15 January, 2020In a crucial step to continue to ensure Bangladeshi garment workers’ safety, the Accord Steering Committee has signed an agreement with the BGMEA on the transition to an RMG Sustainability Council, as well as the Memorandum and Articles of Association that establish the new body.
The Transition Agreement between the Accord and the Bangladesh garment employers’ association (BGMEA) outlines key principles and steps in the transition from the Accord to the RMG Sustainability Council (RSC).
The RSC will bring together industry, brands and trade unions to ensure a sustainable solution to carry forward the significant accomplishments made on workplace safety in Bangladesh.
The RSC will be governed by a Board of Directors consisting of an equal number of representatives from industry, brands and trade unions.
“The transition agreement, which provides the necessary guarantees that the work, key principles and all policies of the Accord will be carried forward in the RSC. Our affiliated unions in Bangladesh will play a strong role in the new RSC, participating directly with brands and BGMEA in the governance of the new body,”
says IndustriALL assistant general secretary Jenny Holdcroft.
To strengthen the global brands’ active participation in the RSC and to ensure their supply chain responsibility for workplace safety is met, the Accord trade union and brand signatories will be negotiating a new legally binding agreement that supersedes the current 2018 Accord.
“That agreement will enable us to continue to hold brands accountable for their factories and ensure the necessary support for the work of RSC,”
concludes Jenny Holdcroft.
A transition from the Accord to the RSC was agreed in May last year.
Among other things, the Transition Agreement includes:
- The Safety and Health complaints mechanism established under the Accord will continue to operate independently and autonomously
- Transferring all operations, staff, infrastructure, and functions of the Accord Office in Dhaka to the RSC
- Factories currently covered by the Accord shall be carried over to the RSC retaining their remediation status and any outstanding remediation requirements as per the factory’s Corrective Action Plan
- Documented decisions, policies and protocols developed by the Accord to be carried over to the RSC
- Maintaining all existing transparency features of the Accord, including full public disclosure of inspection results and remediation activities