Global labour leaders are urging Swiss retailers Migros and Coop to sign the Bangladesh Accord on Fire and Building Safety before Christmas.

Jyrki Raina and Philip Jennings, respective leaders of the Industriall and UNI global union movements, staged a protest outside the Migros store in Nyon, at which they were joined by Sharan Burrow, general secretary at the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC). 

“We are eight days from Christmas, but it has been eight months since a tragedy that caused the deaths of over 1,000 people in Bangladesh,” said Jennings, referring to the Rana Plaza disaster.

“We want to give Migros and Coop a final opportunity to do the right thing and sign the Accord before the New Year.

“It’s time to put humanity before profits.”

More than 120 brands have signed the Accord, a legally binding document aimed at making the Bangladeshi garment sector safe and sustainable.

Drawn up by Industriall and UNI, it now covers more than 1,800 factories and more than 2m workers. The two union leaders have also written a letter to the CEOs of Migros and Coop, urging them to sign the Accord.