Unions reach second settlement under Bangladesh Accord with an apparel brand following delays over fixing hazards at its factories

  • IndustriALL Global Union and UNI Global Union brought the case on behalf of Bangladeshi textile workers
  • The brand, which cannot be named under the terms of the settlement, has agreed to pay $2m to fix issues at more than 150 garment factories in Bangladesh; a further $300,000 will be paid to IndustriALL Global Union and UNI Global Union to fund their joint "supply chain worker support fund"
  • It is the second arbitration case to be settled under the Bangladesh Accord

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Article
15 February 2018

More than 100 brands sign 2018 Transition Accord in Bangladesh

Author: IndustriALL

101 brands have signed the 2018 Transition Accord, which goes into effect when the 2013 Bangladesh Accord expires in May. The 2018 agreement currently covers more than 1,200 factories and at least 2 million workers ... “The Accord’s legally-binding framework is the only credible way to guarantee that life-threatening fire and structural hazards are remediated in a timely manner in ready-made garment and textile factories,” said Valter Sanches, general secretary of IndustriALL Global Union.

Accord inspectors have so far carried out inspections on more than 1,800 factories supplying over 200 brands, identifying over 118,500 fire, electrical, and structural hazards. Eighty-three percent of workplace dangers identified in the Accord’s original round of inspections have been remediated ... The legally-binding document extends the Accord’s protections until 31 May 2021, unless a joint monitoring committee unanimously agrees that a set of rigorous conditions for a handover to a national regulatory body have been met prior to then.

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Article
22 January 2018

Global unions reach US$2.3 million Bangladesh Accord settlement with multinational brand

Author: IndustriALL

IndustriALL Global Union and UNI Global Union have reached a US$2.3 million settlement with a multinational apparel brand to remedy life-threatening workplace hazards. The settlement, reached through an arbitration process under the legally-binding Bangladesh Accord for Fire and Building Safety, represents one of the largest payments made by a brand to remedy workplace dangers in its supply chain...

The global unions brought the case to the Permanent Court of Arbitration arguing that the brand did not require its factories to remedy hazards in a timely manner—leaving thousands of workers in dangerous conditions. The unions also charged that the brand did not ensure that it was financially feasible for its factories to fix ongoing safety issues, as required by the Accord...

A second Accord was signed in June of this year. It goes into effect when the original agreement expires in May 2018 and extends the Accord’s protections until 31 May 2021.

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Article
22 January 2018

Unions reach $2.3m settlement on Bangladesh textile factory safety

Author: Dominic Rushe, The Guardian (UK)

Unions representing Bangladeshi textile workers have reached a landmark $2.3m settlement with a multinational apparel brand after it was accused of delays in remedying life-threatening hazards at its factories. 

The settlement was agreed after a two-year arbitration process under the legally binding Bangladesh Accord for Fire and Building Safety... 

The brand, which cannot be named under the terms of the settlement, has agreed to pay $2m to fix issues at more than 150 garment factories in Bangladesh. A further $300,000 will be paid to the two unions that brought the case, IndustriALL Global Union and UNI Global Union, to fund their joint “supply chain worker support fund”...

IndustriALL’s general secretary [...] said: “This settlement shows that the Bangladesh Accord works. It is proof that legally binding mechanisms can hold multinational companies to account. We are glad that the brand in question is now taking seriously its responsibility for the safety of its supplier factories in Bangladesh. Their financial commitment serves as an example for other brands to follow.” ...This is the second arbitration case to be settled under the accord. In December 2017, IndustriALL and UNI reached another agreement with a brand using more than 200 factories in Bangladesh. [also refers to Adidas, H&M, Marks & Spencer, Tesco, Top Shop and Uniqlo]

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