Primark has said it will provide short-term financial aid to all workers at the Rana Plaza factory in Bangladesh, which collapsed last month.
Previously the value retailer had said it would wait until it had established which individuals had been working for its suppliers at the time of the collapse. But a month on, with the destruction of papers making identification difficult, the business has committed to helping all workers, and their families or dependents caught up in the tragedy.
The assistance will cover six weeks, and is designed to ensure “all workers and dependents – including those working in factories that supplied the other 20 or so international brands – are supported financially, pending long-term support”.
Primark said details would be worked out “as a matter of urgency” to be paid within seven days, and would be made without any deduction to formal compensation.
It added it was still working to deliver “an appropriate, long-term financial compensation package” for its employees, once a “reliable list” has been put together.
On top of this, Primark is continuing to supply food aid parcels to around 1,000 families a week.
A spokesman said: “The company was the first brand to acknowledge that its suppliers were housed in the Rana Plaza complex. The company was the first brand to commit to paying compensation to workers and their dependents. And the company was the first UK brand to sign up to the Accord on building and fire safety.
“The company is now extending help to workers who made clothing for its competitors. And the company is working as fast as possible to devise a scheme to provide long-term, secure assistance to workers in its supplier factory.
The company has consistently said it will meet its responsibilities in full in this matter.”
Peter McAllister, director of the Ethical Trading Initiative, added: “Primark is doing the right thing by offering immediate support for the victims and families of the Rana Plaza disaster. We’re pleased that Primark has also confirmed its commitment to providing long-term compensation and support, which it is developing with credible labour representatives. This is a welcome move, and we encourage the other brands that sourced from Rana Plaza to follow suit.”