The Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh was renewed for a second term by several garment companies, and more are expected to sign on. The Congregation’s General Leadership Team signed on to an investors’ statement in early April 2017 calling for the Accord to be renewed. The extension includes a provision for workers’ rights to freedom of association, which investors also had requested.
A June 29, 2017, press release from The Accord reads in part: “Companies and global unions have agreed on a 2nd Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh (‘Accord’). The agreement will enter effect when the current Accord expires in May 2018. The Accord is an unprecedented, legally binding agreement between companies and trade unions to make factories in Bangladesh safe.” It was developed following the April 2013 collapse of the Rana Plaza garment factory in Savar, Bangladesh, that led to the death of more than 1,100 people and injured more than 2,000.
Highlights of the renewed agreement include:
- The Accord will continue its independent safety inspections and remediation program at existing and new factories covered under the agreement.
- The Safety Committee and safety training program will be extended to all factories.
- The renewed agreement includes additional commitments to ensure that workers’ rights to freedom of association are respected to protect their own safety.