Leading international retail brands are forging agreements to help protect low-paid workers in Bangladesh after the Rana Plaza building collapse.
While North American retailers including the world’s largest, Walmart, are looking to set up their own factory inspection systems, in Europe a union organisation along with NGO partners have drawn up a legally binding agreement.
Dozens of companies have rushed to beat a midnight deadline to lend their support to an ‘Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh’.
Philip Jennings, General Secretary of UNI Global Union said:
“ I am delighted that so many of the world’s household names: global brands and global retailers have signed up. If we were having this conversation at the same time, just two days ago, we didn’t have one signature.We’re now getting towards 30 signatures.”
The response comes after Western companies were criticised by consumers for not doing enough to inspect working conditions in Asian factories.
There have been several safety incidents in Bangladesh including a recent fatal fire.
More than 1100 people died in last month’s tragedy in Dhaka in which building regulations are said to have been flouted.