The Accord on Fire and Building Safety tenure was further extended for 3 months. Only, two out of over 190 clothing retailers had agreed to renew their contract.
Accord was formed after the collapse of Rana Plaza in 2013 and acts as a binding safety program, can only source from Accord-certified safe factories. Waning to do so could expose the brand to litigation.
A statement released by the UNI Global Union website said, “Ahead of the expiration of the 2018 Bangladesh Transition Accord next week, UNI Global Union, IndustriALL Global Union, and a negotiating committee representing leading fashion brands are pleased to announce that they have reached a tentative agreement to extend the current commitments of the 2018 Accord for three months as negotiations continue.”
Brands like Primark, Tesco, H&M, American Eagle Outfitters, Marks & Spencer, Inditex, Benetton, Adidas, Loblaw among others are in the signatories.
However, only the British brand ASOS Ltd. and the German brand Tchibo have agreed to re-sign the contract. The current contract was signed in May 2018.
Christy Hoffman, UNI General Secretary said, “We welcome this extension, which will allow us more time to negotiate a successor agreement to the Accord. We must put the mechanisms in place to ensure the success and credibility of the RSC as well as a safe workplace for millions of workers.”
Valter Sanches, General Secretary, IndustriALL said, “This three-month extension […] demonstrates that we will not allow the safety and health of the Bangladeshi garment workers to be jeopardized while we continue negotiating a successor agreement with the brands, preserving the achievements in Bangladesh and also expanding them to other countries.”