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Next steps for the Accord

4 September, 2019Representatives from the Steering Committee of the Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh and the Bangladesh garment employers’ association (BGMEA) have met in Dhaka to discuss the establishment of the RMG Sustainability Council (RSC), as agreed in the memorandum of understanding signed between the Accord Steering Committee and the BGMEA in May this year.

The RSC is an unprecedented national initiative, uniting industry, brands and trade unions to ensure a sustainable solution, based on a unified compliance standard, to carry forward the significant accomplishments made on workplace safety in Bangladesh since the creation of the Accord.

The RSC will also cover industrial relations, skill development and environmental standards.

“The RSC will ensure that the progress made on factory safety in Bangladesh will continue, and it will play an important part for well-functioning industrial relations,“

said Christina Hajagos-Clausen, IndustriALL textile director and member of the Accord Steering Committee.

In the meeting on 2 and 3 September, the parties discussed a wide range of issues to ensure a smooth transition of the Accord and its functions (related to inspections, remediation, training and safety complaints mechanism) to the RSC by end of May 2020.

In a joint statement, the Accord and the BGMEA said they look forward to continuing the constructive discussions and commit to work together to ensure that ready-made garment factories in Bangladesh are made safe and stay safe.

The parties agreed on the importance of jointly developing the memorandum and articles of the RSC, as well as a transition agreement. The drafts will be prepared following an agreed timetable.

“It is important that unions, employers and brands together continue the work of improving worker safety and a smooth transition of the Accord principles into the RSC,”

said ZM Kamrul Anam, general secretary of IndustriALL Bangladesh Council

The Accord Steering Committee is made up of equal representation of the signatory companies and trade unions with a neutral Chair provided by the International Labour Organisation (ILO).