Thursday, 23rd September 2021

Canadian retailer Loblaws off the hook over Rana Plaza disaster

Dhaka, Aug 10(BAN/CD): The decision taken by the court on Thursday let Canada’s largest retailer off the hook for the devastating collapse of the building that housed garment factories in Bangladesh six years ago, local media reported citing The Canadian Press.

The key issue in the lawsuit was whether a Canadian court had jurisdiction to consider the claim — of importance to companies that source product from abroad, according to the reports.

Both Ontario’s Superior Court and Court of Appeal had previously denied the plaintiffs class-action certification in their quest for $2 billion in compensation.

The plaintiffs had argued that before the building collapse, Loblaws hired Pearl Global to produce garments for Joe Fresh. Pearl Global outsourced some of the work to New Wave, which manufactured garments at Rana Plaza.

The collapse of the building on Apr 24, 2013 in Savar on the outskirts of Dhaka killed at least 1,130 people and injured 2,500 others.

The incident sparked international outrage and retailers and brand manufacturers faced heightened consumer pressure to expose the cracks in their supply chains, in particular, the sourcing of garment work to underdeveloped nations with cheap labour and poor safety standards.

The efforts to bring building and fire safety reforms to Bangladesh’s apparel industry are still under way.

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