The Ethical Trading Initiative (ETI) has revealed details of a new far-reaching safety plan to improve standards in fashion production in Bangladesh following the Rana Plaza disaster.
Retail Week revealed today that the code was being drawn up by the organistion, which is backed by retailers including Asda, Asos, Debenhams and Primark, following an emergency meeting after last week’s building collapse
ETI members sourcing from Bangladesh, alongside member trade unions and NGOs, have agreed to adopt a common approach on fire and building safety.
Members will also support the International Labour Organisation (ILO) in Bangladesh to support the effective implementation of a ‘National Tripartite Plan of Action on Fire Safety’.
They will also commit to improving the infrastructure, policy, skills and systems in factories to reach an agreed minimum standard of fire and building safety .
Members have also committed to strengthen the mandated health and safety committees in all factories in which improvements are being made “to promote meaningful dialogue between genuine worker representatives and management, in support of greatly improved fire and building safety”, the ETI said.
ETI director Peter McAllister said: “We are appalled by the recent factory fire tragedies, and last week’s deplorable Savar building collapse. Bangladesh is a key sourcing country for a significant number of our garment sector members, which have strong and long-standing relationships with this country.
“Together with our company, trade union and NGO members, we are committed to driving real, sustainable change for workers by tackling the chronic, widespread health and safety issues that plague Bangladesh’s garment sector.”
ETI is working with a number of international agencies, brands and trade unions to finalise an agreement on fire and building safety, details of which will be revealed “after 15 May”. The agreement will include principles on governance, inspections, remediation, training, complaints processes, transparency and reporting, supplier incentives financial support and dispute resolution.
McAllister added: “Bangladesh garment sector workers deserve to work in a safe and healthy environment, where their rights are respected and protected. The current situation is a far cry from this, and that’s simply unacceptable. Working with international partners, we have a fighting chance of driving long-lasting change. Whether you are a global brand, or a small retailer, and source from Bangladesh, we call on you to join these international efforts immediately.”