• Switzerland's news in English
 
app_header_v3

Talks fail on Bangladesh clothing worker claims

AFP · 13 Sep 2013, 11:33

Published: 13 Sep 2013 11:33 GMT+02:00

The talks came after a building housing garment factories collapsed in Bangladesh in April, killing more than 1,100 people.

They were aimed at agreeing compensation for the families of those victims and those of other factory disasters.
   
The disaster placed the international spotlight on the often appalling conditions and the lack of rights for workers at the country's 4,500 garment factories, and retailers responded with a pledge to improve safety.
   
But the campaign groups that organized the meeting said only around a third of the firms invited had even turned up, with key names including Walmart, Benetton and Mango staying away.
   
Primark was the only clothing retailer to make a concrete commitment at the meeting, vowing to provide a further three months salary to families affected by the Rana Plaza factory collapse.
   
The 11 brands that made an appearance were mainly European and also included Bon Marche, Camaieu and Store Twenty One.
   
"We are disappointed that they didn't commit to an amount," said Ineke Zeldenrust, international coordinator at the Clean Clothes Campaign.

"We had hoped to achieve much more."
   
Organizers, said $74.57 million would be needed to compensate the Rana Plaza victims for their suffering and lost income.
   
Another $6.44 million would be needed for the victims of a deadly fire that killed 112 workers at the Tazreen Fashions factories outside Dhaka in November, they said.
   
Bangladesh is the world's second biggest apparel exporter, with its garment factories accounting for 80 percent of its overseas shipments.
   
But the industry has been hit by a series of recent disasters highlighting appalling safety conditions at many factories.
   
In July Bangladesh approved a new labour law to strengthen employees' rights and improve workplace safety, in response to the Rana Plaza collapse.
   
"Consumers will be shocked that almost a half-year has passed since the Rana Plaza disaster with only one brand so far providing any compensation to the disaster's victims," IndustriALL assistant chief Monika Kemperle said in a statement.
   
New meetings would take place with retailers within the next two weeks, organizers said.

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
10 unspoken rules for fitting in with the Swiss
Photo: Stephan Schacher/Swiss Tourism

New to Switzerland? The Local shows you how to navigate your way through the Swiss social minefield.

Swisscom fined millions for dominating sports TV
Photo: Swisscom

Switzerland's main telecomms group has been fined 71.8 million Swiss francs by the Swiss competition authorities.

Swiss injured by neo- Nazi gunman in Austria
The shooting happened in the Vorarlberg region of Austria. Photo: Roland Vlach/AFP

A 49-year-old Swiss woman was among those injured by a neo-Nazi gunman at a rock concert in Austria.

Huge blaze burns down Swiss candle factory
Photo: Schwyz cantonal police

A candle factory in Einsiedeln became a victim of its own creations on Monday afternoon when a major fire broke out.

Farms in Swiss Jura to pilot refugee integration project
Volunteers will undertake manual labour on farms in the Jura. Photo: Mark Goebel

The pilot programme will offer refugees unpaid farming work to help them integrate.

WHO slams 'policy failures' for Zika crisis
File photo: AFP

The Geneva-based World Health Organization blames a lack of mosquito control in 1970s for the current Zika outbreak.

Singapore boots out scandal-hit Swiss bank
File photo: The Local

Singapore's central bank is kicking out Swiss bank BSI due to its links to a global money-laundering scandal.

French Open tennis
Stan the man survives first round scare
Photo: Miguel Medina/AFP

Stan Wawrinka battles through five sets in his Roland Garros first round match.

Snow puts end to hottest weekend of year so far
Photo: Gstaad Tourism

Switzerland experienced a return to winter on Monday as snow fell in some places, a stark contrast to the weekend's warm weather.

Swiss aerial accidents leave three dead
File photo: Priyandarshi Ranjan

It was a deadly weekend in the skies over Switzerland.

File photo: Abhishek Jacob
Lifestyle
Swiss court vetoes wedding of couple with 50-year age gap
Sponsored Article
Eat, learn, live: unforgettable holidays in France
Photo: Filippo Monteforte/AFP
Culture
Dog day afternoon: Swiss saint meets Pope in Rome
Photo: Fabrice Coffrini/AFP
Business & Money
Pink diamond sold for record-breaking $31m in Geneva
Sponsored Article
Becoming an expat: where to start
File photo: Candida Performa
Lifestyle
Revealed: living in Switzerland could prolong your life
Photo: Cervo
Travel
In pictures: Switzerland’s most welcoming hotels
Photo: Aargau cantonal government
‘Beast of Rupperswil’ was local football coach
Photo: Fabrice Coffrini/AFP
Features
Geneva exhibition marks 200 years of Frankenstein
Photo AFP
National
Swiss basic income campaign sets Guinness world record
Photo: St Gallen police
Society
Police hunt killer of man shot dead in St Gallen street
File photo: Martin Abegglen
Society
Presumed jihadist could have Swiss nationality quashed
Photo: Zurich Zoo
Culture
Gallery: giant tortoise at Zurich Zoo is mother at 80
Photo: Caroline Bishop
Society
Swiss farmer loses appeal in row over noisy cow bells
Photo: Esparta Palmer
Health
44-year-old woman refused fertility treatment on insurance
File photo: Thomas Coex/AFP
Society
Jilted admirer shocks woman with tattoo... of her face
File photo: Flickr
Health
Swiss school eyes longer holidays for non-smoking staff
Photo: Fabrice Coffrini/AFP
National
Swiss basic income vote: what you need to know
 Photo: Heinrich Plum
National
Lidl uses German mountain to promote its Swiss products
Photo: Illiz Architektur
This old Swiss army bunker is now an incredible new pool
Photo: Stephan Engler
National
Survey reveals some Swiss ‘never’ cross linguistic divide
Society
Swiss parliament snubs plan for two weeks paternity leave
File photo: Giovanni Blank
Lifestyle
Fathers should share parental leave, says commission
Photo: eGuide Travel
Society
Dictator-tracker spices up Geneva planespotting
File photo: Fabrice Coffrini/AFP
Politics
Swiss army ready to act in worst case migrant scenario
4,594
jobs available