By National Garment Workers Federation
Four months after the collapse of Rana Plaza, the children and family members of workers who lost their lives or were injured during the tragedy gathered to form a human to chain. They demanded immediate compensation, support for the families of workers who died or were injured at Rana Plaza, and the creation of safe workplaces.
In a human chain formed with NGWF President Amirul Haque Amin in front of the National Press Club on August, 24th 2013 at 11 am, speakers repeated these demands. The speakers included NGWF General Secretary Ms. Safia Pervin & central leaders Nurun Nahar, Dr. Faruque Khan, Ms. Sultana Akter, Dr. Kabir Hossain, Dr. Rafiq and Ms. Arifa Akter. More than 100 orphans and other members of the families of injured and deceased workers participated in the human chain.
Speakers announced that the 24th of August marked the passing of four months since the Rana Plaza Tragedy. On 24 April, 2013, 1133 garment workers died and more than 1500 garments workers were seriously injured when the Rana Plaza building collapsed. Today, more than 100 injured workers are still under medical treatment in the different hospitals in Dhaka. Some lost their hands,
legs and other parts of their bodies. The government and other relevant quarters committed to pay compensation within 3 months and to supply emergency support and rehabilitation to injured workers and the families of deceased injured workers, but they have yet to follow through on those commitments. Even the victims did not receive emergency help from the government and other relevant organizations like the BGMEA & BKMEA.
The leaders of NGWF, once again, strongly demanded immediate compensation for the dead workers' families. They demanded a minimum of 2. 8 million Taka for the families of each dead worker on the basis of "Loss of Earning" and a minimum of 0.5 million Taka for each worker injured in the Rana Plaza Tragedy. They called on the 30 buyers (the four factory' owners of Rana Plaza), BGMEA and the government to take immediate initiative to fulfill these demands.
NGWF leaders thanked the signatories of the Bangladesh Building & Fire Safety Agreement, such as,H&M, Inditex, Carefour, Primark and 83 other buyers, for their efforts to establish safe workplaces in the garment sector in the future. The NGWF leaders also urged Walmart, Gap, Target, Arkadia and 14 other American buyers to sign the Bangladesh Building & Fire Safety agreement.
The speakers further demanded that the prime minister's relief fund distribute donations which were collected to provide compensation to the victims of Rana Plaza & Tazreen tragedies. They called for the formation a cell, comprised of representatives of the government, BGMEA, trade unions, buyers and civil society members, to co-ordinate support activities for injured workers and the families of those workers who died at Rana Plaza. They added that this cell should be open to all, transparent and accountable.