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Council of Canadians, unions call for compensation for factory collapse in Bangladesh

The Toronto Star reports, “Ratcheting up pressure on the large apparel companies Benetton, The Children’s Place and Wal-Mart, a European anti-sweatshop activist group (the Clean Clothes Campaign) has released a letter endorsed by 40 signatories – 22 of them are Canadian – asking companies that bought clothing from Rana Plaza in Bangladesh contribute to a fund for victims of the disaster.”

The collapse of the Rana Plaza
Photo: The collapse of the Rana Plaza is considered to be the deadliest garment factory accident in history.

“Activists are hoping to raise $40 million to be distributed to victims of last April’s factory collapse, which killed at least 1,129 people. …Rana Plaza’s 4,000 victims, who will include survivors, will receive money to cover lost wages, medical bills and other compensation.”

The letter was signed by the Council of Canadians, Unifor, the Canadian Union of Public Employees, the Toronto and York Region Labour Council, the Public Service Alliance of Canada, and numerous other groups.

In May 2013, just a week after the collapse of the factory, the Council of Canadians joined with 23 organizations to call on Galen Weston, executive chairman of Loblaw Companies Ltd., to take immediate action. In December 2013, the Council of Canadians joined with 25 human rights, faith, women’s, teacher, student, community, overseas development and trade union organizations that signed an Open Letter calling on Canadian retailers and brands to sign the Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh.