We Need to Fight to Keep the Bangladesh Accord for Garment Worker Safety
Isn’t it crazy? We’ve become oblivious to what’s happening in Bangladesh— the country who’s 93% of garment exports go to the U.S. and Europe.
In case you missed it, here’s a recap of what is going on with the Bangladesh Accord that was set to expire May of 2018.
…and yes, it relates to you.
Soon after, unions and some 200 brands, including big companies like H&M and Inditex (Zara), came up with the Bangladesh Accord.
“The Accord is an independent, legally binding agreement between brands and trade unions to work towards a safe and healthy garment and textile industry in Bangladesh.”
The Accord binds those involved to inspect factories, create an action plan, and implement within X months before being disqualified from the Accord. Despite the Bangladesh Accord Committee helping lead 1,600 factory inspections, another obstacle lies ahead.
The Government of Bangladesh now wants the work of the Accord. They ordered the Accord be handed over to a national governing body, the Remediation and Coordination Cell (RCC), however the Accord is fighting to appeal this.
Analysts say this governing body is not ready to take on the work of the Accord themselves and if handed over, would reverse the significant improvements made in the past five years of oversight and transparent inspections that ultimately protect garment workers.
Rob Wayss, Executive Director of the Accord told Reuters,
“[The RCC] is in its infancy, they have just hired their staff, they really don’t have their systems in place, their engineers need a lot of additional training just like ours did".”
The Supreme Court of Bangladesh is pushing back the hearing on who controls the work of the Accord for the 6th time to April 6th.