As of September 1st, 77 worldwide brands and retailers have joined the International Accord for Health and Safety in the Garment and Textile Industry. More companies are likely to sign on to the legally binding 26-month pact when the Bangladesh Accord on Fire and Building Safety expires.
H&M, Inditex (Zara), and Uniqlo, as well as C&A, Marks & Spencer, and American labels Calvin Klein, Tommy Hilfiger, and American Eagle, are among the new signatories.
By joining the International Accord with UNI Global Union and IndustriALL Global Union, garment brands pledge to expand country-specific health and safety programs based on the principles of the 2013 and 2018 Accord. The new agreement will be implemented through the International Accord Foundation situated in the Netherlands.
UNI General Secretary, Christy Hoffman, said that brands and retailers sign the International Accord to reaffirm their commitment to factory safety in Bangladesh, as well as to develop much-needed enforceable and transparent health and safety programs in at least one additional garment-producing country. They’re ecstatic that so many major retailers and brands have joined the International Accord and taken responsibility for the safety of garment workers in their supply chains as a result. As soon as possible, they want to welcome additional signatories to the International Accord.”
After months of talks between global unions UNI and IndustriALL and brands, the International Accord was revealed on August 25. It contains the legally enforceable pledges, respect for freedom of association, and independent administration and monitoring that helped the Bangladesh Accord succeed, as well as a possibility to broaden the ambit to include additional nations and human rights due diligence.
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