Statement from the Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh (Accord) regarding the Rana Plaza Arrangement

“The Accord welcomes and supports the Rana Plaza Arrangement, a comprehensive and independent framework, consistent with international labour standards, which will provide the much-needed support for loss of income and medical expenses to the victims and dependents of the tragic collapse of the Rana Plaza building. Compensation falls out of the scope of the Accord, which is why we are very pleased that a common framework, the “Rana Plaza Arrangement”, has been agreed by all relevant stakeholders nationally and internationally, with the ILO acting as a neutral chair.

The Arrangement provides a single approach for covering the losses of Rana Plaza victims, and their families and dependents consistent with the ILO international standards, and in a manner that is predictable, transparent and consistent.

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Bangladesh Accord reaches 150 signatory mark

The Accord for Building and Fire Safety in Bangladesh is pleased to announce today that the number of company signatories to the Accord has grown to 150.

The businesses that have signed up to the Accord’s legally-binding agreement include many household names, spanning the globe. The signatories are spread across twenty countries and are drawn from Europe, North America, Australasia and Asia.

Following a period of pilot factory inspections, the Accord has now also appointed inspection companies to roll out an inspection programme to more than 1700 suppliers/garment factories in the coming months.

Bangladesh Accord Executive Director, International Operations, Alan Roberts, said:

“We are delighted to have reached this milestone so soon. It shows the strength of commitment to the Accord’s aims from a truly international spread of companies. We look forward to more companies joining the Accord.

The Accord’s extensive inspection programme will help eradicate dangerous workplaces for some of the world’s most vulnerable workers.”

Statement on unauthorised subcontracting to Accord signatories in Dutch media

Commenting on Dutch media reports, Accord Executive Director for International operations, Alan Roberts, said:

“The contract of the Accord, to which signatories are legally bound, is explicit in its wording: there is no room for doubt that all suppliers and sub-contractors are covered by the conditions of the Accord.

“Unauthorised sub-contracting is one of the many recognised challenges for the Accord and it is impossible for the Accord alone to end the practice of unauthorised subcontracting. Where factories of unauthorised subcontractors are identified and confirmed as supplying an Accord signatory, they will be subject to the same process of inspection as primary suppliers. Our inspectors will inspect and support remediation of safety issues at such locations where necessary.

“Following an initial period of pilot inspections the Accord is now appointing inspection companies and will roll out of an inspection programme to more than 1700 suppliers in the coming months. Continue reading

Accord Announcement of Factory Safety Inspection Standards

The Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh (Accord) technical team has finalized the fire, electrical, and building inspection standards to be utilized for the inspections of all factories producing for signatory brands of the Accord. Read it here.

The standards are largely based on the Bangladesh National Building Code and are the product of discussions between the Accord, the National Tripartite Plan of Action, and the Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety (Alliance) initiated and facilitated by the International Labour Organization. Additional discussions took place between Accord and Alliance engineers resulting in a standard which is substantively the same.

The Accord is committed to inspect 1500 factories through September 2014 for fire, electrical, and building safety. Results of the inspections and information on necessary remediation will be published on the Accord website.

 

Job Announcement – Training Coordinator

The Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh (“Accord”) is a legally binding agreement between international trade unions IndustriALL and UNI Global, Bangladesh trade unions, and over 100 international brands and retailers (Companies) with international NGOs as witnesses to the agreement. The International Labour Organisation (ILO) acts as the independent chair. The Accord is an independent agreement designed to make all garment factories in Bangladesh safe workplaces.

The Accord is accepting applications from qualified candidates for the Training Coordinator position to be based in Dhaka, Bangladesh. The Training Coordinator will be responsible for the training staff, development and delivery of a comprehensive building, fire, and workplace safety program, and for training factory level labour-management safety committee members and other employees (including security staff) on the application and enforcement of the safety and health provisions of the Accord.

Qualifications requirements include: a Bachelor’s degree or higher in a related field of study, demonstrated knowledge and capacity in all facets of training programs, a minimum of 10 years experience, practical experience in working with trade unions and employers in an industrial relations context, and excellent communications and computer skills.

For complete details of the duties, responsibilities, qualifications and skill requirements please see the full job description here.

Qualified candidates are encouraged to electronically submit their CV with a cover letter to the Accord Executive Director, Bangladesh Operations at rob.wayss@bangladeshaccord.com.

Only candidates selected for interview shall be contacted by the Accord.

Announcement of Start of Operations of New Accord Executives

The Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh is pleased to announce that all three new appointments to key executive positions have joined the Accord and are operational as of 2nd December, 2013.

The appointments of Brad Loewen as Chief Safety Inspector, Alan Roberts as Executive Director of International Operations and Rob Wayss as Executive Director of Bangladesh Operations will allow the Accord to make significant steps and progress in its aims of delivering safer working environments for garment workers in Bangladesh.

Alan Roberts as the new International Executive Director is responsible for setting up the Accord head office in Amsterdam, raising funds and enlisting new signatories and will be the first point of contact for the Accord.

Brad Loewen as Chief Safety Inspector will establish and apply safety standards to all factories that supply the Accord member brands and commence the inspection program of all garment factories covered by the Accord from Dhaka.

Rob Wayss, appointed Executive Director for Bangladesh operations will be based in Bangladesh, where he will liaise closely with the government, employers’ organisations and unions whose cooperation is essential to the Accord achieving its aims.

Rob will train the Accord’s local teams, work closely with the Chief Safety Inspector and be a link to garment workers.

The Accord would like to thank Sean Ansett, Interim Executive Director of the Accord for his leadership during the interim period. Sean will support the transition process and complete his term by December 20th, 2013.
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Request for Information (RFI) Fire, Electrical and Building Safety Inspections – Deadline December 4th, 2013

The Bangladesh Accord on Fire and Building Safety (“Accord”) is an independent bipartite agreement between global brands and unions designed to make all garment factories in Bangladesh safe workplaces. It includes, among other things, the carrying out of independent safety inspections at all covered factories, and public reporting of the results of these inspections.

The accord is looking for qualified fire, electrical and building safety engineering firms to conduct initial inspections on behalf of the accord and in accordance with its standards.

Download the Request for Information (RFI) on Fire and Building Safety here.

 

Questions
For any questions to the RFI, please contact Brad Loewen at brad.loewen@bangladeshaccord.com

 

Accord statement upon the six-month anniversary of the Rana Plaza disaster

Upon the six-month anniversary of the building collapse in Dhaka that resulted in the deaths of 1,133 people, Andy York, member of the Steering Committee of the Accord for Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh today commented on behalf of the signatories of the Accord. Speaking from Dhaka, he said:

“Six months since tragedy struck at the heart of Dhaka’s garment manufacturing community, taking the lives of 1,133 innocent, hardworking people, the tragedy is still all too fresh in the memories of the victims’ friends and families. The signatories to the Accord for Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh send our thoughts and sympathies to them all.”

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Liberty Fashion Wears Ltd. – Update

Further to the Bangladesh Accord statement on 14 October 2013 on Liberty Fashion Wears Ltd, Interim Executive Director, Sean Ansett made the following comment while in Dhaka:

“The Bangladesh Accord has held discussions this week in Dhaka with all relevant parties, including Mr Huq, owner of Liberty Fashions, and the BGMEA. We believe that with genuine commitment from all parties, a positive outcome will result for both Liberty Fashions and its workers.”

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Press Email - media@bangladeshaccord.com

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