CCC welcomes European Parliament support for compensation demand and for binding Bangladesh Safety Accord

With near unanimous votes, this is another strong signal to brands to take their responsability.

The Clean Clothes Campaign welcomes the European Parliament resolution of 20 May 2013 on health and safety in the Bangladesh garment industry, which sets out the Parliament’s expectations of multinational textile retailers to establish a financial compensation plan for fire and building victims and support the Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh.

The Resolution also calls on brands to fully adhere to the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, which sets out brands responsibilities for due diligence and remediation.

The resolution was passed in the aftermath of the Tazreen factory fire  killing at least 112 workers in November 2012 and the Rana Plaza building collapse killing at least 1129 on 24 April 2013

The Parliament’s expectation of multinational brands that were producing at these factories to establish a compensation plan supports CCC demands to all brands that placed orders at Tazreen and Rana Plaza to take responsibility for making sure that full and fair compensation is paid.

High street brands and clothing giants such as WalMart, Mango, Benetton were among the more then 30 brands involved in Rana Plaza, yet only Primark has committed publicly to paying financial compensation according to a union agreed formula.

The resolution was approved nearly unanimously with 459 votes in favour and 1 against on May 23d, at the same day that the ILO hosted the kick-off meeting of the Accord on Fire and Building safety.

The legally binding Accord was signed by 39 retailers, IndustriALL and Uni global unions, Bangladeshi unions, and by CCC, WRC, ILRF and MSN in a witness capacity. At the kick-off meeting it was agreed to immediately move forward with implementing the Accord. The aim is to have safety inspectors on the ground as quickly as possible in order to begin to fix the most urgent problems.

The CCC welcomes the Parliament’s call for Walmart, Gap, Metro, NKD and all other relevant brands to sign this binding agreement.

The Accord gives workers a clear role in preventing future tragedies happening in their workplace, The European Parliament resolution underlines this key principle and defends the right of workers in Bangladesh to form, register and join independent trade unions without fear of harassment, and consider that the existence of democratic trade union structures are a vital instrument in the struggle for better health and safety standards and working conditions, including higher wages. It calls on the Government of Bangladesh to guarantee these fundamental rights.