising the Arrangement sometime next week.
The groundwork for implementation has already been started and full implementation will begin as soon as the Arrangement has been formally adopted by all stakeholders.
“All brands need to step up – and stop hiding or presenting excuses. No brand can go it alone on compensation – by doing so they will fail the majority of workers and any compensation paid out will be partial, limited and unpredictable.”
said Ineke Zeldenrust of the Clean Clothes Campaign.
“The Arrangement will ensure that ALL the victims of this terrible disaster
finally get the compensation they deserve in a transparent manner with independent oversight. We are urging all brands to commit to signing the Arrangement now and to work with the committee to enable payments to begin.”

The Arrangement has already been signed by Primark, Loblaw, Bonmarche and El Corte Ingles. Other signatories include the Clean Clothes Campaign and industriALL. Other key brands including Mango, Walmart, Auchan, Childrens Place, Carrefour and Kik have so far refused to sign.
“Primark, El Corte Ingles, Loblaw and Bonmarché have led the way and sent a clear signal to consumers everywhere of their sincerity to the accident in their supply chain” said Monika Kemperle of the IndustriALL global union.
“We call upon other brands to follow their example, and expect them to continue to lead with full commitment to the Arrangement and implement a joint response under the auspices of the Coordination Commitee chaired by the ILO”
to read.
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* Rana Plaza compensation talks still frustrate:

The long overdue final agreement on compensation to Rana Plaza victims is still not finalised as brands continue to hesitate. Walmart, Carrefour, Bonmarché, Mango, Auchan and Kik refuse to sign the Arrangement.

Meeting yesterday, 14 November at the International Labour Organisation (ILO), the various parties involved in compensation negotiations once again discussed establishing a fund to pay survivors and families of the dead workers of Rana Plaza. Almost seven months have passed since the building collapse.

Relatives of the dead workers visit the Rana Plaza site every day in Savar, Bangladesh. While they remember their lost loved ones, the labels of well-known clothing brands are easy to find in the rubble next to them.

The situation for many of the survivors and their families is extreme. Rana Plaza survivors told IndustriALL at the site that around 90 per cent of all employees of the five collapsed factories are still unable to work due to the psychological damage the collapse caused.

IndustriALL Assistant General Secretary Monika Kemperle:
How can the brands that sourced from Rana Plaza continue to refuse to pay what they are obliged under international employment standards and ILO Convention 121?”
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20131117

* Buyers’ compensation for Rana Plaza victims far from reality:

The meeting was rescheduled as the brands refused to sign an agreement in finalising the proposal

A meeting among the world’s apparel retailers on proposed compensation for Rana Plaza victims ended inconclusive in Geneva on Friday, but they are scheduled to meet again on November 28.

The meeting was rescheduled as the brands refused to sign an agreement in finalising the proposal – an initiative by the IndustriALL with support from the International Labour Organisation.
“The long overdue final agreement on compensation to Rana Plaza victims is still not finalised as brands continue to hesitate,” said a statement of IndustriALL. Walmart, Carrefour, Bonmarché, Mango, Auchan and Kik refused to sign the arrangement.

The next compensation meeting is scheduled on November 28, where further discussion will be held on how to incorporate the increased minimum wage, scheduled to be announced in a week’s time, into the compensation figures, said the statement.
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DHAKATRIBUNE

* Tazreen Fire, Rana Plaza Collapse: Make public list of casualties:

Urge labour rights activists

Labour rights activists yesterday demanded making public a complete list of garment workers injured and killed in the Tazreen Fashions fire and Rana Plaza collapse, naming those who received financial assistance and those left out.

The process of disbursing financial aid should also be made public through formation of a coordination committee comprising the parties concerned, they told a press conference Sramik Nirapatta Forum (SNF) organised in the capital’s Dhaka Reporters Unity.
Syed Sultan Uddin Ahmed, assistant executive director of BILS, and SNF Convener Hamida Hossain also spoke.
to read.
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20131123

* US retailers decline to aid Tazreen, Rana Plaza victims:

One year after the Tazreen factory fire in Bangladesh, many retailers that sold garments produced there or inside the Rana Plaza building that collapsed last spring are refusing to join an effort to compensate the families of the more than 1,200 workers who died in those disasters, a report of the New York Times said.

The International Labour Organisation is working with Bangladeshi officials, labour groups and several retailers to create ambitious compensation funds to assist not just the families of the dead, but also more than 1,800 workers who were injured, some of them still hospitalised, according to the report that was published on November 22.

A handful of retailers — led by Primark, an Anglo-Irish company, and C&A, a Dutch-German company — are deeply involved in getting long-term compensation funds off the ground, one for Rana Plaza’s victims and one for the victims of the Tazreen fire, which killed 112 workers last November 24.

But to the dismay of those pushing to create the compensation funds, neither Walmart, Sears, Children’s Place nor any of the other American companies that were selling goods produced at Tazreen or Rana Plaza have agreed to contribute to the efforts.

Supporters of compensation plans say they are needed to pay for medical care for those who are paralysed or otherwise badly injured, to provide income after a vital breadwinner died and to give families enough income so that children are not forced to quit school and go to work.

“Compensation is so important because so many families are suffering — many families don’t have anyone left to support them,” said Kalpona Akter, executive director of the Bangladesh Center for Worker Solidarity. “There’s been a good response from some European brands, but so far none of the US retailers have agreed to pay a single penny for compensation.”
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20131124

* Rana Plaza charge sheets yet to be finalised:

Eight accused have already secured bail from the High Court in the midst of procrastination of the investigation agencies preparing the charge sheets that may be submitted next month

Seven months have elapsed since the Rana Plaza building at Savar collapsed, but the investigators are yet to finalise charge sheets in three out of five cases in connection with the disaster.

Eight accused have already secured bail from the High Court in the midst of procrastination of the investigation agencies preparing the charge sheets that may be submitted next month.
|The number one accused in the police case and Rana’s father Abdul Khalek got bail in the month of October.

The other accused – Savar Municipality Engineers Emtemum Hossain, Rakibul Hassan and Refayet Ullah; its ward councilor Mohammad Ali Khan; and Abul Hasan, Anil Dash and Shah Alam, who gave Sohel Rana, building owner, shelter at Faridpur and Jessore also got bail.
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DHAKATRIBUNE

* CID asked to explain failure to submit Rana plaza probe report:

A Dhaka court issued a show cause notice asking the CID to explain why they failed to submit a probe report before it by today in two cases filed over the Rana Plaza collapse that killed 1,132 people and injured many more.

Senior Judicial Magistrate Kazi Shahidul Islam asked Bijoy Krishna Kar, an assistant superintendent of police of Criminal Investigation Department (CID), to submit the report by December 24.
During today’s hearing, 14 out of 22 accused including the building owner Sohel Rana, now in jail, were produced before the court.
Eight others, who were granted bail from the High Court, were present before the court today.
Earlier on October 24, the same trial court directed the CID to submit the probe report by today (November 24).
The two cases were filed with Savar Police Station following the collapse of Rana Plaza.
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* Rana Plaza investigator censured:

A Dhaka court has served a show-cause notice on the investigating officer of the Rana Plaza collapse for failing to file a report on the accident that had left at least 1,130 people dead.

Dhaka’s senior judicial magistrate Kazi Shahidul Islam on Sunday served the notice, giving Criminal Investigation Department ASP Bijoy Krishna Kar time till December 24 to respond.
Rana Plaza, which housed six readymade garment factories at Savar on the outskirts of capital Dhaka, collapsed on April 24 this year.
The victims of one of the world’s worst building disasters were mostly factory workers.
Additional public prosecutor Anwarul Kabir told the news agency that December 24 had been fixed as the next date for hearing in the case. ‘The investigation officer has been asked to respond to the show-cause notice within that time.’
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BD new age

* On 24th of every month, they mourn:

On the 24th day of every month, family members of the missing and deceased workers gather on the premises of the two buildings

November 24 marks one year of the terrible fire at Tazreen Fashions, a garment factory in Nischintapur area of Ashulia, and seven months into the deadly collapse of Rana Plaza at Savar that took place on April 24.

The 24th day comes every month, but sufferings of the survivors, and family members of the missing and deceased workers remain unheeded. On this day, they gather on the premises of the two buildings; they did it again on Sunday and demonstrated under the banners of different workers’ bodies and left-leaning organisations.

Most of them lost the only bread earners of the family, while many survivors lost their limbs for which they will not able to work anymore in future.

Bangladesh Garments Workers Federation and Bangladesh Garments Workers Solidarity organised programmes on Rana Plaza premises and Tazreen Fashions demanding actual compensation and arrest of Tazreen’s owner Delwar Hossain. They also demanded a complete list of missing workers.

Around 1,000 survivors and family members of the missing and deceased workers gathered at the two places. They also brought out a rally on Dhaka-Aricha highway and paid tribute to the deceased workers at the Rana Plaza premises.
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DHAKATRIBUNE

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20131126

* Owners not bound to pay Tk 19.51 lakh to each: BGMEA:

COMPENSATION FOR RANA PLAZA VICTIMS

Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association opposed Tk 19.51 lakh compensation package for each dead or disabled Rana Plaza worker saying the garments owners are not lawfully responsible to compensate at such high amount.

The trade body recently submitted a written opinion to the sub-committee on fixation of compensation demanding to re-fix a ‘logical amount’ of compensation considering the exiting laws and ability of the owners.
On November 21, the sub-committee discussed on the papers at a meeting presided over by Dhaka University economics teacher MM Akash.
The BGMEA additional secretary Md Zaglul Hayder and the representative of the nine infantry division Colonel Rafiqul Islam also attended the meeting.
The head of the sub-committee MM Akash told New Age that the process of the fixation of compensation for the Rana Plaza victims would be finalised by November.
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BD new age

* Move to slash compensation money for Rana Plaza victims:

Apparel-makers are trying to reduce compensation money for the families of the Rana Plaza victims far below the amount proposed by a high-powered committee, sources said Monday.

The Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) leaders, on November 07, proposed Tk 0.7 million for each of the dead victims’ families to be fixed while the committee recommended Tk 1.95 million, they said.

The committee was formed following the High Court order after the country’s worst industrial disaster-Rana Plaza building collapse on April 24 last that killed more than 1,100 workers — to decide the amount of compensation. It later formed two sub-committees to fix the compensation rates and categories of the injured.

On November 21, the members of the committee sat again when the BGMEA placed its proposal recommending decrease in the compensation amount of Tk 0.7 million for family of each deceased and Tk 0.1 million for each injured worker.

The BGMEA in its proposal said compensation should be fixed according to the labour law and owners’ capability and reality should also be brought into consideration.
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* Rana Plaza Compensation amount proposed to be slashed – ignorance and delay continue:

Garment factory owners are trying hard to slash the compensation money for the families of the Rana Plaza victims far below the amount proposed by a high-powered committee appointed by the High Court just after the disaster that left at least 1135 dead and thousands more critically wounded, some of whom are permanently disabled.

This committee later formed two sub-committees to fix the compensation rates and categories of the injured.

The Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) representatives, on 07 November 2013, proposed BDT0.7 million for each of the dead victims families to be fixed while the committee recommended BDT1.95 million.

On 21 November 2013, the members of the committee sat again when the BGMEA placed its proposal to slash down the the compensation amount to BDT0.7 million for family of each deceased and BDT0.1 million for each injured worker. The BGMEA in its proposal said compensation should be fixed according to the labor law and owners capability and reality of the situation must also be brought into consideration.

“It would be impossible for many of the owners to give such a huge amount and it will discourage the entrepreneurs,” said the representatives of the BGMEA in an effort to justify their proposal.

According to sections of 19 and 151 of the labor law 2006 (amendment 2013),  the owner will give Tk 0.1 million as compensation to each of the deceased families, TK 0.125 million for the permanently disabled worker or each of the workers who lost one limb. All this, if the owner of Rana Plaza is responsible for the collapse for violating the construction law and using low quality construction materials.
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20131201

* Rana Plaza Compensation – The Delay With No Deadline …:

It has been two months more than 6 months already, and except for Primark and its well planned bKash initial relief fund transfer twice directly to the victims and their families (BDT15000 x 2), no other tangible/real action has been taken yet.

The wait is longer than any consignment ever takes to reach the shores of rich markets for occasions of love and compassion – just like Christmas 2013 that is ahead of us.

An ex-Rana Plaza worker (now an injured victim) questions, “… are we not to be remembered or helped by those we worked for? Were we not a part of the effort we put together for all of our sakes? We went inside the building that day because there was a deadline we had to meet … now we are in shatters and our pain is extreme.
Where is the deadline for the buyers to help us? … “We love our buyers as we have always had them as family, we love those who wear what we stitch – we care for them with our every effort. I hear this winter they will celebrate with their children.
Will they forget the hundreds of children now orphaned?”

Big Western Brands like Walmart, Sears, Children’s Place nor any of the other US sellers of goods produced at  Rana Plaza has agreed to contribute to the efforts of compensation.
A chilling display of ignorance by brands who claim to serve middle class working families (such as Walmart) and those who are there to cloth children.
If these brands are ignorant of the pain suffered by ordinary working families of their own supply chain and their orphaned children, an obvious question does arise of their true “care”for ordinary people who back in their countries make up their target market.
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20131202

* Rescuer turned victim seeks way back to normalcy:

It was a spontaneous decision, coming to the aid of others in distress irrespective of the dangers involved.

But never did he imagine that it would end up in a personal tragedy, crippling and turning him penniless, at the mercy of others.
The morning of April 24 was like of any other day for Mohammad Sohel. He was working as a knitting machine operator in a garment factory adjacent to Rana Plaza in Savar.
But as the clock struck 8:45am, the nine-storey Rana Plaza came crashing down, trapping thousands of workers employed in its five garment units.
A natural instinct to save his two cousins working there kicked in and the 23-year-old sprung to action without waiting for firefighters.
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20131207

* Families of 159 get Tk 24,000 each:

Rana Plaza Deceased

Families of 159 deceased Rana Plaza victims were provided Tk 24,000 each as financial assistance under the supervision of Bangladesh Army’s 9th infantry division in Morning Glory School at Savar Cantonment yesterday.

The assistance came from donations individuals and organisations deposited with a private bank account opened by Bangladesh Army and Dhaka District Administration for the victims.
The 159 and another 102 deceased victims, all of whose identities

Bangladesh Army confirmed by cross checking with family members, are among 329 persons who had been listed as missing.
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20131213

* 2 more corpses found under rubbles:

Two more corpses were found under the rubbles of Rana Plaza which could certainly made another eye-opener on the world’s one of the largest factory disaster.

Some street children found the bodies while they were trying to pull out a jacket from the rubbles of Rana Plaza at Savar around 5.00pm Friday.

Witnesses said that human bones, skulls, identity cards, money bags were spotted while four street children lugged a jacket from the rubbles while they were collecting wasted bottles-iron pins in the area.
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20131214

* DNA-identified victims’ families await aid:

The BGMEA has also reportedly donated more than Tk125.5m to a total of 2,785 victims

The families of the Rana Plaza victims – who were recently identified through DNA tests – are still waiting for financial assistance, although the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) has already received the “Inheritance Verification Reports” on the victims.

Out of 157 individuals, the identities of 155 were confirmed by the offices of deputy commissioners of the respective districts after visiting the addresses given against the victims’ names. One address was found to be wrong, while the other could not be verified by anyone.

It has been learnt that as part of the PMO’s plan to provide financial assistance to the lawful heirs in phases, a list of 132 victims has been prepared for the first phase. The victims’ families would receive between Tk100,000 to Tk500,000, based on the number of family members who depended on the victims.
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20131215

* Victim primarily identified as Obaidul:

He worked as sewing assistant at New Wave Bottoms garment factory

The skeletal remains which were found with an ID card and a mobile phone in the Rana Plaza debris Friday belong to garment worker Obaidul, police primarily confirmed yesterday, after contacting the victim’s relatives through the retrieved SIM card.

They, however, will send the remains alongside a skull, located about 50 feet away, for DNA tests to properly establish the identity, said Dipok Chandra Saha, inspector of Savar Model Police Station, as locals presume that the remains are of two persons.
On Friday night, police dialled a number saved in the SIM card as “Vial” (thought to be misspelt for “Via” meaning brother) and one Faruq Hossain replied from the other side identifying him as a cousin of Obaidul, said police. Faruq answered all their queries properly, they added.
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* Rana Plaza victim’s skull handed over to relative:

Some street boys while scavenging garbage at the Rana Plaza site found the skull and bones

A human skull and bones recovered from the debris of multi-storey Rana Plaza at Savar were handed over to the relatives yesterday.

After the skull was found on Friday, police sent it to Dhaka Medical College Hospital.
Savar model police station confirmed that the skull was of Obaidul, a sewing operator of New Wave Bottom on the third floor of Rana Plaza.
Obaidul came from Dakirkanda village in Tarakanda upazila under Mymensingh. He had been missing since the deadly collapse of the building on April 24.
After failing to trace the body of his son, father Hafizur Rahman filed a general diary with Savar police on May 25.
Hafiz received the skull from DMCH.
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DHAKATRIBUNE

* Bangladesh Factory Fires: Why Brands Are Accountable and Should Compensate Victims Now:

On the evening of April 23, 2013, garment factory employees of the Rana Plaza building in Savar, Bangladesh, pleaded with management to take notice of the sudden cracks that had appeared in the walls and foundations.

Their requests for evacuation were ignored on the basis that the building owner, Sohel Rana, had just hired an engineer who had pronounced the building safe. The mostly female labor force, who were threatened with losing a month’s pay if they did not return, were ordered to work the next day. As they arrived at the building, the first thing they heard over the loudspeaker was this: “All the workers of Rana Plaza, go to work.
The factory has already been repaired.” Just half an hour later, the eight-story building collapsed, killing over 1,000 people and injuring more than 2,500. Local workers and relatives were some of the first on the scene, digging out mutilated bodies, including those of children who had been staying at the building’s day care center, from the rubble.
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20131221

* Over 100 victims to remain unidentified:

DNA Profiling Laboratory of DMC has so far identified 157 of 322 bodies

More than 100 ill-fated victims of the Rana Plaza tragedy are likely to remain unidentified forever, as the second phase of the DNA sampling nears its end at the National DNA Profiling Laboratory in Dhaka Medical College.

Following the identification of 157 victims from the 322 unidentified bodies in the first phase of the process, laboratory chief Dr Sharif Akteruzzaman told the Dhaka Tribune: “Among the 165 [still] unidentified victims, we would finally be able to identify 50 to 60 of them.”

Although a total 548 DNA samples from victims’ relatives had been submitted to the laboratory against the 322 unidentified bodies, more than 100 victims’ DNA did not match with any submitted samples.

After the Rana Plaza collapse, more than 800 bodies were handed over to relatives without having any DNA samples kept from either the victims or the relatives – a procedure which Dr Akteruzzman said was unscientific.
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DHAKATRIBUNE

* Bangladeshi Workers’ Long Wait:

It has been nearly eight months since the collapse of a building in Bangladesh killed more than 1,100 garment factory workers and left many others with grave injuries. But most of those victims and their families have yet to receive adequate financial help or medical care.

Some families of workers killed in the building, Rana Plaza, have had to send their children to work to make ends meet, according to a recent report by Jim Yardley in The Times. Workers who lost limbs or suffered other grave injuries have received substandard treatment. Many survivors have become burdens on their struggling families.

The catastrophe led to an outpouring of grief in Bangladesh and around the world. At the time, the government of Sheikh Hasina announced that it would take care of victims and their families, a promise that it has yet to fulfill despite having collected private donations for that purpose. The Bangladesh High Court is expected to decide how much money victims and their families will get, though many have been told that they won’t get the full amount until every dead body has been identified, a needless delay.
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NYT

* After Rana Plaza collapse, bleak struggle for survivors:

Inside the single room he shares with his wife and young child, Hasan Mahmud Forkan does not sleep easily.

Some nights he hears the screams of the garment workers he tried to rescue from the wreckage of the Rana Plaza factory building. Or he dreams the bed itself is collapsing, sucking him down into a bottomless void.

A few miles away, at a rehabilitation centre for the disabled, Rehana Khatun is learning to walk again. She lost both legs in the Rana Plaza collapse and worries that she is not improving because her prosthetic replacements are bulky and uncomfortable. She is only 20 and once hoped to save money so she could return to her village and pay for her own wedding.
“No, I don’t have that dream anymore,” she said, with a cold pragmatism more than self-pity. “How can I take care of a family?”

Eight months ago, the collapse of Rana Plaza became the deadliest disaster in the history of the garment industry, and many of the survivors still face an uncertain future. The shoddily constructed building pancaked down onto workers stitching clothes for global brands like Children’s Place, Benetton, C & A, Primark and many others. Workers earning as little as $38 a month were crushed under tonnes of falling concrete and steel. More than 1,100 people died and many others were injured or maimed.

But while the Rana Plaza disaster stirred an international outcry — and shamed many international clothing companies into pledging to help finance safety improvements in other Bangladeshi factories — the people most directly affected are still living without any guarantees of help or financial compensation. Families who lost the wages of a son or daughter, husband or wife, are struggling.
Those who lost limbs, like Khatun, are uncertain if they will ever walk or hold things again. And many volunteer rescuers like Forkan and survivors are struggling to deal with debilitating emotional scars.
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20131223

* Human skull recovered from Rana Plaza:

Police recovered another human skull from the site of collapsed Rana Plaza in the city’s suburb on Sunday noon.

According to Sub-Inspector Shoyeb of Savar Model Police Station, some street children first discovered the human skull around 2:00 pm when they were collecting garbage from the area. The children also set fire on some garbage, which spread over the area immediately, the police official said. Getting the information, two units of fire service rushed to the spot and doused the fire.
Later, police recovered the skull from Rana Plaza area.
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20131224

* $40 Million in Aid Set for Bangladesh Garment Workers:

Eight months after the Rana Plaza factory building collapsed in Bangladesh, killing more than 1,100 workers and leaving hundreds of families bereft and financially adrift, several prominent retailers and labor groups have joined with the Bangladesh government to create an estimated $40 million compensation fund to aid the victims’ families.

So far, four retailers — Bon Marché, El Corte Inglés, Loblaw and Primark — have pledged to contribute to the fund, which is intended to compensate the families of those who died last April 24 in what was the deadliest disaster in garment industry history. The new fund is considered a landmark in compensating families of garment industry victims, in terms of both the amount to be paid and the sophistication of the arrangements. No United States-based retailers have signed on.

Several officials involved in negotiations to establish the fund said in interviews that the families of the dead would receive, on average, more than $25,000 each, while hundreds of workers who were injured or maimed would also receive compensation. Per capita income in Bangladesh is about $1,900 a year.

The fund’s members said they hoped to begin making payments in February, although they have yet to decide how much each firm will contribute, which depends in part on whether governments donate.
The money is to be paid in installments to ensure that the families have a steady source of income for years to come.
“We think the agreement is a really good result,” said Ineke Zeldenrust, international coordinator of the Clean Clothes Campaign, a European antisweatshop group that has pressed retailers to do far more to help the families of the disaster’s victims.
“The agreement will deliver to all the victims and the families of the Rana Plaza disaster full and fair compensation in a credible manner. What we need now is for other companies to agree to pay into the fund.”
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NYTUNB

* Rana Plaza Compensation Arrangement:

An unprecedented coordinated framework has been agreed to compensate the hundreds of victims, both injured workers and dependents of the deceased, as a result of the fatal disaster that took place on April 24th, 2013, when the Rana Plaza building collapsed in Savar (Bangladesh).

With the UN agency International Labour Organisation (ILO) acting as a neutral chair, a unique multi-stakeholder Coordination Committee has developed a “Practical Arrangement” which provides a single approach for compensation consistent with the ILO international standards.  The Understanding for this Arrangement has been signed by leading buyers (Primark, Loblaw,  Bonmarche, El Corte Ingles), the Bangladesh Ministry of Labour, Bangladesh Employers’  Federation (BEF), Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA),  IndustriALL Bangladesh National Council, Bangladesh Institute for Labour Studies (BILS),  Industriall Global Union and Clean Clothes Campaign, which also integrate the multi- stakeholder Coordination Committee.

This Coordination Committee, with the key technical support of ILO and UN experts, will  continue to oversee the scheme which will cover income replacement needs and medical costs  to all beneficiaries, according to the recently updated wages in Bangladesh. Disbursements will  be made on a case by case basis after a medical assessment will have determined the level of  disability of injured workers.

To finance the payments to victims, international brands and retailers are making voluntary  contributions into a humanitarian International Trust Fund, managed by a global bank and  open to other international donors. Any local funds will be kept in a local bank. A local bank  will provide payments directly to the beneficiaries ́ bank accounts.

Although the final funding needed will only be determined as the individual claims will be  processed, it is estimated that the total amount will be close to USD 40 million, based on the  provisions of ILO Convention No. 121 and the wage levels expected at time of award.  Compensation already paid to victims, both by local and global stakeholders, will be offset.
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RANAPLAZA arragement

* $40m aid for Bangladesh garment workers:

Four global retailers, along with manufacturers and labour groups, have agreed to set up a $40 million compensation fund for victims of Bangladesh’s Rana Plaza disaster that killed 1,135 people, officials said Tuesday, AFP reports.

They said retailers Primark, El Corte Ingles, Loblaw and Bon Marche have pledged to contribute to the fund following the collapse of the garment factory complex in April, the world’s worst industrial tragedy.
‘A fund has been established to compensate the victims, injured workers and dependants of the deceased, of the Rana Plaza collapse,’ said Lejo Sibbel from the International Labour Organisation which helped broker the agreement reached last month.
‘An estimated $40 million will be required to compensate the victims and their beneficiaries,’ said Sibbel, who is based in Dhaka.
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20131225

* 4 global retailers to set up $40m compensation fund:

Four global retailers, along with manufacturers and labour groups, have agreed to set up a $40 million compensation fund for victims of Bangladesh’s Rana Plaza disaster that killed 1,134 people, officials said Tuesday.

Retailers Primark, El Corte Ingles, Loblaw and Bonmarche have pledged to contribute to the fund following the collapse of the garment factory complex in April, the world’s worst industrial tragedy, the officials said.
‘A fund has been established to compensate the victims, injured workers and dependants of the deceased, of the Rana Plaza collapse,’ said Lejo Sibbel from the International Labour Organisation which helped broker the agreement reached last month.
‘An estimated $40 million will be required to compensate the victims and their beneficiaries,’ said Sibbel, who is based in Dhaka.
‘To finance the payments to victims, international brands and retailers are making voluntary contributions into the fund, which is also open to contributions from any other international donors,’ he told the AFP.
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BD new age

* Victims, relatives demonstrate for compensation:

Several hundred relatives of Rana Plaza victims and some victims themselves demonstrated at the site of the collapsed building in Savar yesterday to press home their demands including proper compensation.

They also brought out a procession blockading the Dhaka-Aricha highway for half an hour demanding proper compensation, punishment of the accused and rehabilitation of the workers and their families.
They demonstrated under separate banners of “Bangladesh Garment and Industrial Workers Federation”, “Bangladesh Garment Workers Solidarity” and “National Garment Workers Federation”.
Speakers at the demonstration claimed the government has not treated the collapse of the nine-storey building with utmost importance and that is why victims have not been compensated even eight months after the incident.

Marium Begum, a worker of New Wage Style garment factory that was housed in Rana Plaza, attended the demonstration in a wheelchair.
Marium said her right eye sustained injuries and her left leg was broken in the incident and that she needs Tk 200 daily for medication.
She received financial assistance from different people and organisations in the first month but now is struggling to pay for her medicine, said Marium.
Ashraf Uddin Khan Emu, MP and Savar upazila chairman, among others, was present.
Rana Plaza collapsed in April last leaving over 1,100 dead and scores injured.
to read.
daily star bd

* Bangladeshi workers still missing eight months after Rana Plaza collapse:

Anger among relatives of victims who say authorities have not handed back bodies and are not paying them compensation

Almost 200 workers are still missing from the Bangladesh factory that collapsed eight months ago, compounding the misery for relatives who have received little in the way of compensation.

More than 1,134 people died in the disaster on 24 April, mainly workers making clothes for sale on western high streets by retailers including Matalan, Primark and other household names. The tragedy was the worst industrial accident anywhere in the world for a generation.

The failure to finalise the death toll and to unite bereaved relatives with the remains of their loved ones will raise questions about the capacity of local authorities to effect the wide-ranging reforms of the garment industry that brands, campaigners, labour activists, consumers and local officials all say are necessary. The garment industry employs around four million people in Bangladesh and produces 80% of the country’s exports.
read more.
GUARDIAN
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20131227

* JUTA donates financial assistance to Rana Plaza victims:

The Jahangirnagar University Teachers’ Association (JUTA) gave financial assistance to eight children who lost their parents in Savar Rana Plaza collapse.

JUTA distributed Tk 60,000 to each child of eight families for their education amounting to a total of Tk 4, 80,000 at a function at the Cafeteria lounge on JU campus Thursday.
The teacher’s organization donated the financial assistance with the help of the all teachers of JU.
Recently all of the teachers of JU donated their one day’s salary for the help of the victim’s family.
read more.& read more.
FE bd BD new age

* More human remains found:

At least 20 human bones and a broken skull were found in the Rana Plaza rubble in Savar yesterday, the fourth such recovery in two weeks.

The street boys who came across the remains said they saw many more in the pile of concrete about 10-12 feet high.
Inspector of Savar Model Police Station Dipok Chandra Saha said, “We collected the bones and will take necessary steps after discussion with the higher authority.”
On December 13, four street boys found some skeletal remains for the first time. More remains were discovered on Sunday and Monday.
The nine-storey Rana Plaza collapsed on April 24, killing at least 1,134 people and injuring and maiming several hundred.
According to the army, which led the rescue, 159 victims are still unidentified or missing.
to read.
daily star bd
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20131228

* More human remains found:

Human remains have been unearthed again from the rubble of Rana Plaza in Savar yesterday.(Friday).

This time at least 13 human bones, including three chest bones, three leg bones and three finger bones, were recovered by street urchins scavenging the debris of the collapsed building. This is the fifth time that human remains have been found in just two weeks.
Md Khalid Khan, sub-inspector of Savar Model Police Station, said “We have collected the bones and will take necessary steps after holding discussion with higher-ups.”
On Thursday, at least 20 human bones and a broken skull were found in the rubble of Rana Plaza.
On December 13, four street boys found some skeletal remains for the first time. More remains were discovered on Sunday and Monday.
The nine-storey Rana Plaza collapsed on April 24, killing at least 1,134 people and injuring and maiming several hundred.
According to the army, which led the rescue, 159 victims are still unidentified or missing.
to read.
daily star bd

* Over 100 human bones found at Rana Plaza ruins:

Police on Saturday retrieved over 100 human bones and broken skulls from the debris of Rana Plaza at Savar, eight months after its collapse.

Street boys recovered the human remains and informed the police.
ASI Kamruzzaman of Savar Model Police Station said they have collected the bones and will take necessary steps after discussions with the higher authorities.
Rana Plaza, the nine-storey complex, collapsed on April 24, killing at least 1,134 people and leaving several hundred injured and maimed.
Officer-in-charge of Savar police station Mostafa Kamal said more human remains were recovered from the site four times earlier this month.
to read.  & to read. & to read.
UNB FE bd BD new age

* More human bones coming out from Rana Plaza ruins:

Locals, ex-workers call for recovery of ‘bones form mass graveyard’

Seven and a half months after the closure of the official rescue operation at Rana Plaza collapse site in April, human bones are coming out in numbers over the last few days, thanks to the curiosity of a few locals, particularly children, surviving workers and relatives of the missing workers who dared crossing the barbed enclosure put there at the end of the official rescue.

On Saturday, more than 100 pieces of human bones were recovered and handed over to the police by the locals, following four such consignments earlier this month.

“Bones are coming out almost with every scrap on the surface of debris. Skulls are coming out, jaws and little finger pieces. To me, it’s nothing else but a ‘baddhabhumi’ (slaughtering ground) or ‘ganakabar’ (mass graveyard),” Jiarul Islam, a worker of Phantom Apparels who survived the collapse, told UNB at the site on Saturday.
read more. & read more.
UNB DHAKATRIBUNE
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20131231

* Not of human but of cows, OC about Rana Plaza bones:

Human bones that are being recovered by locals and former workers of the ruined Rana Plaza are actually ‘cow bones’, claimed Savar Model Police Station officer-in-charge Mostafa Kamal on Tuesday.
The OC, however, told UNB and other media several times in the past that the police have been receiving human bones that the locals are recovering over the last few days.

“We’ve received four consignments of such bones after the official rescue ended. I can’t exactly tell you the number of the pieces. We’ve sent those to the DMCH (Dhaka Medical College Hospital) for DNA tests,” he told UNB on December 28 – the day when an assistant superintendent of police (ASP) of the same police station, Kamruzzaman, received some 100 human bones, including human skulls and jaw, in presence of journalists.

ASP Moshiuddoula Reza of the same police station was also quoted by Bangla daily Kaler Kantho in a report published on December 29, saying that ‘over the last few days, street children have been recovering bones, including human skulls from the debris of Rana Plaza.”
read more.
UNB
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20140103

* 28 more human bones retrieved from Rana Plaza debris:

Police on Friday retrieved 28 human bones, including a broken skull, from the debris of Rana Plaza at Savar.

Locals, former workers of the garment factories housed in Rana Plaza recovered the human remains and informed the police.
However, after receiving the human bones, officer-in-charge of Savar Model Police Station, Mostafa Kamal, told reporters that ‘some miscreants’ have staged the bone recovery drama to embarrass the government.
Sources among locals and former workers of Rana Plaza confirmed UNB that they have no doubt the bones recovered today (Friday) as well as in earlier days were human bones, and that some of the recoveries also included human skulls.
read more. & to read. & read more.
UNB FE bd DHAKATRIBUNE

* Human remains found again in Rana Plaza site:

Human remains were unearthed again yesterday from the site of Rana Plaza in Savar, on the outskirts of the capital.

