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20 Jul 2017

Garrett Brown, ScienceBlogs

Bangladesh Accord extended three years, strengthens protections of union organisation, health & safety protections of garment workers

"Bangladesh Accord extended three years - worker protections strengthened, proponents promote an 'alternative to standard CSR programs'", 18 Jul 2017

Two global unions, four labor rights organizations and 23 apparel brands and retailers agreed in late June to amend and extend the ground-breaking Bangladesh Accord on Fire and Building Safety that has led to safer working conditions for 4 million garment workers in the world’s #2 apparel producer.  The legally-binding agreement, initiated in 2013 following the Rana Plaza building collapse that killed 1,138 workers in Dhaka, is a success story that could improve working conditions in other countries and global supply chains. The new Accord agreement, which goes into effect in May 2018 when the current Accord agreement expires, strengthens several aspects of the original program. These include reinforced protections for workers against retaliation for expressing safety concerns and for seeking to organize a union; mandatory severance payments for factory closures; tightened requirements to correct identified hazards in a timely fashion; and improved dispute resolution between the brands and unions...The extension of the Accord beyond May 2018 and proposed scope revisions of the new Accord are strongly opposed by the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) and the Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FBCCI)...[refers to C&A, H&M, Inditex (Zara), Phillips-Van-Heusen Corp., Primark, Tchibi, KiK]