Brands speak up for the Accord

Brands all over the world have signed the Bangladesh Accord because they want to be certain that the factories in Bangladesh they produce in are safe for the workers that make their clothes - rather than sourcing from another potential Rana Plaza. Brands are concerned about the incertainty created by the pending court case that might compel the Accord's Bangladesh office. They know the work of the Accord will continue anyway, as it is a legally binding contract, but they want it to continue in Bangladesh - where it can make real change possible on the ground. They agree that eventually national inspection bodies need to take over, but that currently these are not ready to do so yet. And they might have to take steps in the direction of different sourcing decisions if the Accord would indeed be pushed out of the country. 

Also other stakeholders have spoken out in favour of the Accord, read more here. You can find more about our #ProtectProgress #RanaPlazaNeverAgain campaign and take action here.

"The Accord is an essential foundation of our cooperation with business partners in Bangladesh. There is still a need of improving fire and building safety in Bangladesh. As a consequence, the textile industry in Bangladesh is and has been experiencing a substantial transformation when it comes to fire safety and is now converting into improved safety standards. This is a complex work which requires specialist knowledge, availability of international safety equipment and the necessary technical know-how. It is of utmost importance that all measures taken are according to the quality standards agreed in the industry. This makes Accord an essential part of our work in Bangladesh. We are committed to keep up this good cooperation in the future. A premature termination of the Accord could endanger the safety of workers employed in the garment industry, which is a risk that we would need to consider in our business decisions."

Read the full statement here.

H&M logo"We want to complete the remediation [at our factories] because we recognise there is no adequate structure in place to regulate safety in Bangladesh. Brands and their consumers cannot forget about Rana Plaza and we strongly believe in the workers' rights to have a safe workplace and to refuse unsafe work. The Accord has delivered on this - a robust, high quality, transparent, inclusive system - and has made well-recognised progress. [...] We stand ready to support the RCC work and national governance that we agreed to. We sincerely hope that the RCC will be able to deliver the same result as the Accord - a robust [program], of good quality, transparent for external stakeholders, and inclusive for international trade unions. A premature shutdown of the Accord may lead brands and retailers to consider sourcing decisions and review their reputational risk for [working with] Bangladesh as a sourcing country." 
Listen to the original statement here.

"Inditex stresses the importance of maintaining a sustainable, transparent, organised and measurable co-operation that aims to constantly improve workers’ conditions and that avoids any negative potential business implications. This will require collaboration between the Accord and the national regulatory body of Bangladesh, with the support of the International Labour Organization. 

Inditex urges the respective parties to:

  • Negotiate an agreement that allows the Accord to continue to operate in Bangladesh without placing restrictions on its programme to identify safety hazards and mechanisms to support factories to remediate them.
  • Provide sufficient time to enable the development of a national inspection body, based on criteria agreed with the International Labour Organization.

Mutual collaboration and trust are the fundamental factors for the sustainability of the sector in Bangladesh and the best instrument to avoid any potential negative impact in the image of Bangladesh as a secure sourcing country for investment."
Read the full statement here.

"adidas was an early signatory to the Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh (the Accord) and, despite our small sourcing footprint in the country we continue to be committed to this initiative, which we believe has paid dividends in improving the safety of the apparel industry in Bangladesh. Despite significant progress on worker safety measures, the Accord’s work is not completed, and the government’s Remediation and Coordination Cell does not yet have the capacity nor has it demonstrated the willingness to inspect factories to the same standards. We therefore call on the Government of Bangladesh and the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association to negotiate an agreement that will allow the Accord to continue to operate in Bangladesh, as an independently managed program, until a proper transition plan is in place. Until that time, the Accord should be allowed to continue its inspection and remediation work, without interference."
Read the full statement here.

Vetta supports the continuation of the Accord. As one of the first signatories, Top of the World has witnessed how the Accord has brought a level of assurance within our company and within our industry with regards to building structural safety, fire safety and electrical safety to all Accord signatories over the past five years. Our organization intends to support the new government infrastructure, the RCC, but there needs to be sufficient proof and agreement amongst stakeholders that the RCC has the available capacity and resources established to maintain program integrity so that this transition does not happen prematurely.”

  we2.png"We stand to our new commitment under the Transition Accord to finalize the work of the first Accord but also fully support the Remediation Coordination Cell (RCC), a body from the Government of Bangladesh that will focus on managing the remediation process for garment factories, to be in a state to professionally take over from the Accord. We do not want to leave while a safe and responsible transfer to a competent national authority is not safeguarded. We are certainly aware of the hurdles that all parties involved have to take, as the negotiations regarding the graduate transfer of responsibilities back to the Bangladesh Government are ongoing.  We trust in the work of the Accord Steering Committee, the Government of Bangladesh, the ILO and the good will of all concerned parties with which we are in alignment, and hope the negotiations will lead to a solution for the safety of workers.
However, we realise that there is still the possibility that there will be no extension and the Accord may not be allowed to further operate in the country. In the case of an abortion of the Transition Accord, the parties involved will have to re-consider the steps they will take. We would be prepared to join these efforts . As brand, we hope the handover of the work of the Accord to the Bengali Government will be successful. We confirm hereby that we continue to participate in the Transition Accord with the aim to complete the next term of 3 years."
Read the full statements here and here.

