The Children's Place: Time To Pay Up!

Clothing company is failing families on second anniversary of Bangladesh tragedy.

TORONTO, April 17, 2015 /CNW/ - International clothing brands are failing the thousands of workers injured and families of those who were killed in the Rana Plaza collapse in Bangladesh two years ago.

The United Steelworkers (USW) joins the international call for brands to fill the gap in compensation for victims before April 24, 2015 – the second anniversary of the tragedy.

"Two years later, and voluntary compliance still doesn't work. It's time to pay up," said Ken Neumann, USW National Director.

"The Children's Place is just one global brand that has failed to pay up," said Neumann. "A $450,000 contribution falls far short of what's needed. We're urging The Children's Place to increase its contribution to $8 million."

The Canadian Labour Congress (CLC) and the USW are calling on The Children's Place to increase its contribution to the fund to $8 million. The Children's Place's $450,000 contribution to the fund is much less than similar companies have contributed, even those that did not employ workers at the factory.

IndustriALL Global Union, UNI Global Union and the Clean Clothes Campaign have launched a countdown to the Rana Plaza second anniversary, ramping up demands on global brands linked to the disaster to fill a US $8.5-million gap in the funding needed to deliver full and fair compensation to over 5,000 individuals with eligible claims.

So far US $21.5 million of the estimated US $30 million required to cover compensation claims has been paid into the Rana Plaza Donors Trust Fund through contributions from buyers, the Bangladesh Prime Minister's Fund and other private donors.

To date, claimants have only received a maximum of 70 per cent of what they are owed, with further payments delayed as a result of the failure of brands to pay the US $8.5 million needed.

A number of globally recognized brands, all with links to the Rana Plaza factories, have so far refused to provide adequate payments into the fund. Amongst the worst offenders is Benetton, who is yet to pay a penny into the fund. Others, including Walmart, Mango and The Children's Place, are being singled out for making donations that fall far short of expectations.

"It's absolutely shameful that profitable clothing brands like The Children's Place can turn their backs on the families. I've met some of those who were injured in the Rana Plaza collapse and it is impossible to ignore their pain and suffering," said Neumann.

The Rana Plaza collapse on April 24, 2013, in Bangladesh killed 1,138 garment factory workers and injured 2,000 more, the deadliest accident in the history of the garment industry.

www.industriall-union.org/action-on-bangladesh

SOURCE United Steelworkers (USW)

For further information: Doug Olthuis, Steelworkers Humanity Fund, 416-859-9953, dolthuis@usw.ca; Bob Gallagher, USW Communications, 416-434-2221, bgallagher@usw.ca

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