Dhaka, Bangladesh (BBN) – With the support of the Industriall Global Union (IGU) compensation to the victims of Smart Fashion was paid on Sunday.
Secretary General Jyrki Raina of the IGU, a global trade union organization headquartered in Geneva of Switzerland, told about payment of compensation by his organization at a press conference in the capital Dhaka.
He said the agreement was reached through a negotiation by Industriall Bangladesh Council of trade unions, Inditex and the New Look and compensation was paid in less than a month after the tragedy.
Under the new compensation package, each family of the eight deceased workers of Smart Fashion received BDT 1.049 million and one family with two minor children got an additional 10 percent to meet educational costs.
The injured workers each got BDT 0.50 million and those workers who lost employment received three months’ wage.
Mr. Raina also pledged to pursue a similar compensation package with the brands and buyers that sourced from Tazreen Fashion, where another fire killed 112 workers on November 26, 2012.
Roy Ramesh Chandra, Secretary General of the Industriall Bangladesh Council said his organization arranged a meeting of different stake holders, BGMEA and the BKMEA on February 22.
The meeting decided to pay compensation to the victims of Smart Fashion.
Sudhershan Rao Sarde, Industriall’s Regional Secretary for South Asia said his organization, apart from the garment wages issues, has focused on wages and working environment at the ship breaking yards in Bangladesh.
Mr. Raina said wages in Bangladesh are lesser than the countries like Indonesia, China and Thailand.
He mentioned that in Bangladesh wages per worker ($38) per month should be revised. He said the revised minimum wage in Indonesia is $200(per worker per month), China $200 and in Thailand it is $300.
He said the Bangladesh government is already working to resolve the problem in the readymade garment industry. He urged for revision of the Labour Act, 2006 to facilitate the registration of new local trade union organizations which is now at its final stage.
He said on March 11 next there a meeting will be held at the Industriall’s headquarters in Geneva in presence of the world’s leading buyers, Bangladeshi exporters and other international trade union organizations where they will raise compensation and fire safety issues.
The IGU currently represents 50 million manufacturing, energy and mineworkers in 140 countries. In Bangladesh, 16 trade unions are regrouped under the Industriall Bangladesh Council.
BBN/SSR/AD-25feb13-10:25 am (BST)