On November 30, a restraining order placed on the Transition Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh is set to come into effect pending the outcome of an appeal submitted by the Accord last week. If the Bangladeshi High Court does not grant the appeal, the groundbreaking multi-stakeholder factory inspection body will have to leave Bangladesh.
On September 13, after several months of delays, the government-appointed Bangladesh Minimum Wage Board finally announced the new monthly minimum wage of 8,000 taka (US$95), an increase of only 2700 taka (US$32) from the previous amount, which has remained the same since 2013.
Public rally in support of the 16,000 taka minimum wage demand (Photo: Taslima Akhter)
Inditex (owner of Zara) has become the first major apparel brand to respond positively to a joint request from the Clean Clothes Campaign (CCC), International Labor Rights Forum, and Maquila Solidarity Network (MSN) to publicly support Bangladeshi garment workers’ demands for a significant increase in the country’s minimum wage.
Today marks the five-year anniversary of the tragic collapse of the Rana Plaza building that took the lives of 1,134 garment workers and seriously injured over 2,500. It is now widely known that workers who reported for work that morning did not want to enter the building because they knew it was unsafe were told by managers that they had to go to work in order to meet order deadlines of the international brands.
One week before the fifth anniversary of the Rana Plaza disaster, Global Unions and NGO witness signatories to the Bangladesh Accord on Fire and Building Safety are calling on international apparel brands to sign on to the Accord’s independent factory inspection program for another three years.
As the end of the Bangladesh Accord on Fire and Building Safety’s mandate draws near, with only 100 days remaining, brands and retailers are being urged to sign the renewed Accord for three more years.
The global union signatories to the Accord, IndustriALL and UNI, and the four witness signatories, Clean Clothes Campaign, International Labor Rights Forum, Maquila Solidarity Network and Worker Rights Consortium, are calling on the garment companies that have not yet signed the renewed 2018 Accord to do so as soon as possible.
Global Unions IndustriALL and UNI have reached an historic US$2.3 million settlement in an arbitration case against an international brand for failing to meet its health and safety obligations under the legally binding Bangladesh Accord on Fire and Building Safety.
The brand, whose name was not disclosed under the terms of the settlement, will pay $2 million to fix safety hazards in over 200 Bangladeshi supplier factories and contribute $300,000 to a Supply Chain Worker Support Fund managed by the two Global Unions.
Canadian union delegation to Bangladesh with Kalpona Akter from the Bangladesh Centre for Worker Solidarity (BCWS) looking up at the remains of the Tazreen building (2016)
On the 5th anniversary of the Tazreen factory fire, MSN joins with our colleagues in the Clean Clothes Campaign (CCC) in calling for a bridging solution until Employment Injury Insurance is available to all workers in the Bangladesh garment industry.