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Matalan protests will continue in Scotland

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Campaigners vow to keep protesting until retailer goes public on compensation fund.

Campaigners say they will continue protests against cut-price retailer Matalan until it reveals how much compensation it paid towards victims of a fatal disaster in a factory that makes its clothes.

Last weekend campaigners from 38 Degrees protested outside Matalan stores across Scotland after the store refused to say how much it is contributing to a fund to support victims of the Bangladesh’s Rana Plaza factory collapse.

I suspect Matalan has decided to pay a token amount and therefore won’t reveal for fear it’ll be rumbled - Philippa Claire

Campaigners believe Matalan has paid a negligible sum in comparsion to others, despite retailers such as Primark contributing as much as £8m to a UN-backed survivors’ fund.

After a social media campaign backed by over 6,000 people last week, Matalan did say it would contribute to the UN-backed fund at the eleventh hour but won't reveal the figure it paid.

Campaigners protested outside stores in Edinburgh, Dundee, Aberdeen and Galashiels among others.

Philippa Claire protested outside the Dundee Matalan and said she will continue to do so every Saturday until the retailer reveals how much it is paying to the fund.

“I suspect Matalan has decided to pay a token amount and therefore won’t reveal for fear it’ll be rumbled,” she said.

“It’s shocking such a massive company has to be coerced, though public pressure, in paying rightful compensation to those who are living in poverty.

“We want to turn this into a PR disaster for Matalan and I for one will continue to tell customers exactly what kind of heartless company Matalan is until I’m satisfied with its response.”

Susannah Compton of 38 Degrees said: "It looks like good news for people power that Matalan has said that it will pay into the official compensation fund.

"But it's worrying to see it has clammed up about how much money it's paying in. Until Matalan says exactly how much it has paid, its customers will still be waiting to see what kind of business it really is."

A Matalan spokesman refused to reveal the figure it said it has paid to the survivors’ fund.

He added: "We wish to make it clear that we have never been ordered by any organisation to pay compensation or been found culpable for the tragedy.

“However, our company is happy to continue to make substantial contributions to help the people who need it most."