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29 Nov 2018

Michael Safi, Guardian (UK)

Bangladesh set to eject Accord following court issued restraining order unless govt. intervenes

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"Bangladesh to eject safety inspectors brought in after Rana Plaza disaster", 28 November 2018

An international inspection regime put in place after the collapse of a Bangladesh garment factory killed more than 1,100 people will be forced to leave the country on Friday, with activists warning of “profound and lasting” consequences for worker safety...

A restraining order imposed by the Bangladesh high court will come into force on 30 November, forcing the Accord for Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh to close its Dhaka office, limiting its ability to inspect thousands of factories supplying clothes for brands including H&M, Esprit and Primark.

The European parliament has expressed “serious concern” at the prospect of the Accord being ejected from Bangladesh, with around 1,450 factories covered by the initiative still in need of urgent safety upgrades – including more than half without adequate fire alarm systems...

Rob Wayss, the executive director of the Accord, said he was “guardedly optimistic” the Bangladesh government would ask the high court to allow it stay in the country. “We’re hopeful but not certain the government will make a submission to the court,” he said...

Brands have raised concerns the closure of the Accord’s local office could spark protests and activism in the west that would taint their Bangladesh operations...