Other eight brands–Esprit, Hüren, Bestseller, Wibra, Schmidt Group, N Brown Group, PVH, Specialty Fashion Group Australia–have committed to signing the accord in the future, too.
The first Bangladesh Accord was signed in May 2013 by unions, non-governmental organizations and brands after the Rana Plaza collapse of April 2013 caused 1,100 deaths and 2,500 injuries. This first three-year agreement will expire in 2018.
After the first Accord was signed all of the Bangladeshi companies were inspected. Twenty-six companies were found risky and not fit for production and were therefore immediately closed down. The rest of the factories were given time to start Corrective Action Plans (CAPs) and implementing them. Seventy-seven of the companies listed in the Accord have completed their remediation, while others have started action to reach the requested standards and will probably reach their goal by mid 2018.
The second Accord will continue the first Accord’s legally binding framework and commitment to transparency. It adds new worker protection measures and ensures that many more factories will be inspected and renovated, as signatory brands add suppliers.
This new Accord will go into effect in May 2018 and will last until May 31, 2021.
The new agreement puts greater emphasis on the right of workers to organize and join a union. It recognizes worker empowerment as fundamental in assuring workplace safety and includes enhanced protections for workers whose factories are closed or relocated due to the implementation of the agreement. It also presents the possibility to expand the Accord to additional sectors, other than the ready-made garment industry.