"We joined the former Accord in 2014 and we are signatory of the current Transitional Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh (2018). As a member of the Transitional Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh we are fully committed to support the continuation of the work of the Accord in Bangladesh. We publicly refer to our membership in the Accord and the importance of this initiative in various publications. [...] In addition, we are committed to this important topic through a letter from the FWF to which we link on our website. The FWF and its members are fully committed to verify and improve workplace conditions for garment workers. Therefore the Fair Wear Foundation sent a detailed letter to the Government of the People's Republic of Bangladesh. The letter was sent by the FWF on behalf of all its members – including Takko Fashion. You can find the letter here."

"American Eagle Outfitters, Inc. (AEO) is committed to protecting the health and safety of all workers, including those who manufacture our clothing. In that spirit, AEO joined 220 global apparel companies in signing the 2013 Bangladesh Accord on Fire and Building Safety—an unprecedented independent, legally binding agreement to build a safe and healthy ready-made garment industry in Bangladesh in the aftermath of the Rana Plaza tragedy. This is also why we signed the Transitional Accord in 2018 to continue building the foundation for success over the long-term.
The Accord has contributed to substantial progress on strengthening building health and safety in Bangladesh. The goal now is to transition these activities to the Bangladeshi government, which is ultimately responsible for building safety. AEO and other members are working closely with the Accord as efforts are started to build local capacity with the government to facilitate a timely and effective handover once Accord operations, including factory inspections, safety trainings and a worker hotline, are fully functional. We look forward to seeing the success of the eventual transfer to a fully resourced government authority that will continue the progress made to date."
Read the full statement here.

"In recent years, our factories have already taken good steps towards resolving all issues, but they are not yet ready. Unfortunately, the Bangladeshi government threatens to push out the Accord without a good alternative. Shoeby supports the Bangladesh Accord and asks the Government of Bangladesh allow the Accord to continue, without restrictions, so that the safety of employees can be guaranteed."
Read the full statement here.

"We stand by our commitment to ensure our factories in Bangladesh are safe, regardless of whether the Accord is forced out of the country. [...] The disastrous fires that have broken out in residential areas and office buildings in Bangladesh these past months and days, just shows the crucial importance of Accord’s work to ensure fire and building safety in Bangladesh. [...] A premature shutdown of the Accord will lead brands and retailers to consider sourcing decisions and review their reputational risk related to Bangladesh as a sourcing country."

"Stockmann Group/Lindex was one of the first signatories of the Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh 2013. We believe that the workers in the RMG industry have a right to a safe workplace. The Accord has accomplished this although the work is not finished yet. Therefore we support The Accord in its work and wish for its continuation until the government's Remediation and  Coordination Cell (RCC) is ready to take over and have the capacity to inspect factories to the same standards."

 

 "Tesco is proud to have been a signatory to the Bangladesh Accord since it was established in tragic circumstances in 2013 and we continue to strongly support its work. We believe that the best long-term solution for ensuring the safety of garment factory workers in Bangladesh is for the Bangladesh authorities to take on the monitoring and enforcement of high standards across the whole sector. However, building up this capability is challenging.  We therefore believe that the Accord should only handover its responsibilities once this capability is proven and in place. For Tesco’s part, we will not compromise on ensuring the fire and building safety of factories we work with. If the Accord is unable to continue its presence in Bangladesh, and until such time as the ability of local authorities to maintain similar standards is established, we will continue to need to independently verify the fire and building safety of factories, and these arrangements may come at greater cost to all involved."

"G-Star supports the position and efforts of the Bangladesh Accord towards continuation of the Transition Accord. On April 7 2019, the Bangladesh High Court decides if the Transition Accord can remain operational in, and from Bangladesh. We hope the Bangladesh High Court will grant full extension of the Transition Accord since this outcome will be most beneficial for the safety of Bengalese workers. The outcome of the hearing will not influence G-Stars commitment to participation in the Transition Accord."
Read the full statement here.

"Cassis & Paprika have signed the Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh. Despite our small sourcing footprint in Bangladesh, Cassis & Paprika are concerned about the safety of Bangalese workers. We therefore ask the Government of Bangladesh to allow the Accord to continue  and that inspections and remediation works are continued so that the safety of Bangalese workers is guaranteed."

