Accord on Fire and Building Safety

After exposure in the media for lack of workers' safety at their Bangladeshi suppliers, the owner of Tommy Hilfiger and Calvin Klein signed a binding Safety Agreement with Bangladeshi and international labour organisations in March 2012. In August 2012 German retailer Tchibo was the second company to sign this agreement.
“The fact that so many brands have signed the Safety Accord will bring historic change in the Bangladeshi industry. However, it is a shame that Gap and Walmart have not yet signed the Accord. We strongly encourage them to reconsider their position.
It is not too late for brands to sign the Accord, which will mean workers no longer have to fear for their lives each time they enter their factory.”

Ineke Zeldenrust, Clean Clothes Campaign

Fire and building safety is absolutely critical for Bangladeshi garment workers. The Clean Clothes Campaign, together with Bangladeshi and international labour organisations, has been working on safety in Bangladesh for many years, and the national European Clean Clothes Campaign groups have done a lot of outreach work to European brands with production facilities in Bangladesh. The landmark agreement reached with PVH, the owner of Tommy Hilfiger and Calvin Klein, has been expanded into the Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh. Five company signatories were needed to implement the agreement. After the horrific fires in late 2012, and especially after the devastating collapse at the beginning of 2013, more brands were willing to sign the agreement.

The Accord is an independent agreement designed to make all garment factories in Bangladesh safe workplaces, and is being implemented as of July 2013. This includes independent inspections by trained fire safety experts, public reporting, mandatory repairs and renovations financed by brands, a central role for workers and unions in oversight and implementation, supplier contracts with sufficient financing and adequate pricing, and a binding contract to make these commitments enforceable.

After the tragic collapse of Rana Plaza in April 2013, costing the lives of over 1,100 workers, more than 80 international brands have signed the Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh.

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