Thursday 25 October 2012

The cost of cheap clothing

German discount clothing retailer Kik  has agreed to pay compensation to victims of a factory fire in Karachi in which 258 workers were killed and 110 others injured, according to Der Spiegel online. Kik maintains it took 75% of the factory's output, although locals suggest up to 90% went to its European outlets.
Following the September blaze at the Ali Enterprises factory in Karachi, which made ready-to-wear garments for export and employed 1,500 people in atrocious conditions, Kik agreed to pay an initial $500,000 to compensate victims and their families. This works out at less than $2,000 for each victim.
The Pakistan government has announced payments to each family of around $5,500 per family, but many have yet to receive their payments or their cheques have bounced.
Kik chain has  annual revenues of more than a billion euros and some 3,000 stores in eight countries. Two of the three Pakistani factory owners are facing murder charges.

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