Our Work in Summary
Primark was shocked and deeply saddened by the events in Savar on April 24th 2013, when the Rana Plaza building, near Dhaka in Bangladesh, collapsed, killing 1,132 people. The building housed several factories, one of which produced for Primark.
To date, we will have committed over US$2 million to the food distribution programme and short-term financial support – support that has been made available to all 3600 workers of Rana Plaza, not just the 581that worked in the factory that supplied Primark. Many of these people worked in factories supplying other high street retailers.
Our key activities have included:
- We have paid short-term financial assistance to 3639 workers and their families, equivalent to nine months’ salary. At the time of our commitment to pay workers the final and third round of assistance in October 2014, we called on other on other brands involved in the Rana Plaza disaster to make a contribution by paying short-term aid to the workers (or their dependents) who made clothes for their own labels. We pledged that if these brands did not come forward to offer support, we would regardless offer this third round of support again to all the workers of Rana Plaza.
- We have developed a programme to provide appropriate long-term compensation and support services for the workers and families who were working in the factory that produced garments for Primark. This long-term compensation scheme has been devised by the company with assistance from external experts, and involves medical and vulnerability assessments. These assessments have been carried out with the support of Dhaka University Department of Vulnerability Studies and Disaster management, Dhaka University medical faculty, independent doctors, along with the unions and our NGO implementation partners.
- We are carrying out building surveys in Bangladesh to assess the structural integrity of factories from which we source garments. We are on track to complete all surveys by the end of March 2014, well ahead of the target date of the end of December 2014 [link to new press statement].
- We became a signatory to the Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh. The Accord is a pioneering contract between almost 150 apparel brands and retailers, international and local trade unions and NGOs to ensure sustainable improvements to working conditions in the Bangladesh Garment Industry.
- We set up helpdesks near the factory site which allowed us to identify victims and assess their immediate needs.
- We distributed emergency food aid to over 1265 households for five weeks, in partnership with a NGO.
- We provided support for workers who remained in hospital or are receiving medical treatment, working with the United Federation of Garment Workers, a trade union body. The support provided medicines and medical check-ups for patients, and food and accommodation for patients and their relatives.
Update on structural survey programme – 7/3/14
Primark began its programme of structural building surveys in June 2013, following the collapse of the Rana Plaza building. The surveys are due to be completed by the end of March 2014, well ahead of the target date of the end of December 2014.
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The garment industry in Bangladesh: Women’s Voices
The garment industry in Bangladesh employs over 4 million workers. The majority are women, who have migrated from poor rural villages to Dhaka, the country’s capital, in search of work. This film explores the benefits that employment in the garment industry brings for women, from financial independence to education and empowerment; and the challenges many face.
The garment industry in Bangladesh: Made in Bangladesh
Over the past 20 years, the garment industry in Bangladesh has grown to a US$19bn industry. This film explores the challenges the industry faces as it continues to develop, from the perspective of the manufacturers and workers involved.
Keep up with all of the latest news following updates from Bangladesh and Primark’s direct work.
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Primark has a range of long-term programmes that aim to improve conditions in the garment sector.
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