Dutch clothing discounter Wibra has finally signed a treaty that deals with the safety in Bangladeshi clothing factories. It had previously refused to sign or at least hesitated to do so, but pressure from the government seems to have helped.
Faith despite skepticism
Lilianne Ploumen, Dutch Minister for Foreign Trade, heavily critisized Wibra, Prénatal and Coolcat for refusing to sign a treaty to improve safety and working conditions in the Bangladeshi textile factories. They all stated that the treaty was far too unclear and used that as a reason not to sign.
Both Prénatal and Coolcat buckled under the pressure, with Wibra holding off until now - but now the company stated “We can see a positive evolution in how the text has progressed, but several items are still unclear, leaving room for interpretation. Wibra does have faith in the integrity of those who made the treaty and that is why it has now signed it.”
Important for millions of textile workers
The Minister has expressed her delight at Wibra’s decision: “It is imperative that as many Dutch companies as possible sign this international treaty. That way, these companies can significantly contribute to all efforts to improve working conditions for millions of Bangladeshi textile workers”.
With more than 1,200 casualties in Bengali textile factories last year, it is clear that it is time for action and more than 120 companies worldwide have already signed the treaty about Bangladeshi working conditions. Pretty much every large European fashion chain has signed the treaty at this point.