What are some fashion disasters in Bollywood

The long wait for compensation

How much is a human life worth? The IndustriALL Global Union has a clear vision: 25 years of loss of earnings for the relatives of the victims. For injured persons a graduated compensation and compensation for pain and suffering, depending on the degree and duration of the disability.

With these demands, the union went to a meeting with representatives of the contractors and the government of Bangladesh in Geneva. The goal: Compensation payments for the victims of the collapse of the Rana Plaza building in April 2013 and the fire at Tazreen Fashion in November 2012. More than 1200 people died in the two disasters.

Dispute over responsibility

Customers at Primark in Berlin. But it's not just discount chains that produce in Bangladesh

"We only invited the companies that we know were in Rana Plaza. Some of these companies said they went out with production three, four, five months in advance," said the deputy general secretary of the global union IndustriALL Monika Kemperle.

But only 11 of the 29 companies contacted came to Geneva. The also invited organization of the textile employers in Bangladesh, BGMEA (Bangladesh Garment Manufactures & Exporters Association), did not appear either.

Not only the companies that have produced in the two factories should participate in the payments, but also the factory operators and the government of Bangladesh. They should pay 55 percent of the claims, the client a total of 45.

The government of Bangladesh had sent a representative to take part in the talks, which were moderated by the International Labor Organization (ILO).

Formula according to the ILO convention

The compensation formula for the victims of the two industrial disasters comes from ILO Convention 121, which regulates compensation payments for accidents at work. Together with the international Clean Clothes Campaign, the IndustriALL union has calculated a claim of around 56 million euros for Rana Plaza and around 4.8 million euros for Tazreen for long-term compensation. "We used the ILO convention as a basis so that the impression is not given that we want something impossible. People are entitled to that," emphasizes Monika Kemperle.

She hopes that the negotiations will be successful and that there will be a precedent case: "Of course, this is also a clue for other accidents that we can use this formula here". It is positive that the companies that took part in the meeting are basically ready to pay regular damages to the victims. A fund should be set up soon, which would then be responsible for making payments to the victims. "If you are in agreement, it can happen relatively quickly," emphasizes the Deputy Secretary General of IndustriALL Global Union.

Emergency aid instead of a legal basis

The survivors and relatives of the more than 1,100 people who died in the Rana Plaza disaster have been waiting for a settlement for five months. The Irish discount chain Primark has promised to initially pay the affected families a further three months' wages. Aid organizations take care of the victims on site. So far, however, there have been no legally binding, guaranteed benefits that people are entitled to.

The fire in the Tazreen Fashion textile factory, killing 112 people, triggered angry demonstrations in Bangladesh

The victims of the fire at Tazreen Fashion, in which 112 people were killed, have been waiting for a binding compensation scheme since November 2012. The German textile chain C&A has so far helped there on a voluntary basis. In the meantime, according to C&A at the request of Deutsche Welle, its own C&A foundation has made more than one million euros available for aid programs. Most of the aid programs are carried out by the Catholic aid organization Caritas on site. Meanwhile, with the support of C&A, 98 injured workers and 82 orphans have received medical, social and psychological care, explains the regional director of Caritas in Dhaka, Ranjon Francis Rozario.

However, Primark and C&A remain the exception. Most of the companies that had production in the Rana Plaza and the Tazreen Fashion Factory did not appear for the talks in Geneva. Most people also find it difficult to comment. Of the 18 international companies that Deutsche Welle wrote to in the run-up to the negotiations, only three replied.