A human skull and over 20 bones belonging to different body parts were found. A mobile phone was discovered as well.
Locals and survivors of the building collapse unearthed the remains.
On information, police collected the bones and skull and those will be later sent for DNA tests, said Md Shamshuzzaman, sub-inspector of Savar Model Police Station.
The searchers said they saw many other remains, which could not be reached as those were buried under iron rods.
This was the eighth time human remains have been found over a span of about three weeks.

However, Md Mostafa Kamal, officer-in-charge of Savar Model Police Station, said the bones discovered did not belong to human but to cows.
He said people were just trying to create dramas by claiming they found human remains.
The OC’s remarks angered the crowd which gathered at the site waiting to see if the remains unearthed belonged to their loved ones who went missing when the nine-storey building collapsed.
They said his remarks were insults to those who died.
Talking to The Daily Star, Taslima Akter, coordinator of Bangladesh Garment Workers Solidarity, said the government should launch an initiative to carry out DNA tests on the remains to identify the missing workers.
Human remains were unearthed for the first time on December 13 last year.
read more.
daily star bd
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20140106

* Many more human remains lie neglected:

Authorities concerned apparently reluctant to find identities

Labour rights activists and relatives of the missing victims of the Rana Plaza collapse believe there are many more human remains under the rubble in Savar.

Their conviction has been strengthened with the recovery of about 300 bones, three skulls and other human remains from under the debris by street scavengers, survivors and labour rights activists between December 13 and January 3.
The tragic incident on April 24 last year left more than 1,100 dead while 159 victims went missing, according to Bangladesh Army, which conducted a 20-day rescue and recovery operation till May 13.
“I saw many bones but those were buried under iron rods and so were not reachable,” one relative of a missing victim told The Daily Star on Friday after recovering some bones from under the rubble.

“How will it be possible for me to get a DNA match if my daughter’s remains still lie under the rubble?” asked Jamela Begum, mother of missing Parvin Akter.
The government has been trying to identify the remains found at the site by taking DNA samples from people claiming to be relatives of the missing.
Bangladesh Garments and Industrial Workers Federation President Rafiqul Islam Shujon on Friday demanded that the government runs another searching operation in the debris to find all the remains and get a confirmation on their identities.
The authorities, however, seem divided over the issue.
read more.
daily star bd
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20140107

* A turn in Rana Plaza tale:

The recovery of human body parts from the debris piled beside the collapsed Rana Plaza at Savar on the outskirts of the capital Dhaka, eight months after the disaster took place, leaving more than 1,100 people dead and around 2,000 more maimed, reinforces the idea that the rescue operation there was finished incomplete.

According to a New Age report on Monday, nearly 200 pieces of bone and skull have been recovered in the past few weeks.
When the official rescue operation, spearheaded by the army, was declared finished 20 days after the worst-ever tragedy occurred on April 24, hundreds of people linked to the workers of the apparel factories housed in the eight-storey Rana Plaza were still crying for the bodies of their missing near and dear ones. Many people, especially those tied to different rights bodies, requested the relevant authorities to manage the debris carefully, even if it took some more time, lest there should be people trapped therein.
read more.
BD new age
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20140110

* Dead worker’s wife finally sees ray of hope:

Asha Akhter, who was abandoned by her in-laws when her husband died in the Rana Plaza collapse, finds her new-born baby as a ray of hope

Asha Akhter, 18, who was abandoned by her in-laws when her husband died in the Rana Plaza collapse back in April, 2013, has finally seen a ray of hope; her new-born baby, delivered December 2.

She named the boy Ananta which means infinite. Asha and her husband Abu Zafar Sentu thought of the name together before the deadly collapse that claimed Sentu’s life.

Asha doesn’t let anyone touch her child, said Asha’s mother Aleya: “Either she is overjoyed or she is still traumatised and thinks her son will leave her too, as soon as he is out of sight.”

“My husband and I were celebrating my pregnancy. Then the day of April 24 broke with the news of collapse and later 16 horrible days when I didn’t even know whether he was alive or not. This kid is the only memory of my husband now. How could I let him out of my sight?” Asha who got married in 2012 responded to her mother’s observations.

Aleya found 21-year-old Sentu’s totally decomposed body in the Adhar Chandra High School field 16 days after the collapse. The school grounds were used to keep the bodies recovered from the wreckage of the Rana Plaza.
read more.
DHAKATRIBUNE

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20140111-12

* Bones and skulls still being found in Rana Plaza debris:

Calls raised for renewed search, police claim remains are ‘cow bones’

Some form of closure has finally arrived for the family of Obaidul Haque, who had been missing since the deadly Rana Plaza disaster, after the garment worker’s skeletal remains were recently recovered from under the debris of the building.

Obaidul, who worked at the New Wave Bottoms factory and hailed from Mymensingh, was the first among the missing workers whose full skeleton had been found since the rescue operation was called off.

Although eight and a half months had passed since the tragedy occurred, human bones and skulls are still being found at the Rana Plaza site, as relatives of many missing people continue their wait to be able to bury their loved ones.

The long wait for Obaidul’s family ended when his skeleton was found along with an identity card and a mobile phone, during a series of search drives.
read more.
DHAKATRIBUNE

* The miracle baby who survived Rana Plaza collapse:

Naznin Nazma cradles the miracle baby boy she feared she had lost in the Bangladesh factory disaster that claimed his father.

She says five-month-old Junaid looks a lot like Jewel, the father he will never meet, who was one of 1,129 people killed when the eight-storey garment factory in Rana Plaza collapsed earlier this year, report British daily The Mirror.
“Jewel always wanted to have a baby boy and the Almighty blessed us with one,” she said in a recent interview with the daily published today.
“Junaid’s fairer than me and it’s like he’s a miniature copy of his father”.
“His little head and nose in particular remind me of Jewel.
“I feel so much pain inside when I look at my son because I miss my husband tremendously and I can’t keep control of my emotions.”

The tiny survivor brings hope after the horror – but at the same time Nazma, 21, fears for his future as the tragedy robbed her of any chance of supporting him.
This is not how she expected to be bringing up her precious son.
She and Jewel had been working hard at the factory as they saved up to start a business of their own so they would be able to provide for him properly.
read more. & to read.
daily star bd BANGLA NEWS24
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20140115

* Airtel assistance for Rana Plaza victims:

Private mobile service operator Airtel conferred assistance to 61 families of workers who died in Rana Plaza tragedy, one of the world’s largest factory disaster.

Airtel Bangladesh Ltd. handed over ‘Recharge Retailer Kit’ to victim’s family members at a city restaurant on Wednesday.
A total of 61 families got Airtel handset, recharge load, shop kiosk and umbrellas with Airtel logo from a cooperative fund by service holders of Airtel.
Airtel Head of Sales ASM Golam Tauhid told the matter to media.
read more.
BANGLA NEWS24

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20140116

* Yusuf put his own life in peril to rescue others:

Forty-year-old Yusuf pulled 10 workers out of the Rana Plaza rubble before he himself fell victim to secondary roof collapse

On a hospital bed of the Centre for the Rehabilitation of the Paralyzed (CRP) Yusuf, who volunteered to rescue victims of Rana Plaza, is still suffering from spinal cord injury.

Forty-year-old Yusuf pulled 10 workers out of the Rana Plaza rubble before he himself fell victim to secondary roof collapse.

While sharing his story, Yusuf, who has been in the hospital for around eight months after the tragic building collapse on April 24 last year, hoped he would recover soon and get back to his normal life.

Coming from Doulatdia under Rajbari Yusuf used to do farming and small businesses before he was injured. The day before the building caved in Yusuf went to visit his nephew Uzzal who worked at Rana Plaza.
read more.
DHAKATRIBUNE

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20140117

* An exchange with the Bangladeshi ambassador to the US:

The following is an exchange between Bangladesh’s a mbassador to the US , Akramul Qader, and World Socialist Web Site editorial board member K. Ratnayake on the WSWS article on January 3, 2014, Victims of Bangladesh building collapse neglected.

To the Editor:

We take issue with the statement made, inter-alia, in the online article, published on the WSWS web site ‘Victims of Bangladesh building collapse neglected’ (January 3) that the Rana Plaza victims received ‘little assistance and a pittance in financial compensation’. The article also gave an impression that the victims were not compensated sincerely by the Bangladesh Government and other stakeholders. These do not reflect the correct picture of the situation, especially in consideration of the sincere efforts taken by the government to give each victim as much compensation as possible, despite serious resource constraints of a country like Bangladesh.
(…………….)

To Akramul Qader,

Your letter to the World Socialist Web Site only confirms what we have insisted all along: following the April 24 collapse of Rana Plaza building, the Bangladesh government is engaged in a cynical exercise in damage control aimed at protecting the profits of the country’s burgeoning garment export industry and covering up the root causes of such repeated tragedies.
read more.
WORLDsocialistWEBsite
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20140120

* Search for the remains:

Families, rights activists appeal to locate about 200 still missing

The discovery of more than 300 bones and three skulls in the ruins of Rana Plaza over the last one month suggests that the actual death toll in the disaster might be higher than the official figure of 1,135.

There have been confusions over the death toll, as none could confirm how many people were inside the building when it collapsed on April 24 last year.
According to estimates by workers’ rights groups, more than 200 families are yet to find the remains of their loved ones. DNA samples were collected from 322 unrecognisable bodies, and 157 of them could be identified. Rag pickers found
the skeleton of garment worker Obaidul Huq with his identity card and mobile phone at the site on December 13 last year.

With the hope of finding more human remains, rights activists and workers conducted searches there and found more than 300 bones and three skulls till January 3. Activists, workers and families of the missing victims feel that a fresh search operation will discover more human remains at the site.
read more.
daily star bd

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20140124

*  Tk 1.45m for each of the dead, missing, disabled:

The committee to fix compensation for the Rana Plaza victims Thursday finalised Tk 1.45 million for the family of each of the dead, missing and disabled workers, sources said.

Earlier a sub-committee recommended Tk 1.95 million for the family of each of the deceased, they added.

The committee was formed following a High Court order after the country’s worst industrial disaster at Rana Plaza on April 24 last year that killed more than 1,100 workers to decide the amount of compensation rates and categories of the injured.

Later two sub-committees were formed to fix the compensation rates and the categories while the first one recommended Tk 1.95 million for the family of each of the deceased and for those who sustained permanent injury during the incident.

But the apparel makers’ apex body – Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) – in a meeting in November last proposed to fix Tk 0.7 million for the family of each of the dead victims and requested to do it according to the labour law and also consider the owner’s capability and reality.
read more.
FE bd

* Rana Plaza victim damages revised:

The committee on compensation for Rana Plaza victims cut down the damages decided earlier by Tk 5 lakh to Tk 14.5 lakh for each of the workers who died or went missing as the building, which housed five clothing factories, collapsed in April 2013.

The committee on Thursday revised the compensation amount at its fourth meeting at Savar and set Tk 14,51,300 in damages for each of the workers  who died or became permanently disabled, Tk 7,50,000 for each of the workers who lost one limb, Tk 4,50,000 for each of the workers in need of long-term treatment and Tk 1,50,000 for each of the workers who became mentally imbalanced.
Major General Chowdhury Hasan Sarwardy, 9 Infantry Division general officer commanding, presided over the meeting in his office at Savar.
read more.
BD new age

* Committee sets compensation for Rana Plaza victims:

The decision was taken at the committee’s fourth meeting held yesterday at Savar Cantonment

The committee on compensation for the victims of Rana Plaza has proposed over Tk14.5 lakh to help each of the families of workers who have died and persons who became permanently disable.

The decision was taken at the committee’s fourth meeting held yesterday at Savar Cantonment, presided over by Maj Gen Chowdhury Hasan Suhrawardy, general officer commanding of the ninth infantry division.
The proposal would soon be placed to the High Court to take a final decision on the compensation amount, said a meeting source preferred not to be named.
As per the recommendation, workers who lost one limb would get Tk7.5 lakh while ones needing long time treatment Tk4.5 lakh and mentally sick ones Tk1.5 lakh.
On April 30, the High Court ordered formation of a committee to determine adequate compensation for the victims of the country’s deadliest clothing factory accident that killed over 1,100 workers and injured more than 2,500.
read more.
DHAKATRIBUNE

* Rana Plaza collapse victims, families demand compensation:

Surviving workers of Rana Plaza collapse and families of those who died formed a human chain at the site of the collapse in Savar yesterday to press home their six-point demand including proper compensation for victims.

They formed the human chain under the banner of “Rana Plaza Garments Workers’ Union”.
The speakers said they only received assurance of compensation but have not been compensated in the nine months since the tragedy.
They also demanded the government launch an operation to uncover human remains which are still buried under the rubble of Rana Plaza.
The nine-storey Rana Plaza collapsed on April 24, 2013 killing over 1,100 people and leaving scores injured.
to read.
daily star bd

* Rana Plaza victim commits ‘suicide’:

Salma, 27, a victim of the Rana Plaza collapse, has reportedly committed suicide in the capital’s Bamnarteck on the morning of Friday.

Salma had been left injured in the collapse that claimed the lives of 1, 129 people last year. Nearly 2500 people were injured in the incidnet of collapse.
Turag police station Sub-Inspector Kalam Hossain said: “Upon being informed by her husband Babu, we rushed to the spot and recovered her hanging body at 10:45am.”

He said Salma had been rendered mentally unstable since she sustained injuries on her head during the Rana Plaza collapse.
The SI also said her body was sent to the morgue in Dhaka Medical College Hospital for autopsy.
Babu said: “She went through a lot of bodily pains since the Rana Plaza collapse. She was behaving normally till last night [Thursday] during dinner.”
He said: “I found her hanging from the celling today [Friday].”
to read. & read more.
DHAKATRIBUNE

* Miraculous survivor kills self:

Salma, a woman worker who was miraculously found alive beneath the debris several days after the horrific Rana Plaza building collapse at Savar, has committed suicide, bdnews24.com reported.

Police said the readymade garment worker, who was just 27, hanged herself on Friday morning.
Her body was recovered around 11:00am from her home in the Bamnar Tek area, at Turag, in Dhaka.
She has been living there with her husband ‘Babu’ for the last two months.
Turag police station sub inspector Kamal Hossain said, ‘Babu said that Salma had been injured on the head in the Rana Plaza collapse. Of late, she had been suffering from severe headache. The neighbours, too, said the same thing.’
‘Babu believes Salma hung herself because she could not suffer the pain any more,’ he said.

Hossain also said Salma’s body had been sent to the Dhaka Medical College and Hospital for autopsy.
Police, however, were investigating the incident, he said.
Babu said he is an assistant to a vehicle driver. Salma worked in a readymade garment factory on the sixth floor of Rana Plaza.

She was found alive several days after the multi-storied building collapsed on Apr 24, 2013. She was in hospital for sometime due to critical injuries to her head and other parts of her body.
Babu said they had left Savar and started living at Bamnar Tek area two months ago.
He said Salma used to bang her head on the wall when the headache became unbearable.
He said they had received Tk 60,000 as aid from the government until now.
to read. & read more. & read more.  & read more. & read more. & read more.
BD new age bdnews24   UNB INDEPENDENT BANGLA NEWS24 FE bd
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20140125

* Injured worker kills herself:

A female survivor of the Rana Plaza collapse has allegedly committed suicide by hanging herself from the ceiling of her bedroom in Tongi’s Turga area on the outskirts of the capital.

The 27-year-old garment worker Salma Akter was rescued several days after the building collapsed on April 24 last year, killing more than 1,100 people and injuring hundreds others, mostly garment workers.
Police have detained her husband Babu Miah for interrogation.
Salma went to bed with Babu around 11:45pm on Thursday. After getting up at around 6:00am, Babu found his wife hanging from the ceiling with a scarf and informed the police, Kamal Hossain, sub-inspector of Turag Police Station, told The Daily Star, quoting the husband.

Babu told police that his wife had been suffering from severe headache due to her injuries from the Rana Plaza tragedy and she might have committed suicide as she could not bear the pain anymore.
Salma, a worker of New Wave Style garment housed in Rana Plaza, sustained severe head injuries in the deadliest industrial tragedy of the country’s history and underwent treatment for five months at a hospital in Savar.
Later, she moved to Bamlartek in Turag and started living there with her husband Babu, a bus helper, from December last year.
Salma, who hailed from Sarishabari under Jamalpur district, managed a job in a garment factory in the area.
However, she could not overcome the mental trauma she experienced in the Savar tragedy, Babu added.
read more. & read more.
daily star bd BD new age

* Rana Plaza victim found dead:

Her husband claimed that she committed suicide failing to bear the pain

An injured female garment worker, who had survived the deadliest factory disaster “Rana Plaza collapse”, was found dead in her residence yesterday.

The husband of the deceased claimed that she “committed suicide” for mental stigma and unbearable pain she was suffering from her injuries she received from the building collapse.
The victim was Salma, 27, who had been living for the last two months in a rented house with her husband Babu, a bus helper, in Bamnartek area in the capital’s Turag.

