Negotiations on the Bangladesh Accord in a Critical Stage

The Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh (the Accord) was created in response to the Rana Plaza factory collapse on 24 April 2013, which killed 1,133 people and critically injured thousands more. With the Accord great progress has been made. Garment factories in Bangladesh are safer for workers. However, it is widely acknowledged that the work is not completed. The initial five-year Accord was followed on 1 June 2018 by the three-year Transition Accord, which was created to help transition the Bangladesh operations of the Accord to the RMG Sustainability Council (RSC). The RSC, which has been set up with a tripartite governing structure, with representatives from the industry, brands and union holding equal voting rights, has commenced its duties a year ago. It has since taken over the Bangladesh operations, the infrastructure and staff of the Accord. Meanwhile, the Transition Accord financed the first year of operations of the RSC through contributions from Accord member brands. Against this background, negotiations on the future of the Accord have been ongoing for some period, and with the Transition Accord set to expire on 1 June 2021, have entered into a critical phase. We call on the brands, industry and unions, to continue the negotiations in order to reach an agreement with all parties that safeguards the progress made by the Accord and continues to make garment factories in Bangladesh safer for its workers.