Loblaw Update to Rana Plaza Compensation

10/24/2013

On the six-month anniversary of the collapse of the Rana Plaza complex in Dhaka, Bangladesh, we express our condolences to the victims and families of those affected by the tragedy.

 Today, we are confirming two important updates regarding our comprehensive relief effort.

  First, Loblaw will begin providing long-term, direct financial compensation for the victims and their families that were producing our apparel at the New Wave Style factory in Rana Plaza in 2014.

  We fully support, and are committed to following a funding framework that has been proposed by UK apparel retailer Primark.  The Primark framework represents a comprehensive approach that has been developed with the assistance of external experts and involves medical and vulnerability assessments.  It has been discussed at recent meetings held among brands, workers’ rights groups and other stakeholders, under the oversight of the International Labour Organization (ILO).

  Loblaw, together with several other brands is pleased to play a role in the development of a common, industry approach to compensation for victims of Rana Plaza and we fully intend to continue to assist in moving this forward.

  Second, Loblaw will be providing short-term financial support to all New Wave Style workers or dependents. This immediate relief, a payment of three months wages, will assist in financial needs until long-term funds begin to flow.  Loblaw has already contributed $1 million to Save the Children Bangladesh and the Centre for Rehabilitation of the Paralysed, in support of programming for workers in the garment industry.

  Finally, Loblaw joins Primark in encouraging all brands that have been involved in production at Rana Plaza to participate in the provision of compensation to the victims of this tragedy.

  Should the other brands not step forward and join in this funding, we will join Primark and immediately contribute to the payment of three months wages for the approximately 3,600 individuals involved, regardless of the brand apparel that was being produced in their workplace.

  Loblaw has committed to keep Canadians informed regarding our commitments made in the days following the collapse.   Although much progress has been made, there are still challenges to address and we continue to be deeply committed to delivering support to the victims and families in the most meaningful way possible. 

  Please attribute this information to Bob Chant, Senior Vice President, Corporate Affairs and Communication, Loblaw Companies Limited.

  For further information please contact:

 pr@loblaw.ca

 905-459-2500

    Key Facts:

  ·         To help drive change in order to prevent similar incidents from happening in the future, Loblaw has signed onto the Accord on Fire and Building Safety.  Loblaw is one of 80 plus brands in the Accord and the only Canadian company to do so).  The Accord will establish a program that strives to protect workers from fire, building collapses and other accidents.

  ·         Loblaw is one of four brands who form the coordinating committee on compensation under the guidance of the ILO.

  ·         Loblaw has established its own Loblaw standard that states all of our control brand Loblaw products must be made in facilities that respect local construction and building codes. Vendors that want to do business with Loblaw must comply. 

  ·         Since May, Loblaw has completed full audits of all our vendor factories that produce for us in Bangladesh and removed from our approved list those factories who did not meet our new standards. The audits and standards include criteria for building integrity.

  ·         For more information about the Primark funding framework, please visit http://www.primark-bangladesh.com/