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Migros and Coop refuse to sign Bangladesh safety accord despite 1800 deaths in 7 years

29 January, 2014Migros and Coop continue to refuse to sign the Bangladesh Accord on Fire and Building Safety, despite the deaths of 1800 people in the last seven years due to unsafe factories.

Swiss-based global unions IndustriALL and UNI wrote to the two supermarket chains late last year urging them to sign the Accord, which was founded following the Rana Plaza factory complex in April in which more than 1,100 people died. More than 120 global brands that source products from Bangladesh have now committed to strict, independent safety inspections including major European supermarket chains such as Carrefour, Tesco and Sainsbury’s.

The two global unions have now written a second time asking for a meeting with the CEOs of both companies.

IndustriALL General Secretary Jyrki Raina says it is high time the Swiss brands join the more than 120 signatories:  "Together we need to make Bangladesh a label of pride. COOP and Migros need to take their responsibility for a sustainable garment industry and sign the Accord."

UNI Global Union General Secretary Philip Jennings said, “There is simply no excuse for not signing the Accord. 1,800 mothers, fathers and children died simply because of unsafe factories in which western brands source their products. Migros and Coop have a responsibility which they refuse to meet.”
The accord, an unprecedented agreement between brands and global unions carries out strict, independent safety inspections on factories and allows workers to refuse to work if a factory is deemed unsafe. In letters to the CEOs of both Migros and Coop, Philip Jennings and Jyrki Raina spelt out why the two Swiss companies should join the Accord and asked for a meeting with the CEOs.