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Levi’s, IKEA put profits above Bangladesh workers’ safety, alleges Workers Federation

  

By refusing to sign the Accord in Bangladesh even after nine years of its introduction, Levi’s and IKEA are putting their own profit over the lives and safety of those who work tirelessly for them alleges Amirul Haque Amin, President, National Garment Workers Federation, Bangladesh. The Accord was introduced in Bangladesh in April 2013 after the devastating Rana Plaza building collapse that killed 1,138 garment workers due to incredibly unsafe factory conditions.

The agreement has so far been signed by 173 brands including fast fashion giants like H&M, Inditex (Zara), Fast Retailing (UNIQLO) and PVH (Tommy Hilfiger, Calvin Klein). Introduced in September 2021, the new version of the agreement allows it to be expanded to other countries known to violate factory safety rules. The new Accord aims to make workplaces safe for workers by establishing independent inspections, remediation, complaint mechanism, and safety committees in factories that supply to international brands and companies.

Levi’s says, it has “established itself as the leader in industry standards for responsible supply chain practices”. Similarly, IKEA claims to have set own standards with IWAY based on internationally recognized standards and principles for human rights, environmental protection and worker health and safety.

However, the schemes launched by both brands are underperforming, claimed a report released last month by the Clean Clothes Campaign. The report states, neither scheme meets the standards of the International Accord on worker’s safety, with research showing supplier factories scored poorly on many safety indicators.

 
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