31 May, 2023
The Bangladesh Accord between UNI and IndustriALL Global Unions and global garment brands was created in 2013. Created out of the rubble of the Rana Plaza collapse, killing more than 1,100 garment workers, the International Accord for Health and Safety in the Textile and Garment Industry promotes safe workplaces through independent safety inspections, training programs, and a complaints mechanism to safeguard workers against occupational health and safety risks.
The legally binding agreement has transformed factory safety in Bangladesh’s garment industry, given workers the right to refuse unsafe work, saved lives, supported freedom of association and increased collective bargaining.
In September 2021, the Bangladesh Accord was expanded into an International Accord. The new agreement transferred the inspection functions in Bangladesh to the tri-partite Ready Made Garments Sustainability Council, (RSC), which includes brands, unions and factory-owners.
The International Accord focuses on health and safety in the sector. The terms of the International Accord make it legally binding because it is enforceable in the signatories’ home country.
The Accord contains an independent arbitration mechanism, which can only be used if a company agrees to use it for arbitration.
In December 2022, the Accord expanded its programme to Pakistan.