The Trades Union Congress (TUC) has welcomed a statement signed by international development minister Alan Duncan, along with ministers from six other European countries, urging retailers to donate to the Rana Plaza fund which was set up for victims of the fatal factory collapse in Bangladesh last April.
The statement – issued at the Forum on Responsible Business at the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development – expresses concern that some companies either have not contributed at all or have not given enough to the fund.
More than one year on from the Rana Plaza collapse, just £11million has been raised for the fund, which is less than half the £24 million needed to pay compensation to the victims. Many of the UK high street stores who sold clothes made at the factory have still not contributed, says the TUC.
The TUC believes it is the responsibility of every company sourcing high-street fashion from Bangladesh to donate an appropriate sum so that the surviving workers and the families of those who died can start to rebuild their lives.
TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady said: “More than 12 months on from the tragedy it’s disgraceful that stores who sourced clothes from the factory still haven’t paid a penny into the fund, while others have donated only a minimal amount.
“Millions of pounds more are needed so that victims of the collapse and their families can start to get on with their lives.
“It’s encouraging to see governments from across Europe joining unions and other campaigners to put pressure on those companies who still seem reluctant to contribute to the Rana Plaza fund.”