Police recovered the hanging body of Salma from the house around 11am after Babu informed them.
A Sub-Inspector of Turag police station Kamal Hossain quoting Babu said Salma sustained injuries to her head and body in the building collapse on April 24 last year. She had severe headache and also suffered from mental stigma.
“Babu claimed that she committed suicide failing to bear the pain,” he said.
read more.
DHAKATRIBUNE

* Human remains unearthed again from debris:

Local people on Friday recovered 17 pieces of human bones, including a broken skull, and a lock of hair from the debris of Rana Plaza at Savar after eight month of the building collapse in April 2013 that left at least 1,133 dead.

They, however, said that the police termed the retrieved bones as ‘staged’.
After receiving the human bones, Savar Model Police Station’s officer-in-charge Mostafa Kamal, said that ‘some miscreants’ have staged the bone recovery drama to embarrass the government.
The former workers of the garment factories at Rana Plaza and a workers’ leader told New Age that they have no doubt the bones recovered on Friday were human bones, and that some of the recoveries also included human skulls.
Emdadul Haque, who survived the Rana Plaza collapse, said Mazed, husband of missing worker Arina Begum who used to work on the fifth floor of the building, unearthed those bones and skulls from the debris  in the afternoon.
read more. & read more.
BD new age daily star bd

* Rana Plaza disaster: Gap ranks world’s worst:

Gap leaves the lives of thousands of workers at risk

In wake of the Rana Plaza disaster that occurred earlier in 2013, a jury of experts have awarded Gap the “Public Eye” award for the worst company of the year for its failure to sign a binding agreement to make factories safe.

In making their decision, the panel ranked Gap’s behaviour worse than HSBC’s involvement in land-grabbing, Syngenta, Bayer & BASF’s production of bee killing pesticides and mining giant Glencore’s impact on communities around the world.

The Public Eye award is run by Greenpeace and the Berne Declaration and is awarded every January to the worst behaved companies of the year. The jury is made up of internationally renowned business ethicists and environmental and human rights experts.
Cecile Buhlmann is the former member of the National Council (Parliament) of Switzerland and is also the president of the foundation board of Greenpeace Switzerland since 2006. Previous winners of the jury’s prize include Goldman Sachs and Barclays. The jury justified the award to Gap saying that the company “steadfastly refuses to contribute to effective reforms in the textile industry.”

Bangladeshi labour activist and Executive Director of the Bangladesh Centre for Workers Solidarity Kalpona Akter collected Gap’s award, saying Gap still refuses to make a contractual commitment to work with their suppliers and local and international trade unions to ensure that repairs are made and workers have the right to refuse dangerous work.
read more.
DHAKATRIBUNE

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20140126

* Salma’s death: Ashraf decries media reports, asks for more investigation:

AL Genaral Secretary Syed Ashraful Islam noted in a statement that media reports published over the incident were flawed

The ruling Awami League yesterday urged the authorities concerned to immediately unearth the reasons behind the death of Salma, a Rana Plaza survivor who reportedly committed suicide Friday morning.

In a statement, AL Genaral Secretary Syed Ashraful Islam also noted that media reports published over the incident were flawed.
Contrary to media reports, Ashraf, also the local government and rural development minister, said the main reasons behind the suicide were not lack of treatment and financial needs.

The statement, signed by party office secretary Abdus Sobhan Golap, said: “The government has provided all necessary medical support to the Rana Plaza survivors and the Ninth Infantry Division of the Army has coordinated the works, but media reports claimed Salma received only Tk1.20lakh from government and other organisations, which is ‘incorrect’.”
read more.
DHAKATRIBUNE

* Salma’s death termed act of murder:

They said that the worker, Salma Akhter, had committed suicide on Sunday to escape the pain caused by the wounds she had suffered in the Rana Plaza collapse.

They alleged that the victims of the collapse had not been adequately compensated.
Awami League general secretary Syed Ashraful Islam, also LGRD minister, however, said that the news published in different newspapers about the alleged negligence in the treatment of Salma Akhter was not true.
The minister, in a statement on Saturday, said alongside different government and non-government organisations, prime minister Sheikh Hasina herself had provided adequate financial assistance for Salma.
read more.
BD new age

* Syed Ashraful demands probe:

The ruling Awami League General Secretary Syed Ashraful Islam yesterday demanded investigation into the death of a female garment worker who had survived the April 24, 2013 Rana Plaza collapse and allegedly committed suicide on Friday.

In a press release, he termed false and baseless some media reports that the state of being financially insolvent drove Salma Akter to commit suicide, stating that such reports were attempts to mislead investigations.
The LGRD minister claimed that Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and government and non-government organisations had provided Slama adequate assistance. “It will be known by inquiring into Salma’s bank account,” he added.
The 27-year-old’s body was found hanging by the neck from a ceiling fan inside her Turag residence on the outskirts of the capital.
to read.
daily star bd

* Rana Plaza survivors still traumatised:

Salma, a seamstress by profession, suffered head injuries as well as injuries in other body parts on that day and had been enduring chronic headaches since

Twenty-seven-year-old Salma Akhter committed suicide last Friday reportedly because of the traumatic disorders she had been suffering from since the collapse of Rana Plaza on April 24 last year.

Salma, a seamstress by profession, suffered head injuries as well as injuries in other body parts on that day and had been enduring chronic headaches since.
“She used to bump her head on the wall when the pain became too unbearable,” Babu, her husband, was quoted as saying in an inquest report by the Turag police station.

The report also mentioned her neighbours who said she had been “mentally unstable” as a consequence of the history’s deadliest apparel industry disaster.
Experts say many of the over 2,500 survivors of the collapse suffer from what is known as Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Many tried to return to normal life with new jobs but they too reported their inability to stand loud noises typical of a factory job.

Poli, a 19-year-old survivor, said she had tried a new job after the incident but left it within days because of the stress and noise associated with a factory job.
“I cannot tolerate any loud noise now. I left the job because there was too much noise which would cause unbearable pain. It seemed as if someone was banging a drum inside my head,” she said.

Another survivor, Rekha Begum, said she had seen the eight-storey building collapse with her own eyes and the memory of it continued to haunt her.
“I still see the building crumble down in my dreams. It is painful and I cannot sleep the whole night.”
She also said she had developed a fear of great heights and had trouble climbing stairs above third floors of any building.

According to an assessment report by ActionAid, 92% of the survivors of Rana Plaza are “deeply traumatised” with over half experiencing difficulty in sleeping and almost the same number suffering from depression. Some survivors said they were scared to walk into a building or an enclosed room.
read more.
DHAKATRIBUNE

* Govt to observe Rana Plaza tragedy’s anniversary:

The Bangladesh government has declared that it would observe the first anniversary of Rana Plaza Tragedy on April 24 of this year.

Permanent Secretary of Ministry of Labour and Employment Mikail Shipar disclosed the plan in a programme organised by Centre for Policy  Dialogue in BRAC Inn in the capital on Sunday afternoon.
read more.
DHAKATRIBUNE
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20140127

* Social, financial commitments to Rana Plaza victims unfulfilled:

CPD dialogue seeks info on compensation money

Most of the social and financial commitments regarding the Rana Plaza tragedy have remained unfulfilled even nine months after the deadliest incident, speakers at a dialogue in the city said Sunday.

They also found lack of transparency, accountability and absence of a complete list of the victims including the dead, the injured and the unidentified.

The discussants recommended a number of steps including preparing a complete list of the victims, a central mechanism of collecting compensation fund and its proper distribution, long-term treatment of the injured, availability of information and proper implementation of the pledges by the Bangladesh government, the Accord and the Alliance.

They also suggested co-ordination, transparency and accountability regarding the promises made towards fund collection and compensation disbursement for workers’ treatment and rehabilitation.

The observations and recommendations came at a dialogue organised by the Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD) on ‘Rana Plaza Tragedy and Beyond: A Follow- up on Commitments and Delivery’.
read more.
FE bd

* Yawning gap between pledges and delivery:

20140127 DAILYSTARrana-plaza-info

 9 months on, many victims still deprived

Many Rana Plaza victims are yet to receive their promised compensation from the government and Western retailers, nine months after the industrial tragedy.

To date, families of 777 of the 1,135 deceased workers have received Tk 1-5 lakh each in compensation from the Prime Minister’s Fund, while most of the 1,800 injured workers received “very insignificant” compensation, according to an analysis of the Centre for Policy Dialogue.
“A number of victims who were interviewed have not yet received any of their financial dues,” said KG Moazzem, additional research director of CPD.
In August last year, CPD in partnership with 15 other rights organisations, professional bodies and media outlets launched a civil society initiative to monitor the progress of the commitments made by the local and international organisations.
read more.
daily star bd

* Commitments to victims mostly remain unfulfilled: CPD dialogue:

Most of the commitments made by the government and trade bodies after the Rana Plaza collapse about compensation and rehabilitation of the victims remained unfulfilled, said speakers in a dialogue in the city on Sunday.

In the dialogue on ‘Rana Plaza tragedy and beyond: an update on commitments and delivery’ organised by the Centre for Policy Dialogue, they demanded a comprehensive and transparent list of the dead, injured and missing workers in the worst industrial disaster in the country’s history and discloser of the disbursement of compensation from the prime minister’s fund.
‘The confusion over the list of deceased, injured and missing workers will have to be allayed and the national tripartite committee could initiate a move to prepare a complete list which is essential for meeting the commitments,’ Khandakar Golam Moazzem additional research secretary of CPD, said in his key note paper.
read more.
BD new age

* Rana Plaza Tragedy: Survivors suffer ‘as fund lies idle’:

The workers who suffered serious injuries as well as the relatives of many deceased or ‘missing’ workers are living a miserable life though the charity fund at the Prime Minister’s Office is laying idle, observed speakers at a dialogue here on Sunday.

They urged the government for preparing a full list of the dead, injured and missing workers, and for quick and transparent steps to disburse the appropriate compensation to the victims and the relatives.

The dialogue was organised by leading think thank Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD) at Brac Centre Inn.
The draft of a CPD report, titled ‘Rana Plaza Tragedy and Beyond: An Update on Commitment and Delivery’, was also placed before different stakeholders of the readymade garment sector (RMG) present at the dialogue.
read more.
UNB

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20140128

* Rana Plaza compensation:

Why the delivery shortfall?

Rana Plaza disaster will continue to remain for a long time a blot on the country’s RMG sector.

And whatever we do or fail to do to address the multifarious issues related to the disaster, that will have a far reaching effect on the relationship between the buyers and the industry, and the longer it will take the country to remove the blot.
Compensation and rehabilitation of the survivors are two such issues that we cannot give a short shrift to.

And we cannot but view the matter of compensation to the victims and their relatives, as it stands now, with a degree of consternation given the poor delivery of compensation even after nine months of the disaster.
It is not as if there are not enough funds with the government. Reportedly, the

PM’s fund has nearly a 100 crore taka of which only 18 crore have been disbursed.
We fail to understand why not all of the families of the 1135 dead workers have received the compensation as yet.
The problem we feel lies with the process of ascertaining the exact number of victims and confirming their identity. And as long as that remains indeterminate, the victims, dead, injured and missing, and their families, will be deprived from getting the proper compensation.
While there is reservation about the amount of compensation, we feel that it is more of a management issue which must be removed in order to make the matter of Rana Plaza compensation more efficient, speedy and transparent.
to read.
daily star bd

* Two Rana Plaza factory owners get bail:

The High Court on Thursday granted interim bail for six months to the chairman and the managing director of two apparel factories housed in the Rana Plaza that collapsed on April 24, 2013 killing more than 1100 people, mostly apparel workers.

The bench of Justice Naima Haider and Justice Zafar Ahmed also asked the police to explain why the two — New Wave Buttons and New Wave Style chairman Bazlus Samad Adnan and managing director Mahmudur Rahman Tapos — would be granted
regular bail in a case relating to the building collapse.
Their counsel SM Rezaul Karim said that Bazlus and Mahmudur would be release from jail as they were wanted in no other case.
read more. & read more. & read more.
BD new age daily star bd DHAKATRIBUNE

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20140129

* Sons of Rana Plaza victim get cheque:

Two minor children of a deceased Rana Plaza victim received a cheque of Tk 3,00,000 from the Prime Minister’s Relief and Welfare Fund yesterday.

The money was fixed deposited with the local branch of Sonali Bank as both Ismail Hossain and Insan Ali, sons of deceased victim Shirin Akhter, are under age.
Deputy Commissioner of Chapainawabganj Sardar Sarafat Ali handed over the cheque yesterday to Ismail Hossain and Insan Ali at his office in the district.

Shirin Akhtar was an inhabitant of Masjid Para of Chapainawabganj. Among others, Additional District Magistrate Ashraful Islam, Additional Deputy Commissioner (General) Dr KM Quamruzzaman Selim, Sadar Upazila Nirbahi Officer Dr Chitralekha Naznin, district Relief and Rehabilitation Officer Matiur Rahman and Sadar Upazila Project Implementation Officer Mansurur Rahman, were present, in the programme.
to read.
INDEPENDENT

* Rana Plaza victim conquers disability:

Saddam Hossain, a victim of the Rana Plaza collapse has earned a masters degree from the National University despite losing his right arm during the tragic accident.

A strong desire and diligence allowed him to overcome his disability and pass the exam successfully against all odds, he said. The results of his post-graduate examination were published recently where he secured a second class, narrowly missing the marks needed for a first class.
Saddam appeared for the examinations at the Bhawal Bodre Alam Government College centre from June 23 last year. He had to travel on an ambulance to the examination centre and later on rented vehicles as he was unable to move properly.
He also managed a proxy writer who wrote during the exam as per his dictation. Self determination led him to gain the degree, he asserts.
Saddam Hossain, a resident of Mirzapur upazila in Tangail, took admission at Tongi Government College for post-graduation in Economics under the national university after obtaining a bachelor degree.
But financial hardship forced him to take up a job at a business centre, Sarker and Brothers, located on a 3-storey building beside the Rana Plaza in Savar.
read more.
INDEPENDENT

* Rana Plaza funds get closer:

Victims of the nation’s worst industrial disaster appear one step closer to receiving compensation from the government after a 31-member panel finalised a set of recommendations.

“We will submit them to the government anytime now,” said MM Akash, chief of the panel formed on a High Court order on August 29 last year, after the Rana Plaza collapse.
The committee recommended Tk 14.5 lakh for the dead and missing workers and the permanently disabled ones, Tk 7.5 lakh for those who have lost one limb, Tk 4.5 lakh for workers needing long-term treatment and Tk 1.5 lakh for the traumatised survivors.
The victims who have already received a certain sum from the Prime Minister’s Fund will receive the balance of their respective package, he said.
For instance, families of the 777 deceased workers who earlier received Tk 1 lakh from the Prime Minister’s Fund will get Tk 13.5 lakh.

The court will determine the source of funding for the compensation packages, Akash added.
Meanwhile, Atiqul Islam, president of the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association, said the body will contribute to the compensation packages as per the law of the land.
“It is still undecided who will contribute what amount, but everybody who is involved will have to donate,” he said, adding he will sit with the international retailers once the government locks in the compensation committee’s recommendations.
Roy Ramesh Chandra, secretary general of IndustriALL Bangladesh Council, the local arm of the global union federation IndustriALL, however, disapproved the recommended figures as they were not arrived at by following Article 121 of ILO convention.
read more.
daily star bd
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20140130

* Charge-sheet against accused Feb 19:

Criminal Investigation Department (CID) will submit the chargesheet of much-talked-about Rana Plaza Collapse case on February 19.

Confirming the matter, senior assistant superintendent of police Bijoy Krishna Dhor told banglanews that the court directed them to file chargesheet by February 19.
CID is going to file the chargesheet after 10 months of the collapse of Rana Plaza.
CID sources said owner of the building Sohel Rana, his father Abdul Khaleq and other garments factory owners of the building, will be made defendant.
Some 1,130 ready-made garment workers died in the Rana Plaza collapse on April 24 in 2013.
 to read.
BANGLA NEWS24

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20140202

* Rana plaza owner denied bail:

Sohel Rana charged of violating Building Construction Code

The High Court on Sunday has declined to give bail to Sohel Rana, the owner of collapsed Rana Plaza that took the lives of some 1,134 people, in a case filed under the Building Construction Rules.

An HC bench comprising of Justice Nizamul Huq and Justice Jahangir Hossain passed the order rejecting the bail petition, defence lawyer Najmul Huda told the Dhaka Tribune.
read more. & read more. & read more. & read more.
DHAKATRIBUNE  FE bd  BD new age  daily star bd

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20140203

* The Rana Plaza Donors Trust Fund:

The payments to Rana Plaza victims foreseen under the Arrangement are to be financed by a combination of funds, including contributions from buyers and other private donors who wish to give to the victims in a spirit of solidarity and compassion.

The Rana Plaza Donors Trust Fund was therefore established in January 2014 in order to collect these contributions and to hold them in trust under specified Terms and Conditions.

