The survivors of the Baldia factory fire and the families of the victims have accepted whatever compensation they have received from the federal and provincial governments, the Bhaila brothers and the $1 million contributed by KIK Texilion, one of the major buyers of the products produced at Ali Enterprises until it was gutted.
A commission constituted by the Sindh High Court on the request of the German KIK Texilion has almost disbursed all of the compensation money among the claimants, confirmed the commission’s registrar. The European lawyers’ groups is, however, not satisfied with the amount of money being offered to the survivors and the victims’ legal heirs. “It is not fair that they pay the wrongs with peanuts,” said Marco Bona.
They say that the only purpose of taking Rina to the Italian courts is get the victims’ families a handsome amount in compensation, which is at least in proportion to the value of the products produced by the deceased workers in the European market.
“Since the workers were making products for a company registered in Europe and it earned money by selling them in Europe, then why should the compensation be less than this value?” argued Stefano Bertone.
A number of companies, based in the developed countries, are largely getting their products made in Pakistan but this group of lawyers believe they don’t care about safety. They have put in a system in which the profits go directly to their pockets at the cost of their workers’ lives, argued one.
“It’s time to touch their wallets,” claimed Stefano. “Why should the victims in Pakistan get a different treatment than what the Italian workers might have received under the Italian laws?”
Published in The Express Tribune, July 20th, 2013.