Global unions IndustriALL and UNI have announced that more than 100 brands have joined the new Accord on Fire and Building Safety. Valter Sanches, General Secretary of IndustriALL Global Union says the brands that have signed the 2018 Transition Accord are showing a commitment to transparency and to the safety of Bangladeshi workers. The Accord’s legally-binding framework is the only credible way to guarantee that life-threatening fire and structural hazards are remediated in a timely manner in ready-made garment and textile factories.”
Since the new Accord was announced in June, over 101 brands have come on-board, including Adidas, Benetton, Carrefour, H&M, New Look, Esprit, Hugo Boss, Inditex, Tesco and John Lewis. Thus the agreement covers more than 1,200 factories and around 2 million workers.
Christy Hoffman, Deputy General Secretary of UNI Global Union was happy with the way things are turning out and is confident the vast majority of 2013 signatories would sign the 2018 Transition Accord and now that they have broken 100 signatories. Hoffman says they made improvements to the industry and turning away now simply doesn’t make sense. It is also important to make these advancements in worker safety sustainable through functioning Health and Safety Committees and the Transition Accord will put a priority on this work.
Last month, an unnamed apparel brand was forced to come to a $2.3 million settlement to mitigate safety hazards in factories. The funds will be used to improve working conditions in 150 factories and to support IndustriALL and UNI Global’s workers’ fund.