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NGO Rejoinder

17 Sep 2015

IndustriALL Global Union, UNI Global Union, Clean Clothes Campaign

Joint statement: Global Unions reject KiK’s attempts to dodge compensation for Pakistani fire victims

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IndustriALL Global Union, UNI Global Union and the Clean Clothes Campaign reject KiK’s assertions in its recent statement and its attempts to obfuscate issues related to compensation for the victims of the Ali Enterprises factory fire in Pakistan. We would like to clarify that in the aftermath of the disaster an immediate relief fund was set up in order to provide emergency assistance to the survivors and victims’ families. The fund acquired US$ 1.7 million in total, including the US$1 million from KiK, which was distributed to the victims’ families by the Commission established by the Sindh High Court. KiK’s claim that the victims received several million dollars is therefore incorrect...We welcome KiK’s proposal for compensation for loss of income and medical costs based on ILO Convention 121, which KiK initially rejected. However, it is crucial that it comes with the necessary financial commitment and is adapted to the specific national context of Pakistan, for which we could use the technical assistance of the ILO. The ongoing court case filed by four victims against KiK in Germany does not cover all victims and covers different losses than ILO Convention 121. Therefore, the court case does not release KiK from its responsibility to negotiate long-term compensation as set out in the MOU signed by the company...We therefore invite KiK to return to the negotiating table in good faith and reach an agreement to pay long-term compensation to all victims, including those victims who have filed legal cases, without further delay. We also call on KiK to develop a robust strategy to prevent such accidents from happening again.