Primark says it will use NGO scale to pay Bangladesh victims

LONDON Fri May 10, 2013 1:56pm EDT

LONDON May 10 (Reuters) - British retailer Primark said it would pay compensation to the victims of the Bangladesh factory collapse in line with a framework recognised by aid organisations, unions and trade associations.

The death toll from the collapse of a Bangladesh garment factory 17 days ago has reached more than 1,000.

Clothes were made in the building for Western retailers including Primark, which is owned by Associated British Foods . The British company said last week it would compensate workers who had been making its clothes and their families.

An existing framework, which calculates payouts using criteria such as loss of earnings, the ability of victims to work and the vulnerability of those affected, would be used to assess the levels of compensation, Primark said on Friday.

"This framework has been accepted by leading NGOs (non-governmental organisations)," it said.

"This means that compensation will be paid according to this pre-existing formula which is grounded in international insurance standards and local law."

NGOs have said major western clothing retailers need to shoulder some responsibility for tragedies like the factory collapse because of the pressure they put on Asian suppliers to undercut rivals, compounding concerns about workers' safety and low wages in Bangladesh.

Primark said on Friday that it was finalising a further comprehensive programme covering the immediate and long-term needs of the survivors and the dependents of the deceased.