Naughty or Nice?

On the Bangladesh Worker Safety Accord

Please note that this article was published in December 2013. Our Company Tracker is up-to-date and shows where brands stand on the race to a living wage.

In the past several years more than 1800 people have lost their lives making garments in Bangladesh.

Wouldn’t it be nice to know that the companies we shop from, which source from Bangladesh, aren’t breaking hearts by allowing unsafe and unhealthy work practices?

Since April 2013 Oxfam supporters have been asking Australian garment companies to sign the Bangladesh Fire and Safety Accord and thanks to your efforts seven of the Australian garment retailers we’ve targeted are now part of the Accord.

The Accord gives workers the right to refuse dangerous work, mandates independent building inspections, workers’ health and safety training, and repairs and renovations to unsafe factories.

We want everyone to know, at a glance, which retailers have signed the Bangladesh Accord.

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It is fantastic news that more Australian companies are now part of the Accord. This is a really important step forward.

We’ve also spoken to a number of companies about the importance of transparency and publishing the location of their supplier factories. In the list above, you can see which companies have taken this next step.

As we continue to push for fair working conditions, we’ll also be raising the importance of paying wages that enable women to support their families in the long term and rights to collectively bargain – so stay tuned.

Some companies that have not signed the Accord have their own audit and monitoring programs, but the Accord is still important to be able to independently verify companies own efforts inside factories.