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Aug 8th, 2014

Matalan: Only £60,000

By Amy Lockwood

£60,000. That’s what it looks like clothing giant Matalan have paid in official compensation to the survivors of the Rana Plaza factory collapse.

38 Degrees members joined workers’ rights campaigners last week to ask for £3m. After all, Matalan make annual profits of over £100m, they sourced clothes from Rana Plaza, they never did safety checks on the building, and other brands have paid up.

So the £60,000 figure seems like peanuts. But there’s a case for optimism. First, that’s £60,000 more than the official compensation fund had a week ago. Matalan weren’t planning to pay out at all, and together we changed that. We put Rana Plaza back in the news.

And over 100,000 of us gave Matalan’s bosses and PR team a hard week. We flyered outside 216 stores, flooded their Facebook and Twitter pages, crashed their customer service line and grilled them face-to-face at their HQ. We made headlines all over the country. It was brilliant to be part of.

Every penny for the victims and survivors of this terrible disaster is good news. £60,000 is a victory. But not a complete victory.

So let’s make it clear to Matalan that they’re not walking away smelling of roses. This has tarnished their brand and hurt their reputation with customers and the public. If tens of thousands of us email their bosses and advisers directly now, we can make that abundantly clear.

Emailing them probably won’t make them donate any more – but it’ll cement their discomfort, and make them think twice in future about their responsibilities to their workers. Click here to email Matalan now.

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