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Long-term compensation agreement reached!

Victory
Long-term compensation agreement reached!
  
  

 

What and how we won!

After four years of campaigning and months of negotiations, an agreement has been reached to pay compensation in excess of US$5 million to the survivors and families of workers killed in Pakistan’s worst industrial accident.
German retailer KiK, Ali Enterprises’ only known buyer, has now agreed to pay an additional US$5.15 million to fund loss of earnings, medical and allied care, and rehabilitation costs to the injured survivors and dependents of those killed in the disaster.
The agreement was reached on the eve of the 4 year anniversary of the incident, which happened on 11 September 2012. Thank you all for supporting the struggle of Shahida and others who suffered from this terrible tragedy.
Read more on: https://cleanclothes.org/news/press-releases/2016/09/10/press-release-on-ali-enterprises.

Why this is important

September 11, 2012 was payday. My husband, Muhammad Akmal, a supervisor at the Ali Enterprises garment factory in Pakistan was responsible for distributing everyone’s salary, and then he planned to head home. Except Akmal didn’t come home. Instead, he died in one of the worst ways imaginable. He burned to death in a factory fire. His death was completely preventable. His death was the result of a company’s negligence: KiK.

At approximately 6:00pm on Sept 11, a fire ripped through the factory, engulfing the premises and trapping hundreds of workers, including my husband. Despite passing official audits, the factory building only had one open exit, while all the other exits were locked, and all the windows were barred. Akmal had a huge physique, which I think made it impossible for him to pass through the narrow holes between the bars the same as the other victims who were able to escape, jumping from the building. The fire at Ali Enterprises factory killed 254 workers, including my husband, and injured another 55 people, making it one of Pakistan’s worst industrial accidents ever.

Now, over two years after my husbands’ death, all of us who were affected by this tragedy are still waiting for long-term compensation. KiK, a German discount retailer, was the main buyer from the factory and is responsible for providing us with full and fair compensation.

I first learned about of the Ali Enterprises factory fire on television. With my family, I immediately went to the factory and then later to the hospital to try and find Akmal. In fact, we never found Akmal. That evening when I learned that Akmal had burned to death, I fell to floor unconscious.

As the main buyer from the factory, there is no doubt that KiK is responsible for providing us with full and fair long-term compensation. KiK even initially acknowledged their responsibility, signing a legal document promising to pay long-term compensation to all the families affected by this disaster. But, now they have gone back on their promise.

The delay in compensation is taking a severe toll on my family and me. It’s becoming increasingly difficult to bear all the expenses of daily life. My health continues to decline because I cannot afford medical treatment. I can no longer ensure that my young sons (11, 8, 3) even have three meals a day.

God only knows what happened to my husband and all the people trapped in that factory. I never found my husband’s body, even after months of DNA tests. He was among the unidentified bodies, which were eventually buried.

I’m sharing my story because after all that we have been through, none of us should continue to suffer. And, yet, by denying us long-term compensation, KiK is prolonging the suffering of all of the victims of the factory fire.

We demand justice. We demand long-term compensation in order to secure a decent future for all of our children – their education, housing, health, and general up bringing. Please join us in our fight and sign this petition. I know that with the help of people from all over the world, that we can finally hold KiK accountable and force them to accept their responsibility.

The last thing my husband said to our son was to ask him to take care of me. With your help he won’t have to. With your help I can finally start rebuilding our lives. With your help, my sons can enjoy a decent life, a life that my husband worked so hard for.

In honour of my husband, Muhammad Akmal, and all the victims of the Ali Enterprises fire, please sign this petition.
Posted March 4, 2015
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