KARACHI (Web Desk) – German retailer KiK has agreed to pay over US$ 5 million in compensation to the families of 259 workers burnt alive in a factory on 11 September 2012.
According to a statement issued by the International Labour Organization (ILO), KiK has voluntarily agreed to pay an additional US$ 5.15 million to fund the gap to top up the statutory benefits due from the Sindh Province Employees’ Social Security Institution to meet the requirements of Convention 121.
According to The News, On requests of the German Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development and Ministry of Overseas Pakistanis and Human Resource Development, the International Labour Organization (ILO) has been enabling talks with the German retailer KiK, IndustriALL Global Union and the Clean Clothes Campaign since May 2016 to arrive at the compensation arrangement, in accordance with the ILO’s Employment Injury Benefits Convention 121 .
On 13 March 2015, four of those affected by the disaster filed a compensation claim against KiK at the Regional Court in Dortmund. Muhammad Hanif, Muhammad Jabbir, Abdul Aziz Khan Yousuf Zai and Saeeda Khatoon are all members of the Baldia Factory Fire Association, the organization run by those affected by the fire. They were seeking 30,000 euro each in compensation.
KiK, which was Ali Enterprises’ main customer, had already paid US$1 million in emergency compensation in December 2012. The company would start paying the compensation from early next year.
Gerd Müller, German Federal Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development, said: “What had not been possible in four years of controversy between the parties has now been achieved through our mediation work and will provide tangible assistance to the victims and bereaved family members.
Investigations regarding the deadly fire are still on in Pakistan. Observers are pointing fingers at a political party for being involved in the tragedy but no substantial evidence has been presented in the court as yet.