"Woolworths Group strongly supports ongoing efforts to ensure a robust, transparent and industry-wide mechanism delivers safe working conditions for all factory workers. We support the Accord's continued operation in Bangladesh while the national inspection body readies for a full transition.  Our suppliers have made significant progress under the Accord and we remain committed to suppliers in their remediation activities."
Read the full statement here.

"Just as the Rana Plaza disaster was a turning point for Bangladesh, the hasty expulsion of the Accord from the country would also be devastating. If the decision is confirmed, we – like all other member companies – will take over the tasks that have to date been carried out by the local Accord experts, from Bangladesh and Germany, in cooperation with our producers and the Accord office in Amsterdam. The binding commitment of the Accord remains in effect for all: Employees must be given the best possible safety.
The Accord has become one of the essential foundations of our business activities with Bangladesh companies. At the same time, it is not in the best interest of the garment workers for us to leave the country. This would be against the principles of responsible purchasing. Our first premise for action is to try to continue the good work being done in the country.
Nevertheless, a forced pull-out of the Accord will significantly reduce our confidence and trust in the country, and it cannot be ruled out that we will also have to consider business consequences if the Accord’s requirements do not continue to be implemented."
Read the full statement here.

"After the encouraging progress made over the past years, we are concerned about the uncertainty of the Accord going forward. Over the previous months, the capacity of the Accord to perform has been limited due to a number of court decisions in Bangladesh that remain open. We remain deeply committed to the good work of the Accord. As an Accord founding member, we strongly believe the Accord has been a proven way to improve the Bangladesh apparel industry’s fire, building and electrical safety levels. We do not want the Accord to leave Bangladesh while a safe and responsible transfer to the national authority is not guaranteed. We are certainly aware of the hurdles that all parties involved have to take, as the negotiations regarding the graduate transfer of responsibilities to the RCC are ongoing. We have trust in the work of the Accord Steering Committee, the Government of Bangladesh, the ILO and strongly hope the negotiations will lead to a solution that priories the safety of workers. Should the ongoing negotiations fail and the Bangladeshi courts decide that the Accord will no longer be permitted to do its work while the local RCC is not fully operational yet, C&A would be concerned that this would have an effect on the building and fire safety levels in the country’s textile factories which would have a significant impact on Bangladesh’s reputation as safe textile production country and on our sourcing activities from Bangladesh."
Read the full statement here.

“KID Interiør is committed to safe working conditions in Bangladesh. The Accord is one of the most important measures to make sure this happens in a fair and cost effective way. Without a clear commitment from the government of Bangladesh to let the Accord continue its work, brands and retailers, including KID Interiør AS,  will have to reconsider their sourcing from Bangladesh. We support the transition of the Accord to a national inspection body when it is deemed ready according to the Accord agreement."
The full statement is available here.

"The Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh has done ground-breaking work to improve the safety situation in garment factories in Bangladesh since its establishment after the Rana Plaza collapse in 2013. Despite this progress, the work is not yet completed and the government’s Remediation and Coordination Cell (RCC) does not yet have the capacity to inspect factories to the same standards. A genuine transition plan for factory inspections, safety trainings, and a worker complaint mechanism will need much more time and genuine engagement by the government.
We strongly believe it is vital that the Accord be allowed to continue its life-saving work until it is necessary."

"As one of the first signatories to the Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh and the subsequent Transition Accord, Loblaw remains committed to ongoing progress to provide better protection for workers and to increase workplace safety in Bangladesh factories. We are proud of the work done to date under the Accord, with 1,600 factories inspected and improved, and health and safety trainings conducted in factories employing over more than 1.5 million workers.
We remain certain that the economy and manufacturing communities of Bangladesh benefit from the presence and operation of the Accord.  With a remediation rate of close to 90%, there has been significant progress to date but more needs to be done. To that end, we support the ongoing discussions between the Brand and Trade Union representatives and the domestic industry association, and ask the Bangladesh Government to allow for the continued operation of the Accord in Bangladesh until the work can be transitioned to a properly resourced and authorized agency that will carry on the good work of the Accord."
Read the statement here.

"In November 2018, the Government in Bangladesh made a decision to end its support for the continuation of the Bangladesh Accord-agreement. The Accord-agreement could be ended during the last period of 2018. Varner has made it clear that we strongly support the continuation of the Accord`s operations. We believe the agreement has been important and necessary for building safety and fire safety in factories. We have seen gradual improvement, however we believe the task to secure safe working conditions in Bangladesh is not finished. Varner has together with other brands and organizations worked for the continuation of the Accord. If the agreement is ended, we will search for solutions to maintain the safety level of the factories in Bangladesh."
We signed a letter to the government in Bangladesh together with other signatory brands to express our concern. Please read the letter here.

