Dhaka: Two retail companies from Britain and Canada have promised to compensate families of garment workers killed in Bangladesh factory building collapse.

The pledge from Britain's Primark and Canada's Loblaw came after the owner of the collapsed factory was brought before a court in Dhaka on Monday.

Primark, which was supplied garments by one of the factories operating at Rana Plaza, said that it was working with a local NGO to help victims of the disaster.

"Primark will pay compensation to the victims of this disaster who worked for its supplier," said the company, owned by FTSE 100-listed Associated British Foods.

"This will include the provision of long-term aid for children who have lost parents, financial aid for those injured and payments to the families of the deceased," the company added.

Loblaw Companies Ltd, which had some of its Joe Fresh clothing line manufactured at Rana Plaza, said it was also offering compensation. "We are working to ensure that we will deliver support in the best and most meaningful way possible, and with the goal of ensuring that victims and their families receive benefits now and in the future," said spokeswoman Julija Hunter in an email.

Primark and Loblaw operate under codes of conduct aimed at ensuring good working conditions during manufacturing.
ILO for firm action

The International Labour Organisation (ILO), an agency of the United Nations, said it was sending a high-level mission to Bangladesh in the coming days.

"Horror and regret must translate into firm action," said ILO Director-General Guy Ryder in a statement. "Action now can prevent further tragedy."

At least 385 people were killed in the country's worst industrial accident. The latest disaster raised serious questions about worker safety and low wages in the poor South Asian country that relies on garments for 80 percent of its exports.


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