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Primark to give three month's wages to Bangladesh factory collapse victims

Meanwhile, the seamstress trapped in the rubble for 17 days after the Bangladesh garment factory collapsed was released from hospital yesterday.

A woman grieves for her daughter-in-law who was trapped in the collapsed garment factory building in Bangladesh.
A woman grieves for her daughter-in-law who was trapped in the collapsed garment factory building in Bangladesh.
Image: (AP Photo/Wong Maye-E)

PRIMARK, KNOWN AS Penneys in Ireland, is in the process of registering former employees of the Bangladesh garment factory collapse for short-term financial aid.

The clothing company is getting the details of 3,000 workers of the Rana Plaza complex, 1,129 of which were killed when the building collapsed on 24 April.

Primark is to set aside the equivalent of three month’s wages to all the Rana Plaza employees, although they said in a statement: “The vast majority of these employees made clothes for retail brands other than Primark.”

The short term aid will be given as the company establishes long-term compensation, which they say “will take time”.

To date Primark, have committed some €755,000 to its food distribution programme, and short-term financial support.

Reshma the 19-year-old seamstress who spent 17 days trapped in the rubble of a collapsed factory building. (AP Photo/A.M. Ahad)

Meanwhile, a seamstress trapped in the rubble for 17 days after Bangladesh’s garment factory disaster emerged from hospital yesterday, saying she felt “great” and was looking forward to a new job at a luxury hotel.

Reshma, 18, who became a national heroine after the catastrophe that claimed more than 1,100 lives, was in good spirits and looked healthy at a ceremony at the military facility where she was admitted on 10 May.

The teenager drank rainwater and foraged food from co-workers’ lunch boxes to survive after her nine-storey workplace collapsed.

At the time of the collapse more than 3,000 garment workers were on shift at the complex housing five factories, where they made clothing for Western retailers including Italy’s Benetton and Britain’s Primark.

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They were ordered back to their production lines even as cracks developed on the outside of the complex.

The industry has since promised to clean up its act. Most major European buyers have signed up to a new accord promising better working conditions, as well as fire and building inspections.

Additional reporting © AFP, 2013

Read: Clothing brands sign up to new accord on building safety in Bangladesh>
More: Bangladesh building survivors protest as toll passes 700>

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