How will the Fund be used?
The contributions in the Trust Fund will be used exclusively to cover payments to Rana Plaza victims and their families.
Payment amounts will be recommended by Independent Commissioners following a  claims process, which will be carried out under the terms of the Arrangement to ensure equitable distribution according to the losses suffered and the needs of surviving dependents and family members.
The Trust Fund will transfer specified amounts, agreed by a multi-stakeholder Coordination Committee, to a designated Bangladesh bank.
The Bangladesh bank will then deposit the specified amounts into the victims’ own bank accounts. The Fund will also cover nominal charges incurred for the administration of the Fund.
read more.
RANAPLAZAarrangement

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20140204

* More Rana Plaza victims to be identified soon:

The second phase of DNA test results would be submitted to the ministry soon

The second phase of DNA test results of the unidentified victims of the Rana Plaza disaster are set to be submitted to the labour ministry soon, although the exact number of verified identities could not be known.

Dr Sharif Akteruzzaman, head of the National DNA Profiling Laboratory at the Dhaka Medical College (DMC), told the Dhaka Tribune yesterday that the second phase of DNA test results would be submitted to the ministry soon.

When asked how many victims had been identified, he said the results were yet to be finalised and the exact number would not be disclosed before the report was submitted to the ministry.

On November 4 last year, the first phase of DNA test results was announced. Out of 322 unidentified victims, the tests were able to identify 157 victims, including 116 women and 41 men.
read more.
DHAKATRIBUNE

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20140205

* Funds too low for Rana Plaza victims, say union leaders:

Protesters demand ILO standards in compensation

Trade union leaders yesterday threatened to launch countrywide protests if the government does not scale up compensations for Rana Plaza victims in line with ILO standards.
The government-appointed 31-member panel recommended Tk 14.5 lakh for each dead victim’s family; but under the ILO’s ‘loss of earnings’ standards, which fix compensation based on the age of the victims and the national life expectancy, it would come to Tk 28 lakh.
Union leaders demand compensations based on the national life expectancy which is 67 years for males and 69 years for females in Bangladesh.
The lowest compensation for a survivor under the ILO standards is Tk 5 lakh, whereas it is Tk 1.5 lakh according to the recommendations of the government committee formed on a court order on August 29 last year.

“If our demand is not met, we will go for much bigger protests. We know how to realise the demands of the workers,” Wajedul Islam Khan, a central leader of Sramik Karmachari Oikya Parishad, said at a rally organised in front of the National Press Club in Dhaka.
He said the Rana Plaza collapse happened only for the negligence of the building and garment owners and for weak government mechanisms. “Rana Plaza was like a death trap.”
read more.
daily star bd

* More compensation for Rana Plaza victims demanded:

Labour leaders on Tuesday demanded Tk 18 lakh compensation for the family of each of the workers killed and Tk 5 lakh compensation for each of the workers injured in the Rana Plaza collapse.

The demand was made at a human chain formed by National Garment Workers Federation in front of the National Press Club.
Addressing the human chain, the labour leaders said that the government had formed a committee to fix compensations for the Rana Plaza victims and the committee proposed Tk14 lakh for the family of workers killed in the building collapse.
to read.
BD new age

* Families of Rana Plaza victims find solace in new school:

The multi-purpose school currently has classes from I-IV and seven teachers. The total number of students is 132

Razia Begum, who lost her daughter and son-in-law in the disastrous Rana Plaza collapse, seemed somewhat happy yesterday when she along with her grandson, Bijoy, came to the newly-built premises of Songkolon Primary School, a charitable initiative, at Anandapur of Savar.

Bijoy was admitted to the specialised school in class I early January when the Songkolon Bangladesh Trust authorities launched academic activities under the open sky as the school had only one small room.

But yesterday, Bijoy and over hundred others were overwhelmed to see their new school building with five well-furnished class rooms. The preliminary facilities also include playground and computer education.

Jotsna Begum was relieved as she was asked to enrol her two children – Siam and Sima–in the school where the children are offered education in non-traditional method under the supervision of teachers having university degrees. The headmaster is a doctorate from Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia, USA.

Shahidul Islam Khokan, father of the two children who lost his fingers and had severe injuries to his head and legs during the fall of Rana Plaza, has been unable to work now. He was rescued on the fourth day of rescue operation.

Selina Akhter, mother of class I student Helal, said she had been rescued from under the rubbles two days after the collapse of Rana Plaza on April 24 last year.The three-member family is too poor to manage three meals a day as her day labourer husband earns very little money let alone has the ability to bear the cost of education for their child. After she survived, her husband and parents have been asking her not to join any other garment factory.
read more.
DHAKATRIBUNE

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20140206

* Call for fast-tracking compensation for missing workers:

A labour organisation yesterday demanded the missing victims of the Rana Plaza building collapse be declared dead through inspection instead of solely depending on DNA tests, so that their families can be compensated.

The families that have been waiting for closure for the last nine months have lost hope of finding the graves of their loved ones through DNA tests, as human remains are still buried at the site, the organisation said.
As the bodies recovered were decomposed beyond recognition, some families took home the wrong bodies, making it harder for DNA sampling to identify the victims, it said.
Speaking at a press briefing at Topkhana Road in Dhaka, a garment worker’s organisation—Bangladesh Garment Sramik Samati— demanded a fresh search for human remains at the Rana Plaza site.
“The discovery of Obaidul’s skeleton at the site, followed by around 300 bones, proves that the rescue mission at Rana Plaza site was flawed, incomplete,” said Taslima Akhter, convenor of the organisation.
read more.
daily star bd

* Publication of list of workers killed in Rana Plaza collapse demanded:

Bangladesh Garment Sramik Sanghati, a body of apparel workers rights, on Wednesday called on the Awami League-led government to publish the list of the workers killed, wounded and missing in the Rana Plaza collapse in Savar last year.

The coordinator of the organisation, Taslima Akhter, at a press conference at Nirmal Sen Auditorium at Segunbagicha, alleged that confusions still remained regarding the list of the victims of the collapse.
In the building collapse on April 24, in 2013, 1,134 people, most of whom were garment workers were killed and a huge number of people were wounded and missing, Taslima said.
But confusions were created when more bones of the killed workers were found at the collapse site and the number of killed and missing workers increased, Taslima added.

The organisation raised seven-point demands including publication of the revised list of workers, killed, wounded and missing, giving compensations for the killed according to their loss of earning, identifying the bones of the workers found later, identifying the graveyards according to the DLA reports and giving exemplary punishments to people responsible for the building collapse.
read more.
BD new age

* Labour groups cheating Rana Plaza victims:

Organisations defrauding them in the name of helping get compensation

They luckily survived the building collapse but they have now fallen victims to fraudulent labour organisations and individuals who are allegedly pulling in big buck in the name of helping the victims of the Rana Plaza get compensation. 

These organisations and people are also cheating the victims in the name of free medical treatment, complained several victims.

Neru Sarder, who worked on the 4th floor of the Rana Plaza, told the Dhaka Tribune: “Some workers’ organisations called us and told us to visit their offices. They said we would get compensation if we joined their processions and rally from time to time.”

“A few days back a leader of the National Garments workers Federation called me to join a press conference at the National Press Club in Dhaka. I went there with a hope to get some financial help. I delivered a speech at the conference in front of many journalists and political leaders. I saw many people give that organisation money and other assistance. But I got nothing. They helped one or two victims in front of the camera.” he alleged.

Misty Akhter, who used to work on the 8th floor of Rana Plaza, said people of those organisations came to them and took their names, photos, and identity card numbers and then demanded money for including their names on the list to make them eligible for compensation.

“Labour leader Sathi Akhter and Kamrul of Shadhin Bangla Garment workers Employees Federation (SBGWEF) came to me and demanded Tk150 for including my name on the compensation list. I along with other survivors gave them the money expecting to get some assistance. But we have got nothing so far.”
read more.
DHAKATRIBUNE

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20140207

* Relatives of Rana Plaza victims get aid:

UNO Ahsan Habib hands over the cheques of financial assistance to the close relatives of the victims at a function held at his office

Relatives of two more Rana Plaza victims of Sadullapur upazila got financial assistance of Tk400,000 from the Prime Minister’s office on Thursday.

UNO Ahsan Habib handed over the cheques of financial assistance to the close relatives of the victims at a function held at his office.
Tazul Islam, husband of deceased Bulbuli Begum of Zamudanga village, got Tk200,000 while Sumela Begum, mother of Bulbuli Begum of the village and Aduri Begum, mother of deceased Rasheda Begum of Burirvita village of the upazila received Tk one lakh each.

Besides, Shaheda Begum of Gayespur village under Jamalpur union and also wife of victim Azinur Rahman, who was killed in petrol bomb attack during the strike enforced by the BNP led 18-party alliance recently, also got Tk13,000 and a bundle of corrugated iron sheet from the district administration.
read more. & read more.
DHAKATRIBUNE BSS

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20140209

* 43 more Rana Plaza victims identified :

More 43 unidentified Rana Plaza victims were identified by the deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) test report.

The DNA testing authority on Sunday submitted 43 DNA test reports to the labour and employment ministry, Labour Secretary Mikail Shipar told the Dhaka Tribune on Sunday.
Earlier, the authority submitted 157 DNA testing reports out of 322 DNA samples that were sent to them for identifying the victims testing their DNA samples.
The rest 122 DNA samples are now in the hands of DNA testing authority. It would also be identified shortly, the secretary hoped.
He said the names of the identified victims would be disclosed soon to reduce harassments of the victim families.
read more. & read more. & read more. & read more.
DHAKATRIBUNE BD new age daily star bd DHAKATRIBUNE

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20140210

* Bangladesh Garment Sromik Shanghoti brought out a procession:

20140210 FE
Bangladesh Garment Sromik Shanghoti brought out a procession in front of the National Press Club in the city Sunday to realise its 7-point charter of demand including compensation to the affected families in the Rana Plaza disaster.
— FE Photo. to see.
FE bd

* Sramik Sanghati demands full list of Rana Plaza victims:

Bangladesh Garment Sramik Sanghati, a body to protect apparel workers’ rights, on Sunday handed over a memorandum to the ministry of labour to press home its seven-point demands that include publication of a full list of the workers killed, wounded or missing in the Rana Plaza collapse at Savar in April, 2013.

The leaders and activists of BGSS, after a rally in front of the Press Club, a marched towards the labour ministry but the police stopped them near the Press Club and allowed a 10-member team, led by its coordinator Taslima Akhter, to give the memorandum to the ministry.
The demands included award of adequate compensation for the dead workers, identification of the bones of the workers found later and the graves according to the DNA reports and exemplary punishment for the people responsible for the building collapse.
read more.
BD new age

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20140211

* Compensation for Rana Plaza victims: the cost of outsourcing grows:

This weekend the owners of the Tazreen factory – where over a hundred people died and many more were injured in a fire at the end of 2012 – gave themselves up and started their jail sentences.
The victims and their families have still not been compensated, but there is now a glimmer of hope that the survivors and victims’ families of the April 2013 Rana Plaza factory collapse, which killed 1135 and injured 1500 or more, will be looked after.

The Bangladesh government has established a committee to oversee the arrangements for disbursing a Prime Ministerial relief fund, but despite having 31 members, there were no places for trade unions, and they have reacted angrily to the sums recommended at the end of last month for compensation: well below the ILO recommended levels.

Instead, a global initiative negotiated between unions, companies and NGOs could offer proper levels of compensation. A $40m (£25m) target has been set by the Rana Plaza Arrangement, administered by the ILO and with similar initial endorsement to the Bangladesh Fire and Building Safety Accord which is already improving health and safety in the ready-made garment sector.
read more.
tuc

* ACC to seek statement from Rana’s father:

The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) is set to serve a notice to Abdul Khalek, father of Rana Plaza owner Sohel Rana, asking him to provide his wealth statements in connection with an inquiry into Sohel’s wealth.

The ACC made the approval of serving the notice during its Sunday meeting, a member of the probe committee told the Dhaka Tribune.
On April 28 of last year, the ACC formed the probe body headed by Deputy Director M Mafidul Islam.
The probe team on May 15 submitted the preliminary report to the ACC recommending it to serve separate notices to Sohel Rana and his father Abdul Khalek under the Section 26(1) of the ACC Act-2004, asking them to submit their wealth statements.
read more.
DHAKATRIBUNE

* Bangladesh says no hope of identifying 100 factory victims:

A Bangladesh expert said on Monday he has given up hope of identifying 112 victims of the Rana Plaza factory collapse, almost a year after one of the world’s worst industrial tragedies.

The garment factory complex on the outskirts of Dhaka collapsed in April last year, trapping thousands of workers who stitched clothes for Western retailers. Rescue work ended three weeks later with 1,129 bodies recovered from the ruins of the nine-storey complex.
Authorities buried more than 300 victims whose bodies were so badly damaged or decomposed that they were beyond recognition, but collected their DNA samples to help verify any compensation claims.

Sharif Akhteruzzaman, head of the National Forensic DNA Profiling Laboratory, said his experts have now identified 200 of those victims after matching their DNA samples with those of living relatives.
“Of the 322 people, we have now identified 200 people. Of them 157 were identified earlier and 43 this month,” Akhteruzzaman told AFP. But Akhteruzzaman said the lab could not identify more than 100 victims, despite reanalysing their samples and trying to match them. “We don’t have any hopes for these 112 bodies as they did not match with any of the 549 people who’ve come to us for their missing relatives.”
read more.
daily times PK

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20140212

*  Government, BGMEA dillydallying with payment of compensation:

The speakers made the call at a press conference, jointly organised by Garment Sromik Trade Union Kendra and Rana Plaza Garment Sromik Union at Mukti Bhaban in the capital

Two apparel workers organisation yesterday called on to the authorities concerned to provide proper compensation to the Rana Plaza victims and publicise the list of people who were still missing from the deadly collapse on April 24.

The speakers made the call at a press conference, jointly organised by Garment Sromik Trade Union Kendra and Rana Plaza Garment Sromik Union at Mukti Bhaban in the capital.

They alleged that the government and owners of the factories were dillydallying in paying the compensation to the affected workers and their families and publishing the list of missing people in the collapse.

“From the very day of the collapse, the government and the BGMEA are promising compensation, but were yet to pay the affected families,” Emdadul Islam, president of Rana Plaza Garment Sromik Union, said.
read more.
DHAKATRIBUNE

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20140214

* Rally ask govt to immediately compensate Rana Plaza victims’ families:

Leaders of RMG workers on Friday at a rally in the city demanded of the government to compensate the families of the Rana Plaza victims immediately.

They said the families of the Rana Plaza victims need the compensation very badly as they are passing through untold sufferings after losing their earning family members in the Savar building collapse.
Garments Sramik Trade Union Kendra organised the rally in front of the Jatiya Press Club in the capital on Friday afternoon.
read more. & read more.& read more
UNB BANGLA NEWS24 FE bd

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20140215

* 40 likely to face charges in Rana Plaza disaster:

The CID has so far taken statements from 600 witnesses

The Criminal Investigation Department is likely to press charges against 40 persons including the owners of the Rana Plaza building, and the five garment factories within it, in two cases this month.

The traumatising incident of April 24 last year – one of the worst ever industrial disasters – claimed the lives of more than 1,135 people and injured over 2,500 workers as they were reportedly forced to continue work even though cracks had developed in the building. The nine-storey building also housed a branch of Brac Bank and a shopping complex.

The CID has so far taken statements from 600 witnesses. After scrutiny by the prosecution and the officials involved, the charge sheet will be submitted to a Dhaka court, confirmed Assistant Superintendent of Police (CID) Bijoy Krishna Kar.

He said all the detained 21 persons were involved with the construction of the building while the others would be charged for helping the building’s owner, Sohel Rana, flee or giving him shelter. Among those, eight persons, including Rana’s father, Abdul Khaleque, have been granted bail.
read more.
DHAKATRIBUNE

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20140216

* Rana Plaza Images win World Press Photo Awards:

Two photographers from Bangladesh took home the awards in two categories from Spot News for their photographs of the Rana Plaza disaster of April 2013.

According to the list of winners from the 2014 photo contest of World Press Photo: Taslima Akhter, workers and women’s rights activists won 3rd prize in the singles category for her iconic photograph “Final Embrace.”
read more.
DHAKATRIBUNE

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20140217

* Labour leaders for full compensation to Rana Plaza victims’ families soon:

Workers’ leaders of the readymade garment (RMG) industry demanded Monday full compensation for the families of the Rana Plaza victims as early as possible.

They also called upon some 29 importers, who used to buy apparel products from the factories located in the collapsed Rana Plaza, to come forward to provide compensation to the families of the victims.

The call was made at a human chain formed by National Garment Workers’ Federation (NGWF) in front of National Press Club in the capital.
Speaking on the occasion, NGWF President Amirul Haque Amin said a total of 29 foreign firms used to purchase RMG products from five apparel units housed at the collapsed multi-storey commercial building before the tragic incident.

