Primark to Pay $10 Million More to Bangladesh Collapse Victims

Primark Store On Oxford Street In Central London
Customers sit and wait with their shopping bags on a window ledge outside a Primark store on Oxford Street in central London. Photographer: Jason Alden/Bloomberg

March 18 (Bloomberg) -- Primark, an Ireland-based discount clothing maker, will begin paying $10 million more to garment workers affected by the collapse of a factory complex in Bangladesh almost a year ago that killed more than 1,100 people.

The unit of Associated British Foods Plc will start making long-term disbursements totaling $9 million to 580 workers who were employed at supplier New Wave Bottoms on the second floor of the eight-story Rana Plaza or to their dependents, the company said in a statement on its website yesterday. Another $1 million will be paid to workers at other companies through a fund led by the International Labour Organization.

The payments, to be spread over 12 months, bring aid for the disaster to $12 million at Primark, which is among global clothing chains working to improve conditions in Bangladesh’s $20 billion apparel industry after fires and the April factory complex collapse. Two groups led by U.S. and European retailers including Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and Hennes & Mauritz AB agreed in November to improve work safety inspection standards in the South Asian nation.

Victims will be compensated according to the effects of injuries and level of disability resulting from the disaster, Primark said. Dependents of killed or missing workers will be paid on the basis of actuarial estimates of lost earnings, according to the statement.

Primark also said it previously paid short-term financial aid equal to nine months’ salary to about 3,600 Rana Plaza workers.

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To contact the editors responsible for this story: Frank Longid at Terje Langeland, Dave McCombs