BANGLADESH: NGOs increase pressure on retailers to sign fire safety agreement
NGOs are increasing pressure on international clothing brands and retailers that source from Bangladesh to sign the Accord on Fire and Building Safety following another fatal incident in a garment factory.
The Clean Clothes Campaign said today (10 May) that over 1m people have signed petitions calling for brands to sign the legally-binding Accord on Fire and Building Safety.
"Global citizens have sent a clear message to international brands sourcing from Bangladesh, such as H&M, Mango, Primark, GAP, C&A, KIK, Benetton, H&M, JC Penney, and Wal-Mart," said Tessel Pauli from Clean Clothes Campaign. "We are calling on brands to take immediate action in implementing sustainable safety measures in their supplier factories in order to prevent another tragedy such as Rana Plaza."
The comments came after another fatal fire in a Bangladesh apparel factory happened on Wednesday, killing eight people. The fire at the Tung Hai Sweater company comes just a fortnight after the collapse of the Rana Plaza building, where the death toll has risen to over 1,000 people.
Meanwhile, global union group IndustriAll said its negotiations have taken on a "dramatic sense of urgency" since the latest fire.
The parties have agreed to a 15 May deadline to seal a binding accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh, which foresees a co-ordinated systems of inspections, training and financial commitments necessary to build a sustainable garment industry, and empowers workers to refuse dangerous work.
It said, an average of US$0.02 profit on a T-shirt would double the salary of the Bangladeshi that made it, while an average of US$0.10 of profit on each garment would pay for a transformation of safety standards across the entire industry in Bangladesh.
On 8 May, Bangladesh authorities announced the closure of 18 factories for failing to comply with safety regulations, IndustriAll confirmed.
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