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Accord hands over operations to RMG Sustainability Council

The work of the office and operations established by the Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh will continue by the RMG Sustainability Council (RSC), governed by global companies, trade unions, and manufacturers.

Accord company signatories will continue to fulfill their obligations under the existing Transition Accord agreement through the work of the RSC.

On June 1, 2020, the functions of the local office of the Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh have transitioned to the RMG Sustainability Council (RSC).

RSC is a newly established not-for-profit company in Bangladesh created and governed by global apparel companies, trade unions, and manufacturers. The RSC was officially registered in Bangladesh on May 20, 2020 to be a permanent safety monitoring and compliance body in the RMG sector in Bangladesh.

The Accord signatory companies and unions and the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) agreed to establish the RSC through a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed on May 8, 2019. To ensure that the safety progress achieved by the Accord since 2013 is sustained and potentially expanded, the MoU prescribes that the RSC inherits all operations, staff and infrastructure of the local Bangladesh Accord office.

The RSC will continue with factory inspections, remediation monitoring, safety training, and a safety & health complaints mechanism at the RMG factories supplying to Accord signatory companies. These programs will be implemented in accordance with the protocols and procedures developed by the Accord, which have also been inherited by the RSC.

The RSC will appoint a Chief Safety Officer (CSO) to lead the inspections work. The CSO’s performance of technical duties will be free of interference from the RSC governing body. The independence of the existing safety & health complaints mechanism that is available to workers in factories supplying to Accord signatory companies shall also be safeguarded under the RSC.

With the transition of the Accord’s Bangladesh office and operations to the RSC, the RSC becomes the organization implementing the in-country safety inspections and programs of the legally binding 2018 Transition Accord agreement between global companies and unions. To ensure the provisions of the 2018 Transition Accord on remediation, inspections, training, and complaints programs are fully and adequately implemented, the Accord International Secretariat based in Amsterdam will cooperate with and support the RSC.

The Accord company and union signatories are confident that the global companies, trade unions, and manufacturers governance model of the RSC will prove effective to ensure they collectively take responsibility for workplace safety in Bangladeshi RMG exporting factories.

The Accord signatories additionally recognize that to achieve and maintain safe workplaces requires the full participation of the workforce, sustainable purchasing practices, and strong accountability instruments.

Accordingly, the Accord company and union representatives on the RSC Board are committed to safeguard the key characteristics of the Accord program including: that workers play an active role in advancing workplace safety and their right to freedom of association is protected; brands and retailers negotiate commercial terms to make remediation financially feasible; all inspection results and remediation activities are publicly disclosed; and the escalation protocol is effectively implemented to ensure that suppliers comply with the safety requirements.

If anyone has any feedback or input regarding the published news, please contact: info@textiletoday.com.bd

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