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Bangladesh Worker Safety

April 24, 2014
Bangladesh Worker Safety

Following the tragic events of the Rana Plaza building collapse in Bangladesh two major global initiatives were undertaken to safeguard against future tragedies: The Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh (The “Accord”) and the Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety (The “Alliance”).

With the Accord quickly formalized following the tragic events in Bangladesh, RCC assumed a constructive role for the retail industry by providing information on the Accord and by helping to finalize the Alliance. To ensure a truly North American/global perspective Retail Council of Canada was an active and vocal participant in several of the Alliance’s committees to ensure that the needs of retailers in Canada were being met, and to help create the means for coordination and harmonization between all initiatives. RCC’s contributions helped to finalize the Alliance and establish the action plan announced on July 10, 2013 by the Alliance.

Updates:

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Two Plans, One Shared Purpose

About The Alliance The Alliance is a group of 26 North American apparel retailers and brands who have joined together to develop and launch the Bangladesh Worker Safety Initiative, a binding, five-year undertaking that will be transparent, results-oriented, measurable and verifiable with the intent of improving fire and building safety in Bangladeshi garment factories.

To view the latest list of signatories (as of April 23, 2014), click here.

About The Accord The Accord is a group of 166 global apparel retailers and brands who have joined together to build on the National Action Plan on Fire Safety (NAP), which expressly welcomes the development and implementation by any stakeholder of any other activities that would constitute a meaningful contribution to improving fire safety in Bangladesh.

To view the latest list of signatories (as of April 23, 2014), click here.

Key elements of The Alliance Action Plan:

  • Factory Inspections and Remediation
  • Establishing Common Safety Standards for Factories
  • Sharing of information on training, inspections and remediation through Fair Factories Clearinghouse
  • Worker Training and Voice
  • Semi-annual Progress Reports to the Public
  • Supporting Improvements at Factories through low interest loans
  • Increased involvement with the Bangladeshi government
  • Fees: $1,000 (less than $1 million USD yearly volume) to $500,000 (>$500 million yearly volume)
Key elements of The Accord Programme:

  • Independent inspections of factories with public disclosure of inspection reports
  • Establishing Common Safety Standards for Factories
  • Sharing of information on training, inspections and remediation through Fair Factories Clearinghouse
  • Establishes worker committees and worker training
  • Workers have right to refuse dangerous work
  • Support for suppliers to make improvements
  • Fees: 0.05% of FOB imports from Bangladesh for Tier 5 companies (<$25 MM) up to $1,000,000 for Tier 1 companies (>$250 MM)
Additional information and resources:

Additional information and resources:

Additional information and resources:

  • National Tripartite Action Plan on Fire Safety in Bangladesh
  • Translated version of Bangladesh Labour Law from ILO
  • Bangladesh Institute of Labour Studies
  • Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology
  • Rana Plaza Donors Trust Fund
  • BRAC Humanitarian Fund
  • Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada – Bangladesh

Many RCC members have initiated individual measures to help safeguard working conditions in Bangladesh. Collaborative initiatives such as the Alliance and the Accord offer a compelling opportunity to address these complex safety challenges as an industry and to drive greater efficiency and effectiveness in Bangladesh worker safety improvements. We encourage you to reach out to member companies who have joined The Alliance or The Accord for more information about their efforts.

RCC is committed to working with all our members to raise standards and drive tangible change, either through their own independent initiatives or those of The Alliance and The Accord. Check back often for more information, best practices and resources on responsible sourcing.

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