The Grenfell community has been left outraged at the company responsible for the cladding that led to the disaster, as it declined an invitation to attend Grenfell Testimony Week. The company has been labelled as “heartless cowards” by members of the community.
Corporate Absence at Grenfell Testimony Week Sparks Controversy
Arconic, the multibillion-dollar company responsible for manufacturing the cladding used in Grenfell Tower, has declined an invitation to attend Grenfell Testimony Week. The event, set to occur from January 23 to 26, will witness survivors and bereaved individuals sharing their experiences directly with companies linked to the tragedy.
While several entities, including Celotex, Kingspan, Rydon, and government departments, have agreed to participate, Arconic’s absence has stirred outrage within the Grenfell community.
The Anguish of the Grenfell Community
Arconic’s refusal to attend the face-to-face event, organized as part of a civil claim settlement resulting in £150 million compensation, has deeply upset the Grenfell community. Approximately 36 people, including individuals who lost family members, will express the profound impact of the disaster.
Arconic’s decision not to participate has been labelled “despicable” by legal representatives and condemned as the conduct of “heartless cowards” by bereaved individuals.
Corporates’ Response to Testimony Week Invitation
Arconic justified its non-participation, stating, “We are not able to attend Testimony Week, and we have no comment beyond that.”
The Guardian reports that Celotex, Kingspan, Rydon, the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, and government departments have accepted the invitation to attend. Exova, the fire engineering company, affirmed its full representation during Testimony Week.
While the invitation extended to corporates is voluntary, Arconic’s refusal has raised concerns about the company’s willingness to engage with the affected community.
Grenfell Testimony Week’s Significance
Grenfell Testimony Week is a crucial element of the settlement process, providing an opportunity for survivors and bereaved individuals to share their grievances directly with entities linked to the disaster.
The face-to-face meetings aim to offer a sense of justice and catharsis that may be lost when cases are settled outside of court. Participants view it as a chance to address those whose actions played a role in the tragedy, fostering transparency and accountability.
Expressing Frustration and Disappointment
Emma O’Connor, a survivor scheduled to speak during Testimony Week, expressed frustration, stating, “They ruined everyone’s lives, but they don’t care what people have to say.”
Arconic’s absence, viewed as a lack of concern, reinforces the challenges faced by the Grenfell community in seeking acknowledgment and accountability from those associated with the disaster.
Ongoing Delays in Justice Processes
Despite efforts to bring closure, survivors and their lawyers continue to face delays in the pursuit of justice. The public inquiry’s final report is not expected until June, and contact with materials manufacturers and construction companies regarding criticisms has just commenced.
The prolonged process raises concerns, with police indicating that finalizing recommendations for charges will only occur after the report’s publication, potentially delaying trials until 2025 or 2026.
The post ‘Heartless Cowards’ – Anger as Grenfell Cladding Company Fail to Attend Memorial first appeared on Edge Media.
Featured Image Credit: Shutterstock / Ms Jane Campbell.