Tally Weijl, the Swiss clothing giant, has signed the Bangladesh Accord on Fire and Building Safety, piling further pressure on supermarkets Migros and Coop to prove their commitment to safety in the Bangladeshi garment sector.
The company signed the agreement, drafted by Swiss-based IndustriALL Global Union and UNI Global Union, on the Accord’s first anniversary and in doing so joined 172 brands to have committed since May 15 last year.
Swiss supermarkets Migros and Coop both source textile products from Bangladesh but have so far refused to sign the deal which commits to independent safety inspections in factories used by Accord signatories. Almost half of all Bangladesh factories for the export market and two million workers are now covered by the scope of the Accord, and amongst its signatories are a host of European supermarkets including Carrefour, Tesco, Lidl, Aldi and more.
IndustriALL General Secretary Jyrki Raina welcomes Swiss fashion group Tally Weijl to the Bangladesh Accord.
With so many international brands and retailers signed up to the Accord, it is shameful that Migros and Coop, two of Switzerland's biggest supermarkets, have yet to become signatories. Migros and Coop should follow Tally Weijl's example and show some commitment to a safe and sustainable garment industry in Bangladesh.
UNI General Secretary Philip Jennings says:
“We congratulate Tally Weijl on joining 172 brands in proving their commitment to worker safety in Bangladesh. Migros and Coop are mistaken if they think that the business as usual approach is enough to prevent the next Rana Plaza disaster. The Bangladesh Accord was made in Switzerland and Swiss companies should be amongst those leading the charge to save lives.”
A year on from its first signature, the Bangladesh Accord has taken huge strides forward.
A factory inspection programme is in full swing. So far, more than 500 factories have been inspected. Each factory is examined for structural integrity and fire and electrical safety. By October this year, the Accord aims to have inspected all 1,500 factories. It has employed a dedicated team of more than 100 technical experts and engineers who now conduct 45 inspections per week.