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April 10, 2007

"...perseverance has yeilded results"

Amsterdam, April 10, 2007 - Survivors and families of the 64 workers killed in the collapse of the Spectrum garment factory two years ago received their first payment on April 1 from a fund set up by some of the European companies sourcing at the factory that will compensate them for loss of income, reports the Clean Clothes Campaign. The factory, located in Bangladesh, produced for such major European companies as KarstadtQuelle, Carrefour, and Inditex (Zara).

“The announcement that workers have finally received initial payments
from the fund is welcome news,” said Ineke Zeldenrust of the Clean
Clothes Campaign, which has supported the Spectrum families’ demand for
compensation since the collapse in 2005. “This is long overdue. Families
are living in extreme poverty as a result of what happened at Spectrum,
in many cases having lost their only source of income and having to
resort to loans to get by.”

Several companies producing at Spectrum and the adjoining Shahriyar
Fabric — Inditex (Spain), KarstadtQuelle (Germany), New Wave Group
(Sweden), Scapino (Netherlands), and Solo Invest (France) are committed
to participate in the fund to compensate survivors and families of those
who died at the factory that produced their garments. Those who have not
committed to the compensation trust fund include: Carrefour (France),
Cotton Group (Belgium), New Yorker, Steilmann, Kirsten Mode, and Bluhmod

The fund, pegged at 533,000 euros, was initiated by Spanish-based
Inditex. The distribution of a US$ 60,000 advance is now underway to the
desperate families. Local organizations Oxfam GB Bangladesh Programme,
Incidin Bangladesh, and trade union representatives are involved in
administering the fund, which will pay the injured survivors and
families of the dead a monthly pension. So far 22 workers have received
these first payments (in total about US$3,000). It is our understanding
that the remainder of the eligible workers/families will receive their
first payments shortly.

“It has been a long wait for these families, but their perseverance has
yielded results,” said Amirul Haq Amin, general secretary of the
National Garment Workers Federation, one of the garment workers’ unions
representing Spectrum workers. “The struggle locally, supported by
people internationally who spoke out about this injustice, pushed the
companies sourcing at Spectrum to finally do the right thing. We will
continue however to push for all the buyers to face up to their
responsibility to the Spectrum workers, as well as Bangladeshi garment
workers in general, many of whom continue to work in very unsafe

The CCC calls upon Carrefour and the other companies who have so far
refused to join the Spectrum compensation fund to immediately commit to
paying into the fund and to work with local trade unions and labour
rights organizations on this initiative.

For additional details on the Spectrum-Shariyar case, including past
efforts to provide medical and emergency relief, see

Posted by cat at 07:40 PM