Stalling continues: Bangladesh Accord remains in limbo

As reported last week, a ruling by Bangladesh’s Supreme Court’s Appellate Division on the Accord’s appeal against its restraining order was due yesterday. However, after first being rescheduled to today, 8th April, the hearing has been further adjourned until 15th April 2019. FashionUnited has retraced the developments of the last few months that have kept the future of the Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh in limbo and delaying it seven times.

According to a report published last week by the Accord’s NGO witness signatories, the Clean Clothes Campaign, the International Labor Rights Forum, the Maquila Solidarity Network and the Worker Rights Consortium, the local government is not ready to take over Bangladesh Accord’s responsibilities and assume responsibility for the the 1,688 garment factories under the Accord’s purview.

To call attention to the Accord’s plight that could mean closing its operations and office in Dhaka after six years of hard work before national agencies are ready to take over, international brands and retailers have started speaking up for the Accord.

“A premature termination of the Accord could endanger the safety of workers employed in the garment industry, which is a risk that we would need to consider in our business decisions," states Esprit while H&M agrees that “a premature shutdown of the Accord may lead brands and retailers to consider sourcing decisions and review their reputational risk for [working with] Bangladesh as a sourcing country."

Further stalling of a decision about the Accord’s future in Bangladesh and/or its premature withdrawal from the country could not only undermine the work done over the last six years but also Bangladesh’s reputation as a trustworthy and worthwhile sourcing country. FashionUnited will keep following developments closely.

Photo: Kristof Vadino via Maquila Solidarity Network
 

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