Friday, July 19, 2013

Pensions Age article on Rana Plaza Building Collapse.

This is a short article I wrote on behalf of the Associated Member Nominated Trustees (AMNT) for Pensions Age magazine last month (sorry can't find on line link).  See my previous post
on this wholly avoidable mass killing.

"I’m sure that everyone who watched the TV footage of the collapsed Rana Plaza building in Bangladesh would have been shocked and horrified. The death toll is now more than 1100. The reasons for the collapse are unclear but there has been suggestions that alterations to the building were made without official planning permission and allegations of local bribery and corruption.

UK clothing retailer Primark who sold goods produced in this building (which is owned by FTSE 100 Associated British Foods) has offered to help with compensation payments. This is all very good but the question that pension trustees should consider at their next board meeting is this.

Have they done all they can to ensure that the companies they invest and partly own take all reasonable steps to ensure that their supply lines do not profit from potential death traps?

To be clear, the direct responsibility for Rana Plaza lies in the hands of its owners and State authorities. However, as owners of companies that have benefited from the production of cheap clothing we also have a duty.

We need to make sure that our fund managers know that not only do we care about what is done in our name and with our money but we believe it makes long term financial sense that we only do business with companies that can demonstrate they take all their responsibilities seriously".

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