The apex garment makers’ body of Bangladesh, the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) and the Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh (representing the European brands) have recently signed an agreement on establishing a council for the transition of responsibilities for issues like worker safety, as per media reports.
The ‘RMG Sustainability Council’ or RSC is an unprecedented national supply chain initiative, the Accord and BGMEA said in a statement after the signing the agreement while underlining that it is expected to ‘ensure a sustainable solution to carry forward the significant accomplishments’ made on workplace safety in the country by ‘uniting’ industry, brands and the trade unions.
The transition agreement reportedly agreed on a large number of elements, including the following:
- Documented decisions, policies and protocols developed by the Accord will be carried over to the RSC as these have ‘proven effective and expedient’.
- Factories currently covered by the Accord shall be carried over to the RSC retaining their remediation status and any outstanding remediation requirements as per the factory’s Corrective Action Plan (CAP).
- All operations, staff, infrastructure and functions of the Accord Office in Bangladesh will be transferred to the RSC.
- All existing transparency features of the Accord will be maintained, including full public disclosure of inspection results and remediation activities.
- The RSC will appoint a Chief Safety Officer, retaining the same independence, autonomy, authorities, and reporting requirements practiced by the Accord.