“But, none of the companies has come to assist the affected workers as yet. It’s really a matter of great sorrow for all of us,” he said.
He said the companies should immediately come up and take rapid measures for releasing financial assistance for the deceased and critically wounded workers, who sacrificed their hands or legs and even their lives for manufacturing apparel products for the companies.
read more.
FE bd

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20140218

* Adequate compensation for Rana Plaza victims demanded:

Leaders of National Garment Workers Federation, on Sunday demanded that the authorities pay adequate compensation to the families of workers killed in the Rana Plaza collapse.

The NGWF, formed a human chain in front of the National Press Club in the city on Sunday morning to press its demands.
The federation president Amirul Haque Amin said the proposal of the committee formed by the government fixing Tk14 lakh as compensation for each worker killed in the factory collapse was not acceptable and demanded that the amount should be raised to Tk.28 lakh considering that the families had lost an earning member.
He said that the foreign buyers linked to the garment factories that the collapsed Rana Plaza had housed should also raise the amount of compensation to the victims.
read more.
BD new age

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20140219

* Delay in Rana Plaza charge framing unacceptable:

The Criminal Investigation Department looks set to miss yet another deadline for submission of charge sheets in the two criminal cases related to the April 24, 2013 collapse of Rana Plaza at Savar, which left at least 1,135 people killed, so suggests a report published in New Age on Tuesday.

The report quotes a senior superintendent of police as saying that the department plans to submit the charge sheets by mid-March, although the judicial magistrate’s court concerned asked it to do so on February 19.
The department earlier missed two deadlines set by the court — November 24 and December 24, 2014.
In the wake of the deadliest disaster in the apparel sector, the police filed a criminal case against the owners of the building and the apparel factories housed there and Rajdhani Unnayan Kartripakkha against the Savar municipality, which is reported to have complicit in the construction of the illegal and ill-fated eight-storey structure.

Moreover, the family of one of the victims filed a murder case with a Dhaka court. With the government high-up having pledged expeditious arrest, prosecution and punishment of those responsible, it was generally expected that the investigators would be prompt in completing the task in hand. Such expectations, it now seems, may have been misplaced and premature.
read more.
BD new age

* Justice for Bangladesh’s Workers:

The owners of a Bangladeshi factory, Tazreen Fashions, where a fire killed 112 workers in late 2012, surrendered to the police on Sunday and are expected to face trial on charges of negligence.

Justice has often been delayed and denied in Bangladesh. It has been particularly out of reach for workers in the country’s powerful garment industry, which employs about four million workers and sells billions of dollars of clothes to Western retailers like Walmart, Gap and H&M.

The industry has an abysmal safety record. Fires in factories have killed hundreds of garment workers in Bangladesh in recent years. Yet legal experts say the owner of Tazreen, Delowar Hossain and his wife, Mahmuda Akther, who was also a director at the company, may be the first executives in the country to be charged with a crime related to a factory fire.
Another group of executives linked to Rana Plaza, a building that collapsed in April 2013 and killed more than 1,100 workers, have also been arrested and are awaiting a trial that is expected to begin this year.
read more.
NYT

* Bangladesh fire victims await compensation:

Ahead of safety inspections, victims of a factory fire say they have not received promised compensation.

Victims of a garment factory fire in Bangladesh two years ago say they have yet to receive compensation.
Safety experts hired by western retailers will begin a mass inspection of garment factories in Bangladesh on Wednesday, as the country has been under pressure to improve safety standards after a series of accidents over the past two years.
read & see more. (video report).
aljazeera

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20140220

* Rana Plaza compensation arrangement needs brands’ commitment:

The one-year anniversary of the Rana Plaza industrial homicide is approaching on 24 April. Only four brands have joined the Rana Plaza Arrangement, an ILO-led initiative to pay compensation to the injured and victims’ families.

Consumers around the world will be disgusted to know that this long list of brands connected with Rana Plaza is still refusing to join the Arrangement: Adler, Auchan, Benetton, Camaieu, Carrefour, Carrona, Cato Fashions, Children’s Place, JC Penney, Kids for Fashion, Lee Cooper, Manifattura Corona, Mango, Matalan, NKD, Premier Clothing, PVT (Texman), Store 21, Yes Zee, Walmart.

If a majority of these brands refuse to pay what they owe, the US$40 million needed for compensation in line with ILO standards will not be collected.

Well-known high-street brand Primark, based in Ireland, has played a leading role in the industry’s response to Rana Plaza. Primark paid the stopgap salaries to all 3,600 workers of Rana Plaza for the six months following the collapse, plus a further three months. Primark has also been an important partner in establishing the Rana Plaza Coordination Committee and the Arrangement framework. However, after months of joint work with the highest possible level of guidance from the ILO and UN international experts, Primark is now wavering.

Primark’s initial work in response to the Rana Plaza collapse was positive, including considerable humanitarian relief and work on the ground with the IndustriALL affiliated United Federation of Garment Workers.
(…)
IndustriALL Global Union Assistant General Secretary Monika Kemperle stated:
“Only three brands connected with Rana Plaza have paid into the fund. We implore the rest to pay up now.
We urge people to write on their Facebook pages, write on the websites of their national media, and mobilise at the stores of these companies. It is time to name, shame and campaign.
On 24 April, one year will have passed since the horror of Rana Plaza. No more excuses. The fund is set up, the management of the fund is reliable, and every part of the mechanism has been negotiated and agreed by all concerned.
The support and commitment from all the major stakeholders has been attained.
The only outstanding action now is for the brands to pay. The necessary total of US$40 million is realistic. We need all supporters of this initiative to exert their strong influence over these image-conscious clothing companies.”
read more.
Home

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20140224-25

* Foundation donates Rana Plaza victims:

The Motorola Solutions Foundation donated $15,000 to the Bangladesh Red Crescent Society (RCS) to support relief efforts in Dhaka which is recovering from the collapse of the Savar Building last year, says a press release.

During the rush-hour morning of April 24 last year, the eight-storey Rana Plaza collapsed in Savar.  Considered one of the deadliest industrial accidents in modern history, the disaster had left thousands dead and injured. As recovery efforts continue, Motorola Solutions Foundation is extending its assistance through the RCS, the press release said.
Matthew Blakeley, director, Motorola Solutions Foundation said, “As lives and livelihood are being rebuilt, we at Motorola Solutions want to rally behind the survivors and families of victims in the Savar accident.”
to read.
INDEPENDENT

* Faulty construction blamed for building collapses:

The experts also underlined the need to follow the Bangladesh National Building Code (BNBC) strictly to make all establishments earthquake-resistant

20140224 DHAKTRIBUNE rana plaza
A file photo of Collapsed Rana Plaza 

Building experts yesterday blamed faulty or weak construction, negligence of the building code and lack of repairs for the collapse of many buildings in Bangladesh, including in the capital Dhaka, even without the influence of an earthquake or any other natural disaster.

Professional engineers and building experts made the observation while addressing a workshop, titled “Retrofitting of vulnerable buildings and quality construction of buildings for safer cities,” in the capital yesterday.

The experts also underlined the need to follow the Bangladesh National Building Code (BNBC) strictly to make all establishments earthquake-resistant, as such negligence have made many high-rise buildings in the capital vulnerable to natural disasters.

The daylong workshop was organised by a project, jointly arranged in cooperation with Public Works Department (PWD) with technical support from Japan International Cooperation Agency (Jica), for capacity development on natural disaster resistant techniques of construction and retrofitting for public buildings (CNCRP).

During the workshop, which marked the third-year completion of the CNCRP project, engineers shared their work knowledge and experiences while preparing an inventory list of 3,000 public buildings, practicing various seismic assessment methods, and improving building construction quality.

Fumio Kaneko, team leader of Jica study team, used a slide presentation to inform the workshop that the collapsed multi storey buildings in and around Dhaka, such as Rana Plaza, Begunbari Building, Phoenix Garments, Spectrum Building, Shankhari Bazar Building, had mainly collapsed due to faulty and weak foundation structure.
read more.
DHAKATRIBUNE

* Rana Plaza -Time for brands to Pay Up!:

FACEBOOKPAYUPLOGO

FOR RANA PLAZA SURVIVORS, COMPENSATION IS LONG OVERDUE.

Today, Clean Clothes Campaign (CCC) alongside workers and trade unions in Bangladesh and around the world launch a major campaign calling on all clothing brands who source from Bangladesh to immediately pay into the Rana Plaza Donors Trust Fund, which is collecting voluntary donations on behalf of the Rana Plaza Arrangement, and is overseen by the International Labour Organisation (ILO).

The Pay Up! campaign comes just two months before the first anniversary of the catastrophic collapse of Rana Plaza, which killed 1,138 people and injured over 2,000 more. The campaign aims to ensure that come April 24th the survivors and victims families are not still waiting for compensation.

CCC is calling on major international brands BENETTON, KIK and CHILDREN’S
PLACE, in particular, who all had orders at one of the five factories in Rana Plaza at the time of the collapse or in the recent past, to make significant contributions in order to ensure payments can begin.

US$40 MILLION is required to ensure all those injured and the families of those killed are fairly compensated for loss of income and medical expenses. The fund is open to all companies, donors and individuals who wish to express their solidarity and compassion.

To date clothing brands EL CORTE INGLES, MASCOT, MANGO, INDITEX and LOBLAW have all publicly committed to the Donor Trust Fund.

“Numerous reports over the past ten months have highlighted the ongoing plight of the victims of Rana Plaza and their families. We therefore welcome these initial contributions.” says Ineke Zeldenrust of the Clean Clothes Campaign. “Compensation efforts to date have been completely haphazard, unequal, unpredictable and non-transparent, and have left large groups of victims with nothing. The Arrangement has set up the entire operational structure, which will put an end to this unpredictability quickly and completely. All that is needed is for companies to pay up. The collapse of Rana Plaza is symptomatic of an industry wide problem, and we encourage the entire industry to make generous contributions.” adds Zeldenrust.

Nearly all the victims of the Rana Plaza collapse were garment workers who had been ordered back into the unsafe building by factory bosses.

Shila Begum a sewing operator in one of the factories who was trapped when the building collapsed described the decision to go in.
“No one wanted to enter the building that day … [but] I still went back in. If enough people hit you, you do what they say. You could see the tension in people’s eyes.” Shortly after arriving at her machine the electricity went off and the generator switched on “The floor gave way… my hand got stuck and I thought I would die.”

After being trapped for most of the day under the building Shila was eventually rescued, but her crush injuries were such that she had to have a hysterectomy, and her arm is in constant pain and she is unable to work.
The trauma of the day remains with her. “I don’t know if I will ever be able to step into a factory again.”

In Dhaka, garment workers and their unions will be creating a human chain, and holding a press conference demanding the early settlement of the compensation claims. Hameeda Hossein of SNF (the Bangladesh Worker’s Safety Forum) says “After the Rana building collapsed the whole world watched for weeks while the injured and dead were pulled out of the ruins. Now is the time for all of us to act and ensure US$40 million is donated before April 24th”.

The Rana Plaza Arrangement is a groundbreaking collaborative framework to
ensure that the losses of the survivors and victims can be paid.

The operational structure has been developed by the former Executive Head of the United Nations Compensation Commission, working with the Bangladesh Ministry of Labour and ILO experts. Some of the most credible labour- and civil society organisations will be involved in the claims processing and post-award services and counselling. Medical assessments will be undertaken by qualified local doctors at the Centre for Rehabilitation of the Paralysed (CRP). A team of independent local and international claims commissioners has been identified to determine the awards. The Germandevelopment agency GIZ has agreed to undertake the administrative costs of the operation.

Roy Ramesh Chandra, President of the United Federation of Garment Workers &
Secretary General of IndustriALL Bangladesh Council (IBC) said “This is an unprecedented step and allows, brands, the government, the employers organisations and unions to work together to ensure a just outcome for the victims of Rana Plaza.”

Ten months after the worse industrial disaster to hit the garment industry, there can be no further excuses. Brands can show that they can be part of the solution if they pay up now!
read more.
Site

* Fund for Rana plaza victims demanded:

Campaigners are urging all 27 clothing brands linked to a collapsed Bangladeshi factory that killed more than 1,100 people to pay into a compensation fund by the anniversary of the disaster in April.

The disaster has galvanized most of the clothing industry’s big names to work together to improve safety standards but many brands have shunned a fund that is trying to raise $40 million for families of the dead and over 2,000 injured.
The Clean Clothes Campaign (CCC), an Amsterdam-based group lobbying for better conditions in the garment industry, on Monday demanded that all 27 brands linked to factories in the Rana Plaza complex should contribute by the first anniversary of the collapse.
Discount fashion retailer Primark, owned by Associated British Foods, and Canadian grocer Loblaw have already paid short-term support to Rana Plaza workers, but have expressed frustration at slow progress in setting up a fund. The CCC said the only brands to have committed to pay into the fund so far are Loblaw, Mascot of Denmark and Spanish chains El Corte Ingles, Mango and Zara-owner Inditex, According to Reuters.
to read.
FE bd

* Firms urged to pay into fund for Bangladesh factory victims:

Campaigners are urging all 27 clothing brands linked to a collapsed Bangladeshi factory that killed more than 1,100 people to pay into a compensation fund by the anniversary of the disaster in April.

The disaster has galvanised most of the clothing industry’s big names to work together to improve safety standards but many brands have shunned a fund that is trying to raise $40 million for families of the dead and over 2,000 injured.

The Clean Clothes Campaign (CCC), an Amsterdam-based group lobbying for better conditions in the garment industry, on Monday demanded that all 27 brands linked to factories in the Rana Plaza complex should contribute by the first anniversary of the collapse.

“Compensation efforts to date have been completely haphazard, unequal, unpredictable and non-transparent, and have left large groups of victims with nothing,” Ineke Zeldenrust of the CCC said in a statement.
read more.& read more. & read more.
reuters BD new age DHAKATRIBUNE

* First Companies Give to Fund for Victims of Bangladeshi Factory Collapse:

Five global clothing brands and retailers on Sunday became the first contributors to a new fund raising $40 million for victims of the Rana Plaza factory disaster in Bangladesh, and activists are campaigning to pressure other brands to also make donations.

The collapse of the Rana Plaza building on April 24, killing more than 1,100 workers, was the deadliest disaster in the history of the garment industry. It focused global attention on the unsafe working conditions in some Bangladeshi factories, the rock-bottom wages earned by workers, and the lack of accountability and oversight in the supply chains for many global brands.

Compensating the victims has been an especially complicated issue, involving months of negotiations among clothing companies, labor groups, Bangladesh’s government and Bangladeshi factory owners. Those negotiations produced the Rana Plaza Donors Trust Fund, which on Sunday night reported the names of the first five companies to contribute: El Corte Inglés; Inditex, which includes the brand Zara; Loblaw; Mango; and Mascot.

On Monday, labor groups in Bangladesh are expected to hold public events to draw attention to the hardships faced by Rana Plaza victims with the anniversary of the accident two months away.
Ineke Zeldenrust, the international coordinator of the Clean Clothes Campaign, a European anti-sweatshop group, said labor groups were also pushing for companies like Walmart, Children’s Place and Benetton — which have been linked to Rana Plaza — to make contributions so that payments can begin as soon as possible.
read more. & read more. & to read. & to read.
NYT WSJ FE bd daily star bd

* IndustriALL to press global brands for funding Rana Plaza victims:

The IndustriALL Global Union will launch a special campaign to put pressure for funds on the global brands that sourced garment products from factories at collapsed Rana Plaza.
The fund will be used for compensating the victims and their families, a top executive of the rights group said.

The IndustriALL is initiating the public campaign as more than 15 brands are yet to join an agreed fund. The fund emerged following an agreement signed earlier by the IndustriALL Global Union, the Clean Clothes Campaign, Bangladesh’s unions, the government and Bangladeshi manufacturers and employers’ association for the Rana Plaza victims, he said.

“We understood that we have to go for public campaign to put pressure on brands. We are going for public campaigning as people are suffering,” Jyrki Raina, general secretary of the IndustriALL Global Union told the FE in an interview during his visit to Dhaka.

The $40 million fund has been set up on the basis of the internationally-recognised principles for compensation. It takes into account pain and suffering and loss of income for families of the dead and injured workers, he said. Only four brands have confirmed their contribution to the initiative, he informed.

“Now we are struggling for the next phase. The leading brands have been asked how much they will contribute to the fund but still they are yet to confirm,” he said. He sought all-out support to this initiative for their strong influence over these image-conscious clothing  companies through public campaigning like writing on their websites and facebook pages.
read more.
FE bd

* Correct list of Rana Plaza victims demanded:

Survivors of Rana Plaza collapse as well as relatives of missing and dead workers on Monday demanded the government publish the correct list of the victims to ensure proper compensation.

They brought out a procession and staged a rally in front of the collapse site at Savar to mark the passing of 10 months after the collapse and raised the demand.
They claimed that so far no concrete step has been taken by the government and the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) for the proper compensation of the deaths and injuries.

They also claimed that the foreign buyers are also showing apathy to the cause of the dead and the injured workers and their relatives.
read more.
UNB

* Declare missing Rana Plaza workers dead:

Demand relatives of victims

The victims of the Rana Plaza collapse yesterday demanded that the government declare the missing workers as dead so that their families could be entitled to compensations.

