Thirty-three brands sign onto new Pakistan Accord

YarnsandFibers News Bureau 2023-02-20 13:14:16 – Bangladesh

The International Safety Accord for Pakistan has secured 33 signatories, with the most recent companies to do so being Primark, Next plc, Asos, and C&A.

Almost 300 factories in the South Asian nation are now covered by the most recent round of Pakistan Accord signatories. One month has passed since the sign-on procedure first began.

Christie Miedema, campaign and outreach coordinator at Clean Clothes Campaign, said that more than thirty International Accord signatory brands have already committed to the Pakistan Accord, including some of the largest buyers from the country. They expect all other International Accord signatories who also have production in Pakistan to announce their commitment in the near future.

In addition to Bangladesh, the Pakistan Accord was declared by signatory brands and unions on December 14, 2022, as the first nation where the International Accord model will be used.

The model's ability to be enforced, equal participation for unions, transparency, and the requirement for brands to make sure that their supplier factories can carry out required repairs have all contributed to its success in making garment and textile factories safe.

According to CCC, since the Accord's introduction in Bangladesh in 2013, more than 90% of all discovered safety concerns at covered factories have been removed, making the workplaces of more than 2 million workers safer. Also, 1.8 million workers have received safety training, and the OSHA has received over 1,700 health and safety complaints.

One of the newest signatories is the Danish athletic apparel company Hummel. CEO Allan Vad Nielsen, said that Pakistan is one of their primary supplier nations, so it is essential for them to participate in the Pakistan initiative. This program is consistent with their values and reinforces their commitment to bringing about positive change in the industry.

Brands that have thus far "failed to take responsibility for their workers in Bangladesh" are being urged by Clean Clothes Campaign to seize this new chance to "do right by their workers" in Pakistan.

Zehra Khan, founder and general secretary of the Home Based Women Workers Federation, said that they are pleased that garment and textile workers in Pakistan will no longer have to worry for their lives at work. It shouldn't take another ten years for workers in other nations to be included in this efficient safety pact.

The Pakistan Accord, for an interim duration of three years beginning in 2023, is a legally enforceable agreement between global union federations, UNI Global Union and IndustriALL Global Union, and apparel brands and retailers. Brands are welcome to sign starting on January 16.

The Pakistan Accord builds on the significant improvements in safety that have been made in Bangladesh and includes all of the key elements of the International Accord: independent safety inspections to address identified fire, electrical, structural, and boiler hazards, monitoring and supporting remediation, a safety committee training and worker safety awareness program, an independent complaints mechanism, a commitment to broad transparency, and local capacity-building to improve a culture of health and safety.

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