War on Want doesn’t want us to forget the victims and families of the Rana Plaza building collapse in Bangladesh. The labor nonprofit also wants to hold the Western brands and retailers who sourced from the facility’s garment factories accountable. Despite the staggering loss of life—the current death toll stands at 1,127, although scores more were injured or sacrificed limbs—only a third of the companies that used the Dhaka manufacturing hub have offered compensation to the victims and their families. Benetton and Mango didn’t even show up at a meeting that a group of trade unions convened in Geneva in September to discuss compensation—the same meeting organizers deemed a failure for coming no closer to mediating demands.
In August, members of War on Want’s staff met with the survivors and families of the disaster, including the mother of one of the victims of the collapse. Not only did the woman lose her daughter, Mollika, but she also has to raise two young grandchildren without the income they used to depend on. Five months has passed since the disaster, but she has still not received any form of compensation from the companies her daughter produced for.
Thousands of people now face a bleak future, unable to work or having lost the main earner for their family.
“Thousands of people now face a bleak future, unable to work or having lost the main earner for their family,” says War on Want. “We need to let these companies know that we won’t forget, and that we will continue to expose their failure to compensate the people who made their clothes.”