The 24th of May 2014 marked 13 months since the tragic Rana Plaza building collapse, which killed 1138 garment workers in Dhaka, Bangladesh. News of the disaster, which was the largest industrial accident in recent history, spread quickly around the world. Many consumers were shocked that the workers were making clothes destined for the European and US high street market. Despite the scale of this accident, widespread press coverage and a global campaign, many of the brands that were sourcing garments from Rana Plaza have not paid compensation to the victims and their families. Many families and injured survivors are still uncompensated and in dire circumstances.
To mark the 13 month anniversary of the collapse, families of victims together with injured workers and survivors gathered to protest the lack of proper compensation. Since the collapse, the National Garment Workers Federation (NGWF) has been supporting families and victims in their struggle for compensation and accountability. NGWF joined the protesters on the 24th of May to form a human chain outside the National Press Club in Dhaka, demanding immediate action from those involved in the accident.
Until now, the families of the 1,138 workers and the 2,500 injured workers have had to deal not only with the trauma but the struggle to make ends meet while waiting for proper compensation. A trust fund set up to compensate the workers and their families has started to pay 50,000 Bangladeshi Taka, equivalent to £384, as compensation the victims. Furthermore, 14 of the 29 brands sourcing from Rana Plaza have still not paid into this fund. This means only $17 million of the $40 million needed to adequately compensate those affected has been raised.