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Canadian company to compensate Bangladesh building collapse victims

Associated Press
Apr 30, 2013 at 07:44am IST

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Toronto: A Canadian company has said it will provide compensation for the families of victims who worked in the collapsed Bangladeshi garment factory that made products for its Joe Fresh clothing line. Loblaw Inc said on Monday it aims to ensure that victims and their families "receive benefits now and in the future."

At least 382 people have died in the collapse. Spokeswoman Julija Hunter said the company is still working out the details, but plans to deliver support "in the best and most meaningful way possible."

The company also said it wants to drive change to help prevent similar incidents in the future. Loblaw was one of a group of companies that plan to meet with the Retail Council of Canada to discuss how to prevent similar tragedies in the future.

Loblaw to compensate Bangladesh collapse victims

Spokeswoman Julija Hunter said the company is still working out the details, but plans to deliver support.

The illegally constructed, eight-story Rana Plaza collapsed in a heap Wednesday morning as thousands of people worked inside in five garment factories. About 2,500 survivors have been accounted for.

Bangladesh's garment industry was the third-largest in the world in 2011, after China and Italy, having grown rapidly in the past decade. Among the other garment makers in the building were Phantom Apparels, Phantom Tac, Ether Tex, New Wave Style and New Wave Bottoms.

Altogether, they produced several million shirts, pants and other garments a year. The New Wave companies, according to their website, make clothing for several major North American and European retailers.

Britain's Primark has also acknowledged it was using a factory in Rana Plaza. It said in a statement on Monday that it is providing emergency aid and will pay compensation to victims who worked for its supplier.

"Primark notes the fact that its supplier shared the building with those of other retailers. We are fully aware of our responsibility. We urge these other retailers to come forward and offer assistance," it said.

Many other retailers have distanced themselves from the disaster, saying they were not involved with the factories at the time of the collapse or had not recently ordered garments from them. Wal-Mart said none of its clothing had been authorised to be made in the facility, but it is investigating whether there was any unauthorised production.

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