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Aug 1st, 2014

Matalan: Events this Saturday

By Rebecca Falcon

Matalan are starting to shift. But we still have some way to go before survivors of the Rana Plaza factory disaster get the compensation they deserve. So this Saturday, 38 Degrees members across the country are going to take the message where Matalan can’t possibly ignore it.

Up and down the country, 38 Degrees members are visiting Matalan stores at 11am Saturday morning. They’ll gather outside to hand out leaflets. Then they’ll pay the store manager a visit and hand them a letter asking Matalan to pay fair compensation for the victims of the factory collapse.

Our emails, phone calls, Twitter and Facebook messages have already shaken Matalan bosses. So imagine the impact when all the local store managers start phoning HQ to report that it’s on their doorsteps now. Matalan will realise that failure to pay fair compensation risks ruining their reputation with their customers.

Can you join in? It’ll take half an hour or so, at the Matalan store nearest you – please click here for details and to RSVP.

On Wednesday night, 38 Degrees members took our demands to the company’s HQ near Wigan. The public pressure had clearly got to Matalan bosses – after months of refusing, they finally promised to pay into the official disaster compensation fund.

This is progress, and proves our campaign is starting to work. Every single penny for the victims and survivors of this terrible disaster is good news.

But there’s a BIG catch. Matalan are refusing to say how much they’ve now contributed. Why are they hushing this up? Are they trying to get away with paying as little as possible? Other companies have made their contributions public – Primark has paid in £9 million, for example. There’s a risk that Matalan are offering only a token amount.

We need to push them to publish how much they’ve put into the fund to prove it’s a proper contribution, not just a token amount.

Store visits this weekend will up the pressure on Matalan bosses at just the right time. If we keep the pressure on, together we can make sure the victims of the factory disaster get fair compensation from Matalan, not tokenism.

There’s information on the web page about what you could do while you’re there, how to talk to staff at the Matalan stores, and a link to download flyers to hand out to customers.

Thank you for everything you’ve done so far – we are definitely starting to win, so let’s keep it up!

When the Rana Plaza factory in Bangladesh collapsed, 1130 workers died and many more were severely injured. Compensation won’t bring any of these people back, but it will help the survivors rebuild their lives. Public pressure has helped make sure retailers like Primark make a proper, public contribution to the scheme. Let’s keep up the pressure until Matalan does the same.

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