Loblaw joins Primark in offering compensation

April 30, 2013 at 2:11 AM
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TORONTO, April 30 (UPI) -- Canadian food retailer Loblaw Cos. says it will provide compensation to families of the victims of the Bangladesh building collapse who worked for its supplier.

A similar announcement has been made by British clothing store retailer Primark PLC.

The eight-story building in Savar, near Dhaka in Bangladesh, which housed clothing factories and other shops, collapsed last Wednesday. The death toll in the disaster now exceeds 380 people, even as rescue teams continued to look for survivors under the rubble.

"We want to share with you that we will be providing compensation for the families of the victims who worked for our supplier," Loblaw said on its website. "We are working to ensure that we will deliver support in the best and most meaningful way possible, and with the goal of ensuring that victims and their families receive benefits now and in the future."

The company said it is working on details of its compensation program.

Canada's Globe and Mail newspaper reported Primark, owned by the Weston family that also controls Toronto-based Loblaw, had said last week some of its garments were being produced in the factory located in the collapsed Bangladesh building.

In a statement emailed to the Globe and Mail, Primark said it was working to put in place "immediate and long-term help for victims of this disaster." The company was quoted as saying it was working with an NGO in Bangladesh to address the immediate needs of victims "including the provision of emergency food aid to families."

"Primark will also pay compensation to the victims of this disaster who worked for its supplier. This will include the provision of long-term aid for children who have lost parents, financial aid for those injured and payments to the families of the deceased."

In Bangladesh, while rescue teams worked on, officials said they were losing hopes of finding any more survivors in the rubble. Cranes were being used to clear extremely heavy concrete slabs as part of the rescue effort. An unknown number of people out of the 3,000 people believed to have been in the building when it collapsed still remained missing.

Seven people, including the owner of the building and factory owners, have been arrested.

Municipal engineers allegedly approved the safety of the building the day before it collapsed, the BBC reported.

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