“This was a senseless tragedy. It should not have happened,” said Galen Weston, Loblaw’s president at the time.
“Our priority is to do what’s right for those affected by the tragedy.”
Loblaw is Canada’s largest retailer, with more than 2,400 grocery, pharmacy and apparel stores across the country.
Since the accident, Loblaw has made a series of commitments, including manufacturing clothing only in factories that meet all local safety codes as well as paying “long term” compensation for victims of the collapse and paying “fair wages” for all workers in its supply chain.
However, an investigation by CBC’s The Fifth Estate that involved travelling to Bangladesh to speak to workers and advocates, reviewing hundreds of pages of court documents and safety inspection records and conducting dozens of interviews with safety experts, unions and NGOs that work in Bangladesh, reveals why many say Loblaw has fallen short on its promises.
Loblaw denies that is the case.
“As a company, we have supported the survivors, their families and the families of those who did not survive the tragedy at Rana Plaza, through relief and compensation, as well as improved standards for the garment industry in Bangladesh,” the company said in a recent statement to The Fifth Estate.
The company declined to be interviewed for this story.