Primark plans to extend compensation for victims and their families affected by the Rana Plaza factory collapse in Bangladesh in April that killed more than 1,100 people.
The value fashion retailer, which used a supplier at the factory, has said it will continue to pay the wages of those affected for another three months. It has paid six months so far.
In addition, Primark will begin paying long-term compensation in the new year to the 550 workers in its supply chain at the facility, according to the Independent.
Paul Lister, the firm’s general counsel who leads on business ethics and has been responsible for Primark’s response to the disaster, insisted that the clothing giant was the first brand to take action.
“Primark was the first to come out and say we were in that building but 28 brands were in that building. Nine of them turned up and said they were in Geneva [where compensation talks were held]. Some are still denying responsibility. We were the first. Why? Because we knew we were there. Because we know where our clothes are made,” he said.
He added that conditions in some Bangladesh factories are “shameful” but said this was not true of factories that make Primark product.
Since the collapse of the building, which housed five factories that supplied western retailers including Primark, Bonmarche and Canadian firm Joe Fresh, more than 50 brands have signed up to the Bangladesh Fire Safety and Building Accord.
The health and safety regulations have been drawn up by international union IndustriALL. By agreeing to the accord, retailers sign a legally binding pledge to contribute up to $500,000 (£325,000) a year towards rigorous independent factory inspections and the installation of fire safety measures.