The demand came from a human chain formed at the site of the nine-storey building in Savar, outside the capital. Over a hundred workers and relatives of the deceased and missing victims joined the demonstration, blocking the Dhaka-Aricha highway for half an hour.
The protesters also submitted a memorandum to Savar Upazila Parishad, citing their demands.
The programme was organised by “Bangladesh Garment Workers Solidarity”.
Separately, labour rights organisation Sramik Nirapatta Forum (SNF) demanded creation of a unified national scale of compensation and compensating of the victims of the Rana Plaza collapse and the Tazreen Fashions fire accordingly.
read more.
daily star bd

* Rana Plaza victims urge to publish complete list of dead and missing:

They also warned that they would go for tough movement if their demands were not met

Relatives of those who died or were injured in the Rana Plaza collapse gathered in front of the tragic site yesterday, demanding their compensations and urged the government to publish the complete list of dead and missing workers as soon as possible.

They also warned that they would go for tough movement if their demands were not met.
Over 200 workers and relatives of the victims demonstrated at the site under the banner of Bangladesh Garments Workers Solidarity.

Many workers complained that though 10 months had passed, they did not get any compensation yet.
Lovely, a victim, said: “Every month we come here but the government is yet to give us any compensation.”
When asked, many survivors said they lost everything and they would demonstrate till they get their actual compensation.

“We did not want to work on that day. We only worked as the owners forced us. Some of us lost their limbs; some have lost capability to work again. So, the government should assume our responsibility,” Arzina, a survivor, told the Dhaka Tribune.
read more.
DHAKATRIBUNE

* Meet Reba, an 18-Year-Old Survivor of Bangladesh’s Rana Plaza Collapse:

20140224 ECOTERRE reba-sikder
This is 18-year-old Reba Sikder in the jacket that my 12-year old grew out of two years ago.

Thanks to the successive snow storms that hit Washington, D.C., we were lucky to have Reba stay with us for almost a week. We had the joy of introducing her to snow and sledding and hot chocolate. And now, unlike the snow that finally melted, we miss having Reba with us.

Actually, we missed Reba the moment she was gone. Reba was here with one of International Labor Rights Forum’s longtime partners and one of my kids’ favorite house guests, Kalpona Akter, the head of the Bangladesh Center for Worker Solidarity.

HER STORY
The two were in the United States on a worker tour organized by United Students Against Sweatshops to call on companies that make collegiate apparel to join the Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh.
|After the horrendous garment-industry tragedies in Bangladesh last year, the accord represents a structural advance in corporate accountability: over 150 signatory companies have made a binding commitment to a safety program that ensures workers have the right to refuse dangerous work and gives trade unions a meaningful role in the governance and implementation of the initiative.
“They can’t treat us like this. We’re human beings.”
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ECOUTERRE

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20140226

* BD factory collapse : Big brands urged to pay into help fund:

Only five of the 27 global clothing brands linked to the Bangladesh factory that collapsed last year with the loss of 1,138 lives have committed to paying into a compensation fund for the victims, according to British daily The Guardian.

The Clean Clothes Campaign, which wants improved conditions in the industry, said only Zara-owner Inditex, Mango, Canada’s Loblaw, Denmark’s Mascot and El Corte of Spain had committed to the fund, which is trying to raise $40m in time for the anniversary of the Rana Plaza factory disaster in April.

Several big British brands, including Primark and Matalan, are among the companies that have not paid into the fund, although Primark has paid the wages of workers laid off after the disaster. Other big brands connected to the factory include Walmart, Benetton and JC Penney. The collapse, the deadliest disaster in the history of the clothes industry, also left more than 2,000 injured.

The CCC campaign, which is supported by the International Labour Organisation (ILO), said it was “time for clothing brands to pay up”.Global trade unions urged consumers to bombard their favourite brands with demands that they pay into the fund. “It is time to name, shame and campaign,” said Monika Kemperle, assistant general secretary global trade union body IndustriALL. “On April 24, one year will have passed since the horror of Rana Plaza. No more excuses.”
read more.
FE bd

* Bangladesh factory collapse: big brands urged to pay into help fund:

Primark, Matalan, Walmart, Benetton and JC Penney among 22 of 27 brands still to contribute after Rana Plaza disaster

Only five of the 27 global clothing brands linked to the Bangladesh factory that collapsed last year with the loss of 1,138 lives have committed to paying into a compensation fund for the victims.

The Clean Clothes Campaign, which wants improved conditions in the industry, said only Zara-owner Inditex, Mango, Canada’s Loblaw, Denmark’s Mascot and El Corte of Spain had committed to the fund, which is trying to raise $40m in time for the anniversary of the Rana Plaza factory disaster in April.

Several big British brands, including Primark and Matalan, are among the companies that have not paid into the fund, although Primark has paid the wages of workers laid off after the disaster. Other big brands connected to the factory include Walmart, Benetton and JC Penney. The collapse, the deadliest disaster in the history of the clothes industry, also left more than 2,000 injured.

The CCC campaign, which is supported by the International Labour Organisation (ILO), said it was “time for clothing brands to pay up”.Global trade unions urged consumers to bombard their favourite brands with demands that they pay into the fund. “It is time to name, shame and campaign,” said Monika Kemperle, assistant general secretary global trade union body IndustriALL. “On April 24, one year will have passed since the horror of Rana Plaza. No more excuses.”
read more.
GUARDIAN

* Cruden monitors rehabilitation process:

The Canadian High Commissioner to Bangladesh Heather Cruden and high officials of a Canadian company Loblaws Incorporation visited two rehabilitation projects of Rana Plaza victims on Tuesday.

The Canadian government and the Canadian company are funding the ‘Centre for the Rehabilitation of the Paralysed’ (CRP) and ‘Canada Fund for Local Initiatives’ (CFLI) projects to aid the victims by providing medical support and other contributions for a better recovery to Rana Plaza collapse catastrophe.

Earlier, several prompt actions were taken by these projects immediately after the incident and now the projects are concentrating on long term support and rehabilitation for the victims having spinal cord injury, amputation of limbs and any other disability.
read more.
BANGLA NEWS24

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20140226

FACEBOOKPAYUPLOGO

Brands have yet to publicly commit to the Rana Plaza Donors Trust Fund despite having had links to a factory in the building.
read more. read more.
Site

* Govt to confiscate Rana Plaza site:

 Fires, looting still occur frequently

The government is likely to confiscate the site of Rana Plaza in Savar, ten months after the eight-storied building collapsed claiming lives of over a thousand garment workers.

Dhaka District Deputy Commissioner Shaikh Yusuf Harun said a committee, which has been leading the coordination works of Rana Plaza will soon implement the decision.

“Earlier, there was a plan to confiscate the site as Khas land. But the decision has remained pending due to the compensation issues of the victim’s families,” said Harun while talking to the Dhaka Tribune on Sunday.

“Now, it seems frustration of the victim’s families have come down as many of them received their compensation. We have already published advertisements in the newspaper regarding confiscation and we have not received any objection in this regard. Therefore, we will soon go forward with our decision,” he added.
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DHAKATRIBUNE

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20140302

* Rana Plaza victims still awaiting compensation after garment factory disaster:

Following the failed compensation talks in Geneva in September 2013, an agreement has now been reached and a process established to compensate the victims of the Rana Plaza factory disaster in Bangladesh.

Very few of the 28 retailers involved, however, have signed the accord or agreed to provide compensation to victims and their families.

One of several Bangladesh garment factory disasters in recent times, the Rana Plaza building collapsed in April 2013, killing or injuring nearly 3,000 workers. Reports have since surfaced that the mainly female workforce were threatened with losing their pay if they refused to work that day, even though the building was already showing cracks. Once inside, the doors were locked and managers instructed workers to continue to work, even as the building began to shake and crumble.

To date, some emergency relief has been provided by a few retailers (notably, Primark and Loblaw, sister companies both controlled by the Westons). However, Rana Plaza victims still await compensation.
Workers who survived but are disabled await medical care and rehabilitation. Families who lived off of the meagre wages of workers who died are now in dire straits.
read more.
rabble

FACEBOOKPAYUPLOGO

* THE WORST INDUSTRIAL DISASTER TO HIT THE GARMENT INDUSTRY:

On April 24th 2013 Rana Plaza a building housing five garment factories, in the Savar area of Bangladesh’s capital Dhaka, collapsed. 

Nine stories of concrete came crashing down killing 1,138 people and injuring over 2,000 more. It was the worst industrial accident to ever hit the garment industry and the images shocked the world.

At least 27 global garment brands had recent or current orders in with the five garment factories in the building. Nearly all those who died or were injured were garment workers.  Many had been ordered back into the unsafe building by factory owners despite the building being evacuated the day before when giant cracks appeared in the walls.

A wake up call
In the immediate aftermath of the collapse the world’s media descended on Dhaka and the terrible fate faced by so many was front page news.
This led over 150 companies to sign the Accord on Fire and Safety in Bangladesh, a legally binding and independent agreement designed to make all garment factories in Bangladesh safe workplaces.
This is an important step in ensuring such a terrible disaster doesn’t happen again but for the survivors and the families of the dead it provides little relief.

Ten months on, the suffering continues
For the many who were in that building on that terrible day, and the families of those who never made it out there is little escape from the suffering they have endured.

They suffered terrible injuries, lost husbands and wives, children and parents, brothers and sisters; and will bear the physical and emotional scars for life. This can never be compensated for, but they can and should be compensated for loss of income and medical costs before one year has passed.

Brands must act now.
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Site

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20140303

* Rana Plaza Arrangement:

On April 24th 2013 1134 people were killed and hundreds were injured when the Rana Plaza building in Savar, Bangladesh collapsed.

The unprecedented scale of the disaster meant a coordinated, systematic approach was required to ensure the victims, their families and dependents would not have to endure ill-health and financial hardship resulting from the death of a family member or life changing injuries.

In September 2013 representatives from the government, the garment industry both locally and internationally, trade unions and non-governmental organisations, came together to form the Rana Plaza Coordination Committee. With the UN agency International Labour Organisation (ILO) acting as a neutral chair, their purpose was to develop a comprehensive and independent process that would deliver support to the victims, their families and dependants in a predictable manner consistent with international labour standards. This process was agreed in late 2013, and established through an agreement known as “the Arrangement.”

The Arrangement has established a claims process, which will be implemented by a range of local organisations and international experts, who will support victims, their families and their dependants to submit claims, assess the level of payments to be provided to each beneficiary, undertake medical assessments and provide follow up support where needed. These payments will be funded through the Rana Plaza Donors Trust Fund, which is open to contributions from any organisation, company or individual wishing to support the delivery of financial and medical support to the Rana Plaza families.

What is the Rana Plaza Coordination Committee and who is involved?
read more.
RANAPLAZAarrangement

* Joint Statement calling on brands to Pay Up!:

With the first anniversary of Rana Plaza approaching leading labour rights groups and trade unions across the world have released this joint statement calling on brands to Pay Up!

We, the undersigned, welcome and support the Rana Plaza Arrangement, a  comprehensive and independent framework, consistent with international labour standards,  that will provide the much-needed support for loss of income and medical expenses to the victims, their families and dependents of the Rana Plaza building collapse. A joint approach is the only way to ensure all those who have already lost so much are compensated fully and in a predictable manner.

The combined commitment of the Ministry of Labour of the Government of Bangladesh, the local and international garment industry, local and international trade unions and local and international non-governmental organisations, with the ILO as neutral and independent chair has led to this groundbreaking approach.

The Arrangement has established a claims process, which will be implemented by a range of local organisations and international experts, who will support victims, their families and their dependants to submit claims, assess the level of payments to be provided to each beneficiary, undertake medical assessments and provide follow up support where needed.

The Arrangement’s voluntary Donor Trust Fund is now taking donations and will be able to start making payments into the victims accounts as soon as sufficient money is pledged.

US$40 million is required before the first anniversary of the terrible collapse of Rana Plaza on April 24th.
read more.
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20140304

Sweatshop activist demands Wal-Mart, The Children’s Place, others compensate Rana Plaza victims:

Ratcheting up pressure on the large apparel companies Benetton , The Children’s Place and Wal-Mart , a European anti-sweatshop activist group has released a letter endorsed by 40 signatories – 22 of them are Canadian – asking companies that bought clothing from Rana Plaza in Bangladesh contribute to a fund for victims of the disaster.

A week ago, five brands including Canada’s Loblaw , as well as Mango, Zara, El Corte Ingles, and Mascot, became the first contributors to the Rana Plaza Donors Fund. Activists are hoping to raise $40 million to be distributed to victims of last April’s factory collapse, which killed at least 1,129 people.

The disaster brought into sharp focus the conditions and wages of apparel workers in the developing world. At Rana Plaza, workers were ordered to keep stitching hours after some complained of cracks in the building’s supporting walls. At another factory fire months earlier, safety exits were padlocked shut.
read more.
the STAR 2

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20140306

* Over 30 Bangla organizations join Clean Clothes Campaign:

Over 70 labour rights groups and trade unions have signed up to a joint statement calling on global clothing brands that source from Bangladesh to pay into the Rana Plaza Donor Trust Fund and ensure the survivors and families of victims of the devastating collapse receive the much needed support they need.
Clean Clothes Campaign were joined in signing the statement by over 30 Bangladeshi organisations, 21 Canadian groups and global trade union federations IndustriALL and UNI as well as organisations from across Asia, Europe and the USA.
read more.
fibre2fashion

* Tk 21cr compensation for Rana Plaza victims:

Over Tk 21 crore was provided to to the victims of Rana Plaza tragedy so far from Relief and Welfare Fund of the Prime Minister.

A total of 909 families received a donation from one lakh to five lakh Taka where another 36 mutilated people got two or three times higher.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina came up with the disclosure while addressing parliament in a question and answer session on Wednesday.

She also told the House that Labour Welfare Foundation has been formed for the sake of the RMG workers and their family. “Around taka one crore was provided to 99 victims of Tajreen Fashion fire incident and their families,” the House was told.

Moreover, workers got a grant of Tk 200,000 each from Prime Minister’s fund. On the other hand, Bangladesh Bankers’ Association donated Tk 100,000 to each worker, she added.
read more.
BANGLA NEWS24

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20140307

* Rana Plaza brands must pay compensation now:

We cannot allow the one-year anniversary of one of the worst industrial accidents, Rana Plaza, to pass on 24 April without compensation being paid to the injured and victims families.

All the work has been done to build the Donor Trust Fund. An inclusive process was run under the stewardship of the ILO during the second half of 2013, achieving a final agreement in December 2013 with the signed commitment from all parties. Cosigning partners of the Rana Plaza Coordination Committee and the Arrangement framework include the Bangladeshi government, Bangladeshi unions, Bangladeshi manufacturers, IndustriALL Global Union and the Clean Clothes Campaign, as well as four key brands.

The total needed is US$40 million for correct levels of payments to be made to the families of those 1,138 workers and rescue workers crushed to death at their workstations in Rana Plaza, and also to the survivors, thousands of whom lost limbs and their ability to work when the factory fell.
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20140308

* Statement from the Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh (Accord) regarding the Rana Plaza Arrangement:

“The Accord welcomes and supports the Rana Plaza Arrangement, a comprehensive and independent framework, consistent with international labour standards, which will provide the much-needed support for loss of income and medical expenses to the victims and dependents of the tragic collapse of the Rana Plaza building.

Compensation falls out of the scope of the Accord, which is why we are very pleased that a common framework, the “Rana Plaza Arrangement”, has been agreed by all relevant stakeholders nationally and internationally, with the ILO acting as a neutral chair.

The Arrangement provides a single approach for covering the losses of Rana Plaza victims, and their families and dependents consistent with the ILO international standards, and in a manner that is predictable, transparent and consistent.

An international Rana Plaza Donors Trust Fund has now been set up to receive voluntary donations from all companies and organisations that wish to contribute.
read more.
BANGLADESHACCORD

* IndustriALL asks retailers to pay compensation by April 24:

IndustriALL Global Union, a federation of trade unions, yesterday asked all related clothing retailers and brands to deposit money to the Rana Plaza compensation fund within April 24, the first anniversary of the nation’s deadliest industrial disaster.

A fund of $40 million is needed to make appropriate payments to the families of those crushed at their workstations in the Rana Plaza building and also to the survivors, hundreds of whom lost limbs and their ability to work, IndustriALL said in a statement.
So far, four or five retailers and brands have agreed to contribute to the fund. IndustriALL in December last year called upon 29 retailers and brands, who used to buy garments from the ill-fated factories in Rana Plaza, to build the compensation fund.
A government committee on the Rana Plaza building collapse has also recommended compensation for the victims, but IndustriALL wants the victims to be paid under the ‘ILO Convention 121’.
read more.
daily star bd

* Rana Plaza brands must pay compensation by 9am on 24 April:

It is crunch time now for the Rana Plaza compensation fund. The one-year anniversary of the mass industrial homicide is fast approaching. IndustriALL, UNI, Clean Clothes Campaign and LabourStart have launched an online petition calling on brands to pay now.