"Over the past six years, the Accord has achieved significant improvements concerning the health and safety of workers in the textile industry in Bangladesh. Substantial progress related to structural, electrical and fire safety have been realized in the production facilities. [...] Markus Hasse-Pratje, Managing Director of the REWE Far East, comments: ‘The achievements of the Accord should not be jeopardized by an abrupt ending of the Accord in Bangladesh.’
Patricia von Planta, CR Manager of REWE Far East, explains: ‘We fully support the planned and gradual transfer of responsibilities to the national inspection body but a proper handover and knowledge transfer is essential to ensure a successful continuation of our efforts. We have a great interest to complete the remediation process of our production facilities and are committed to support them in their efforts. The presence of the Accord in Bangladesh greatly helps us in this endeavor. We believe that the Accord is well suited to provide valuable support to the national inspection body throughout this transition process.’
For this reason the REWE Group already requested the Bangladeshi Government together with other Accord and Textile Partnership members to ensure that the national inspection body is well prepared and ready according to the agreed criteria before they take over the tasks of the Accord, including inspections, trainings, complaint handling and transparent reporting."
Read the full statement here.

"We at KappAhl urge all stakeholders to consider the value of cooperation and prestigelessness when creating a long-term sustainable ready-made garments production in Bangladesh. We also urge all stakeholders to contribute to that the transition, from today’s Accord over to the national organization, does not take place until there is a stable structure built up to take over the important responsibility of protecting the ready-made garments workers."
Read the full statement here.

The considerations of the government of Bangladesh to send the Bangladesh Accord out or the country disappoint us very much. The work of the Accord has been immensely successful and the progress should not lose speed. [...] Workers in Bangladesh, companies and NGOs agree: the Bangladesh Accord has done incredibly important work and has shown tangible success. Its work must be continued, with or without the impending closing down of operations in Dhaka! [...] As we have repeatedly urged all stakeholders: The Bangladesh Accord must continue its successful path having made the Bangladesh garment industry a safer place to work at! ” See here original tweet one, original tweet two, and tweet three.

Logo Benetton "Benetton Group was among the first signatories of the Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh, launched in May 2013. With its signature, the company confirmed its commitment to contribute to a significant and lasting improvement in working conditions and safety in workplaces in Bangladesh. The Accord is an independent agreement, signed by more than 150 apparel companies from all over the world and involving trade unions, the International Labour Organization (ILO) as well as non-governmental organizations.
Benetton Group continues with its efforts to guarantee safe working conditions in Bangladesh, where significant results have been achieved by the Accord, which has worked in close collaboration with – and with the constant support of – all the signatory Brands. Benetton Group’s ongoing commitment to the Accord is based on the conviction that the important work performed over the past five years must be fully completed."
Read the full statement here.

"At PVH, we are committed to protecting human rights, including workers’ safety and health, throughout its supply chain. We have demonstrated this throughout our history, including being one of the first apparel companies to adopt a supplier code of conduct back in 1991 and most recently as one of the leading company signatories to the Accord, both through the remediation achieved at our suppliers’ factories and the leadership positions we have held on the Accord Steering Committee.The Accord has led to significant and demonstrable improvements in fire, building, electrical and occupational safety in the Bangladesh ready-made garment industry, which, in turn, makes the industry more sustainable as a sourcing partner for apparel companies and retailers.PVH believes that the regulatory function for fire, building, electrical and occupational safety rightly sits with the Government of Bangladesh. We are committed to assisting in a full and seamless transfer of activities from the Transitional Accord to the Government’s Remediation Control Cell (RCC) at such time as the RCC is ready to assume those duties."

'For HEMA it is important that a good transfer takes place. This means that the Bangladeshi government must have sufficient capacity and knowledge to take over the work of the Accord. We hope that the negotiations currently taking place between the Accord and the Bangladeshi government will lead to a successful transfer. If this is not the case, HEMA will continue to participate in the Transition Accord and we will work to find a solution together with the other participating parties."
Read the full statement here.

"Since 2013 the Bangladesh Accord on Fire and Building Safety has set a globally respected example of how great progress can be achieved in joint-efforts ensuring that no worker need to fear fires, building collapses or other accidents. At Hunkemoller we are committed to safe working conditions in Bangladesh and have demonstrated this by being actively engaged in the Accord since 2015. In 2018 we also signed the Transition Accord to stand by the Accords devotion to complete safety remediation and safety protection at covered factories. We are concerned about the lack of progress regarding the transition and we stand by our commitment to the Transition Accord and stand-by the Accord Steering Committee devotion to finalizing a responsible timebound and preparedness-based transition plan."
Read the full statement here.

“NEXT maintains its full commitment to the Bangladesh Accord to achieve the agreed goals.  Any early termination of the current Accord operations in Bangladesh, would be detrimental to the safety of workers in the readymade garment industry there.”