Workers affected by workplace accidents in Bangladesh still feel the extreme uncertainties whether they would get the compensation for their loss of income or not due to an absence of a national mechanism which was widely expected after the Tazreen Fire and Rana Plaza building collapse, two biggest industrial disasters in Bangladesh’s history, a global workers’ rights group said.
Clean Clothes Campaign, the largest alliance of labour unions and non-governmental organisations in the garment industry, in a statement demanded establishing proper compensation mechanisms for workers in Bangladeshi garment industry.
The labour rights group issued the statement on the 5th anniversary of Tazreen Fashions fire caused in November 24, 2012 that killed over 112 workers and injured more than 100.
‘Five years since the Tazreen fire, with many factory incidents happening in the meantime, extreme uncertainty about when and whether to receive compensation for loss of income is still the norm for those affected by factory incidents in Bangladesh,’ the CCC said.
It said that in the absence of a permanent solution for compensation for injuries and damages caused by industrial incidents, full and fair compensation is still usually reached only after a long struggle by workers, their representatives and international allies.
Demanding to introduce a national employment injury insurance scheme the rights group said that compensation arrangements set up after the Tazreen factory fire and the Rana Plaza building collapse, based on ILO Convention 121, laid the groundwork for a more structural and permanent solution.
‘Such a scheme, however is still in progress of being developed, which leaves affected families facing the same uncertainty as in the pre-Tazreen and Rana Plaza era,’ it said.
CCC said the struggle for compensation for loss of income is over, but nevertheless their struggle for full justice continues.
‘Delwar Hossain, the owner of Tazreen Fashions, still has not been held to account for the negligence which directly contributed to the deaths of these workers,’ the statement read.
Following the devastating fire incident global rights groups established a fund with contributions from brands procure products from the Tazreen Fashions factory to provide for loss of income payments and long-term medical treatment.
The payments were concluded in June 2016 and a medical trust is still overseeing long-term medical treatment for the injured.
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