The total fund needed is US$40 million for correct levels of payments to be made to the families of those 1,138 workers crushed to death at their workstations in Rana Plaza, and also to the survivors, hundreds of whom lost limbs and their ability to work when the factory fell.

An inclusive process has been conducted under the stewardship of the ILO during the second half of 2013, achieving a final agreement in December 2013 with the signed commitment from all parties. The Arrangement set out to build the Donor Trust Fund Cosigning partners of the Rana Plaza Coordination Committee and the Arrangement framework include the Bangladeshi government, Bangladeshi unions, Bangladeshi manufacturers, IndustriALL Global Union and the Clean Clothes Campaign, as well as four key brands.

The Fund is open for anyone to make a humanitarian contribution, and all clothing brands sourcing Bangladesh are encouraged to do so.

However this long list of brands connected with Rana Plaza MUST pay their share as a matter of urgency.
read more.
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* Two members named for Rana Plaza commission:

A coordination panel on Rana Plaza compensations has proposed to appoint former chief justice ABM Khairul Haque and Advocate Sultana Kamal as members of a commission for disbursement of the fund among the victims.

Mojtaba Kazazi, a United Nations expert on compensation, has already been appointed as the commissioner of the three-member commission formed by the panel, said Roy Ramesh, general secretary to the IndustriALL Bangladesh Council.

The appointment of two commissioners might be finalised by Monday, as the disbursement of the compensation will have to be completed by April 24, the first anniversary of the nation’s deadliest industrial disaster.
The Bangladesh Legal Aid and Services Trust will fix the claims according to the international and local laws.
read more.
daily star bd

* Ten months after Rana Plaza tragedy, it’s time for clothing brands to Pay Up:

On Feb 24th, in Dhaka, 11 major garment trade unions affiliated with IndustriALL joined with orphans of those killed in the Rana Plaza collapse to form a human chain and call on all brands to pay up!

On February 24, 10 months after the Rana Plaza building collapse in Bangladesh killed over 1,100 garment workers and injured over 2,000 more, 70 trade unions and other civil society organizations released a joint statement calling on all companies whose products are made in Bangladesh to Pay Up by contributing to the Donor Trust Fund for the Rana Plaza victims.

Signatories to the joint statement include 22 Canadian organizations, 30 Bangladeshi groups, the Global Unions IndustriALL and UNI, and organizations from across Asia, Europe and in the United States.
read more.
msn

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20140310

* EU delegation head in BD dismayed at lack of progress in labour safety:

Compensation for Rana Plaza victims

The head of the European Union (EU) Delegation in Dhaka Ambassador William Hanna on Sunday raised the issue of the non-payment of Rana Plaza victims’ compensation and the required safety measures on the eve of the first anniversary of the country’s biggest ever industrial disaster.

He said that he was ‘not satisfied’ fully with the progress in the steps taken so far on the workers’ safety and rights in Bangladesh’s ready-made garment (RMG) sector.

“…Where are the compensations? Did the victims get the compensations? I think not,” he said replying to journalists’ queries on the sidelines of a Women’s Day celebration event in Dhaka with garment workers.

Care Bangladesh organised the celebration programme in association with the EU and the Austrian Development Cooperation at the city’s CIRDAP (Centre on Integrated Rural Development for Asia and Pacific) auditorium.  The event was titled ‘Lives beyond Machines – A Reflection on Priorities for Women in the RMG Sector’ organised under the project Solidarity and Empowerment through Education, Motivation and Awareness (SEEMA) funded by the EU.

Country Representative of UN Women Christine Hunter and Care Bangladesh Country Director Jamie Terzi were also present.

The EU ambassador said Bangladesh would face ‘uncomfortable questions’ from the global community, as it completes one year of the Rana Plaza collapse, about compensation and safety issues.
read more.
FE bd

* Bangladesh may face uncomfortable questions from global community:

20140310 NEWAGE
Relatives of the Rana Plaza victims form a human chain in front of the BGMEA building on Sunday, demanding compensation for the victims and enlistment of the deceased. — New Age photo

Bangladesh would face uncomfortable questions from the global community as the first anniversary of the tragic Rana Plaza collapse is approaching, Head of EU Delegation in Dhaka ambassador William Hanna said Sunday.

He said two members of European parliament would visit Dhaka in two weeks to look into the factory issues.
Ambassador Hanna said that he himself was not satisfied with the progress achieved until now by Bangladesh’s apparel industry on workers’ safety and rights.
‘Change is happening but it has to be continued and more needs to be done,’ Hanna told reporter on the sidelines of the International Women’s Day celebrations by CARE in the city.
To mark the day a discussions on ‘Lives Beyond Machines: A reflection on Priorities for Women in the RMG sector’ was organized under CARE’s Project for  Solidarity and Empowerment through Education, Motivation and Awareness.
read more.
BD new age

* Labour Start launch petition calling on brands to Pay Up:

Global trade unions join Clean Clothes Campaign in the Pay Up campaign.

With the survivors and families of victims of Rana Plaza still waiting for global brands to Pay Up! Global trade unions are joining the Pay Up campaign and have launched a petition on Labour Start.
You can sign the petition here.

The petition calls on brands including :
Adler Modemarkte, Auchan, Ascena Retail, Benetton, C&A, Carrefour, Cato Fashions, Children’s Place, Grabalok, Gueldenpfennig, Kids for Fashion, KiK, LPP, Manifattura Corona, Matalan, NKD, Premier Clothing, Primark, PWT, Walmart and Yes Zee.

To stop dragging their heels and to pay up into the Rana Plaza Donor Trust Fund before the first anniversary of the terrible collapse on April 24th.
Read more about the Pay Up campaign.
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20140313

* Pay all dues to Rana Plaza victims: labour leaders:

Labor leaders and rights activists on Wednesday demanded payment of all dues and compensation to the victims of Rana Plaza building collapse by April 24.

Speaking at a discussion, they urged the government to publish the names of the institutions and individuals who donated Tk 127.67 crore to the prime minister’s relief and welfare fund for giving compensation to and rehabilitation of Rana Plaza victims and how many of them got the money from the fund.
Bangladesh Institute of Labour Studies organised the discussion on ‘Disaster-accident of workplace: multiple sufferings of women’ at National Press Club to mark International Women’s Day 2014.

Columnist Syed Abul Maksud said according to the standard of International Labour Organisation each deceased worker of Rana Plaza should get Tk 72 lakh.
He said not only the government but also the buyers, the retailers and Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters’ Association should pay the compensation in due time.
Maksud urged the government to declare April 24 as National Labour Solidarity Day as last year on this day Rana Plaza building collapsed killing more than 1100 garments workers.

Rights activist and Labour Safety Forum coordinator Hamida Hossain said, ‘We want to know which institutions and individuals donated Tk 127.67 crore to the prime minister’s relief and welfare fund for the Rana Plaza victims and to whom the government distributed the money.’
Criticising the existing Labour Act, she said Tk 1.2 lakh cannot be the compensation for a dead worker.
Some victims shared their experiences in the programme.
read more.
BD new age

* Workers for agitation if Rana Plaza victims not paid compensation:

Leaders, activists urge payment by Apl 24

Labour leaders at a roundtable threatened to launch a massive agitation if the authorities concerned failed to pay due compensation to the Rana Plaza victims and their families by April 24 next.

Ready-made garment (RMG) industry workers’ leaders, journalists and columnists and NGO activists have called upon the government to take necessary steps in the payment of compensation in line with ILO standards by the deadline, when the country will observe the first anniversary of the industrial tragedy.

The demands were placed at the roundtable discussion organised by Bangladesh Institute of Labour Studies (BILS) at National Press Club in the capital.
(…)
According to the said ILO article, minimum 50 per cent of the average monthly wage and seven per cent more in consideration of inflation every year will be added to the amount. The calculation will be made considering 60 workable years for a worker.

“Basing on the calculation, a worker killed in the Rana Plaza incident will get more than Tk 7.2 million and the compensated amount must be cleared by the coming April 24. Otherwise, we’ll have no alternative but going for massive movement locally and globally,” Mr. Roy said.

Noted columnist Syed Abul Maksud said the government should set a benchmark in line with international standard keeping Rana Plaza tragedy at the front, so that the standard can be followed in the future if any industrial accident occurs in the future.

He also proposed announcing April 24 as National Workers’ Solidarity Day, marking the world’s worst industrial disaster in the century.

At the discussion, Rana Plaza’s wounded victims, mostly women, shared their painful and bitter experiences they had to go through since the tragedy of the building collapse.
read more.
FE bd

* Full compensation still eludes victims:

The Rana Plaza collapse victims, mostly female garment workers, have not completely received compensation neither in line with a High Court ruling nor the International Labour Organization (ILO) conventions even almost a year past Bangladesh’s worst industrial catastrophe.

Speakers made the observation at a discussion, “Disasters-accidents at workplace: women’s multifaceted problems”, organised by the Bangladesh Institute of Labour Studies (BILS) in the capital’s Jatiya Press Club yesterday.

Formed following the HC ruling, the government-appointed 31-member panel recommended Tk 14.5 lakh for the dead, missing and permanently disabled workers, Tk 7.5 lakh for those losing one limb, Tk 4.5 lakh for workers needing long-term treatment and Tk 1.5 lakh for the traumatised survivors.

Under the ILO’s “loss of earnings” standards, which fix compensation based on victims’ age and national life expectancy, the family of a dead worker is entitled to Tk 28 lakh.

Moreover, the permanently disabled workers should receive more than Tk 25 lakh, the recoverable injured ones Tk 15 lakh and those with minor injuries Tk 5-10 lakh.

Rights activist Dr Hameeda Hossain, coordinator, Labour Safety Forum said till the $40 million promised by foreign buyers was collected, the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) fund should provide it.
read more.
daily star bd

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map of Asia

20131116
* All brands responsible should compensate the Rana Plaza victims now
* Rana Plaza compensation talks still frustrate

20131117
* Buyers’ compensation for Rana Plaza victims far from reality
* Tazreen Fire, Rana Plaza Collapse: Make public list of casualties

20131123
* US retailers decline to aid Tazreen, Rana Plaza victims

20131124
* Rana Plaza charge sheets yet to be finalised
* CID asked to explain failure to submit Rana plaza probe report
* Rana Plaza investigator censured
* On 24th of every month, they mourn

20131126
* Owners not bound to pay Tk 19.51 lakh to each: BGMEA
* Move to slash compensation money for Rana Plaza victims
* Rana Plaza Compensation amount proposed to be slashed – ignorance and delay continue

20131201
* Rana Plaza Compensation – The Delay With No Deadline …

20131202
* Rescuer turned victim seeks way back to normalcy

20131207
* Families of 159 get Tk 24,000 each
* Rana Plaza victim’s skull handed over to relative

20131213
* 2 more corpses found under rubbles

20131214
* DNA-identified victims’ families await aid

20131215
* Victim primarily identified as Obaidul
* Bangladesh Factory Fires: Why Brands Are Accountable and Should Compensate Victims Now

20131221
* Over 100 victims to remain unidentified
* Bangladeshi Workers’ Long Wait
* After Rana Plaza collapse, bleak struggle for survivors

20131223
* Human skull recovered from Rana Plaza

20131224
* $40 Million in Aid Set for Bangladesh Garment Workers
* Rana Plaza Compensation Arrangement
* $40m aid for Bangladesh garment workers

20131225
* 4 global retailers to set up $40m compensation fund
* Victims, relatives demonstrate for compensation
* Bangladeshi workers still missing eight months after Rana Plaza collapse

20131227
* JUTA donates financial assistance to Rana Plaza victims
* More human remains found

20131228
* More human remains found
* Over 100 human bones found at Rana Plaza ruins
* More human bones coming out from Rana Plaza ruins

20131231
* Not of human but of cows, OC about Rana Plaza bones

20140103-04
* 28 more human bones retrieved from Rana Plaza debris
* Human remains found again in Rana Plaza site

20140106
* Many more human remains lie neglected

20140107
* A turn in Rana Plaza tale

20140110
* Dead worker’s wife finally sees ray of hope

20140111-12
* Bones and skulls still being found in Rana Plaza debris
* The miracle baby who survived Rana Plaza collapse

20140115
* Airtel assistance for Rana Plaza victims

20140116
* Yusuf put his own life in peril to rescue others

20140117
* An exchange with the Bangladeshi ambassador to the US

20140120
* Search for the remains

20140124
* Tk 1.45m for each of the dead, missing, disabled
* Rana Plaza victim damages revised
* Committee sets compensation for Rana Plaza victims
* Rana Plaza collapse victims, families demand compensation
* Rana Plaza victim commits ‘suicide’
* Miraculous survivor kills self

20140125
* Injured worker kills herself
* Rana Plaza victim found dead
* Human remains unearthed again from debris
* Rana Plaza disaster: Gap ranks world’s worst

20140126
* Salma’s death: Ashraf decries media reports, asks for more investigation
* Salma’s death termed act of murder
* Syed Ashraful demands probe
* Rana Plaza survivors still traumatised
* Govt to observe Rana Plaza tragedy’s anniversary

20140127
* Social, financial commitments to Rana Plaza victims unfulfilled
* Yawning gap between pledges and delivery
* Commitments to victims mostly remain unfulfilled: CPD dialogue
* Rana Plaza Tragedy: Survivors suffer ‘as fund lies idle’

20140128
* Rana Plaza compensation
* Two Rana Plaza factory owners get bail

20140129
* Sons of Rana Plaza victim get cheque
* Rana Plaza victim conquers disability
* Rana Plaza funds get closer

20140130
* Charge-sheet against accused Feb 19

20140202
* Rana plaza owner denied bail

20140203
* The Rana Plaza Donors Trust Fund

20140204
* More Rana Plaza victims to be identified soon

20140205
* Funds too low for Rana Plaza victims, say union leaders
* More compensation for Rana Plaza victims demanded
* Families of Rana Plaza victims find solace in new school

20140206
* Call for fast-tracking compensation for missing workers
* Publication of list of workers killed in Rana Plaza collapse demanded
* Labour groups cheating Rana Plaza victims

20140207
* Relatives of Rana Plaza victims get aid

20140209
* 43 more Rana Plaza victims identified

20140210
* Bangladesh Garment Sromik Shanghoti brought out a procession
* Sramik Sanghati demands full list of Rana Plaza victims

20140211
* Compensation for Rana Plaza victims: the cost of outsourcing grows
* ACC to seek statement from Rana’s father
* Bangladesh says no hope of identifying 100 factory victims

20140212
* Government, BGMEA dillydallying with payment of compensation

20140214
* Rally ask govt to immediately compensate Rana Plaza victims’ families

20140215
* 40 likely to face charges in Rana Plaza disaster

20140216
* Rana Plaza Images win World Press Photo Awards

20140217
* Labour leaders for full compensation to Rana Plaza victims’ families soon

20140218
* Adequate compensation for Rana Plaza victims demanded

20140219
* Delay in Rana Plaza charge framing unacceptable
* Justice for Bangladesh’s Workers
* Bangladesh fire victims await compensation

20140220
* Rana Plaza compensation arrangement needs brands’ commitment

20140224-25
* Foundation donates Rana Plaza victims
* Faulty construction blamed for building collapses
* Rana Plaza -Time for brands to Pay Up!
* Fund for Rana plaza victims demanded
* Firms urged to pay into fund for Bangladesh factory victims
* IndustriALL to press global brands for funding Rana Plaza victims
* Correct list of Rana Plaza victims demanded
* Declare missing Rana Plaza workers dead
* Rana Plaza victims urge to publish complete list of dead and missing
* Meet Reba, an 18-Year-Old Survivor of Bangladesh’s Rana Plaza Collapse

20140226
* BD factory collapse : Big brands urged to pay into help fund
* Bangladesh factory collapse: big brands urged to pay into help fund
* Cruden monitors rehabilitation process

20140228
* Govt to confiscate Rana Plaza site

20140302
* Rana Plaza victims still awaiting compensation after garment factory disaster
* THE WORST INDUSTRIAL DISASTER TO HIT THE GARMENT INDUSTRY

20140303
* Rana Plaza Arrangement
* Joint Statement calling on brands to Pay Up!

20140304
* Sweatshop activist demands Wal-Mart, The Children’s Place, others compensate Rana Plaza victims

20140306
* Over 30 Bangla organizations join Clean Clothes Campaign
* Tk 21cr compensation for Rana Plaza victims

20140307
* Rana Plaza brands must pay compensation now

20140308
* Statement from the Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh (Accord) regarding the Rana Plaza Arrangement
* IndustriALL asks retailers to pay compensation by April 24
* Rana Plaza brands must pay compensation by 9am on 24 April
* Two members named for Rana Plaza commission
* Ten months after Rana Plaza tragedy, it’s time for clothing brands to Pay Up

20140310
* EU delegation head in BD dismayed at lack of progress in labour safety
* Bangladesh may face uncomfortable questions from global community
* Labour Start launch petition calling on brands to Pay Up

20140313
* Pay all dues to Rana Plaza victims: labour leaders
* Workers for agitation if Rana Plaza victims not paid compensation
* Full compensation still eludes victims

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