It has been nearly a year-and-a-half since the Rana Plaza complex in Bangladesh collapsed with the survivors and their families still awaiting compensation.
Located in the capital of Dhaka, the factory collapsed on April 24 last year killing 1,138 people and injuring more than 2,000. Workers complained of unsafe conditions on the very same morning of the collapse but were forced to work with the threat of termination if they refused.
The Rana Plaza Donors Trust Fund is spearheading the task of raising money to compensate victims but has continuously expressed their frustration that only $15 million has been raised from businesses that had garments produced in the complex.
"If you look at just the brands that were sourcing from Rana Plaza, their combined annual profits in the year Rana Plaza happened were well in excess of $US22 billion," said Emma Harbour from the ethical manufacturing group Clean Clothes.
The paltry amount of $40 million is shockingly low and is only worsened by the fact that only half of the 27 companies linked to the complex have paid some sort of compensation which represents an amount of only one third of what is needed by the Fund to begin the claims.
How an industry can absolve itself from all responsibility with such clear disregard for the welfare of its workers is astounding. The total profits of the industries which used Rana Plaza is so disproportionate it is embarrassing, in fact it is 0.002% of profits recorded from businesses associated with the building.
Some positive changes have been made since the collapse however, with over 150 companies signing the Accord on Fire and Safety in Bangladesh, a legally binding and independent agreement designed to make all garment factories in Bangladesh safe workplaces.
However, conditions are still dire in Bangladesh and need continued public influence to make a real difference.
Follow this link to see who is still yet to pay up.