H&M, Inditex and C&A sign charter for safer factories in Bangladesh

H&M, Inditex and C&A sign charter for safer factories in Bangladesh

Three weeks after 1,100 textile workers died when their workshops collapsed in Bangladesh, H&M, Inditex and C&A have signed a charter that should drastically improve the security of Bengal textile workers.

Rising consumer protest

The agreement H&M and parent company of Zara, Inditex, have signed, is valid for the next five years. It includes more independent inspections of buildings, with the obligation to improve conditions of dangerous circumstances. The document also acknowledges labour unions' rights to inform workers about their rights and their safety. The International Labour Organization (ILO) supports the deal.

 

The clothing industry in Bangladesh employs about 3 to 5 million people, but the last months the country has been in the news repeatedly concerning its unsafe workshops. Three weeks ago over 1,100 workers lost their lives when their factory collapsed. This led to worldwide outrage and petitions that were signed by more than a million consumers.

 

H&M “largest buyer”

“No worker needs to fear fires, building collapses or other accidents that could be prevented with reasonable health and safety measures.”, says Swedish clothing giant H&M, the largest buyer in Bangladesh (although the chain emphasised it was not a customer of the collapsed factory). “We hope for a broad coalition of signatures in order for the agreement to work effectively on ground”, says Helena Helmersson, Head of Sustainability H&M.

 

Inditex also signed the new agreement with IndustriALL Global Union, the driving force behind the negotiations with clothing brands. Next to the two largest textile retailers in the world also C&A has signed the agreement.

 

“Saving lives”

“This is absolutely historic”, says Ben Vanpeperstraete of Clean Clothes Campain, the NGO that has been striving for better working conditions for years. “Not only does it hold extensive agreements, it is a commitment made by the largest clothing chains in the world. A better signal could not be given to the world.”

 

Especially the fact the brands have committed to pay for renovations that make factories safer, is a huge step forward: “This way the agreement will save lives”, said the NGO, but "the battle is not over yet, because low wages are not mentioned in the agreement."

Questions or comments? Please feel free to contact the editors


Cash register-free Amazon supermarket still not open

23/06/2017

Amazon’s cash register-free supermarket, Amazon Go, still has not opened to the general public and now one of its directors will leave Amazon.

Danone streamlines its European organization

23/06/2017

Dairy manufacturer Danone is to optimize its European organization: Belgium, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and Ireland are to form one cluster. Kris Geeraert, general manager Benelux, will leave the company.

Diageo buys George Clooney's tequila brand for 620 million euro

22/06/2017

British liquor group Diageo has paid 700 million dollars (about 620 million euro) for George Clooney’s premium tequila brand Casamigos and that could rise to 1 billion dollars.

AB InBev wants to sell two German beer brands

21/06/2017

AB InBev is looking for a buyer for its German beer brands Hasseröder and Diebels. The Belgian beer giant hopes to attract about 200 million euro for both brands.

Colruyt Group turnover grows more than 3 %

20/06/2017

Colruyt Group has seen its turnover grow 3.4 % to 9.493 billion euro in its fiscal year 2016/2017. Thanks to the sale of its French food service business Pro à Pro on 1 February, profits also grew.

Hungary can ban Heineken’s red star

20/06/2017

The European Commission revealed it will not stand in Hungary’s way if it wants to ban certain symbols, including the red star in Heineken’s logo.

Back to top