Global unions IndustriALL and UNI have called on fashion brands to sign the second Bangladesh Accord for Building and Fire Safety, a platform of European retailers that extends the legally-binding commitment to factory safety in Bangladesh for three more years. The brands were urged to sign by 7 October, the World Day for Decent Work, but many are yet to. Geneva-based IndustriALL Global Union and Nyon-based UNI Global Union feel the extension of the Accord is currently the ‘only credible way’ to prevent life-threatening hazards in garment factories in the country, according to a report from IndustriALL. Many brands not singing it shows their lack of commitment to staying the course to prevent another Rana Plaza tragedy, it said.
Around 50 brands, which use 1,173 readymade garment factories in Bangladesh, have committed to signing the 2018 Accord. The first Bangladesh Accord, which expires next May, was launched following the Rana Plaza collapse in April 2013 that killed 1,134 workers. The 2018 Accord builds on the achievements of the first agreement.
Until there is a reliable system of regulation in place in Bangladesh, it is tough to believe that all the good work of the past four years will not be undone, Jenny Holdcroft, Assistant General Secretary of IndustriALL, said. “It would be irresponsible to abandon the progress that the Accord has made,” said UNI Deputy General Secretary Christy Hoffman.