Clothing Retailer Commits to Groundbreaking Safety Program

Second Retailer Commits to Groundbreaking Safety Program

 
The Clean Clothes Campaign (CCC), International Labor Rights Forum (ILRF), IndustriALL Global Union, Worker Rights Consortium (WRC) and Maquila Solidarity Network (MSN), together with Bangladesh trade unions and labor rights groups, have reached an agreement with Tchibo to implement a fire and building safety program in Bangladeshi garment factories.
 
According to IndustriALL Global Union, the German-based company becomes the second retailer to commit to the groundbreaking safety program, which was first agreed with PVH (owner of Calvin Klein and Tommy Hilfiger) in March. Since 2006, more than 600 garment workers died in Bangladesh due to unsafe buildings.
 
 
 
Garment Industry Notorious for Safety Hazards
 
According to Jyrki Raina, general secretary of IndustriALL Global Union, “The garment industry is notorious for its safety hazards. The requirements of this program are straightforward, commonsense measures which will have a significant impact on worker safety in many factories in Bangladesh. Tchibo and PVH have taken the lead, now it’s time for other brands to follow.”
 
Tchibo also commented on the new measures being installed, noting “We take fire risks very seriously and see the need to join forces at a multi-stakeholder level in order to achieve a sector-wide change in Bangladesh. We are looking forward to collaborating with unions, labor rights’ groups, other brands, Bangladeshi employers and the government. We believe this program has the potential to make a real difference and to be a benchmark for other Asian sourcing countries.”
 
 
 
Program Has Potential To Save Thousands of Lives
 
Fire incidents cost the lives of thousands of garment workers worldwide, which recently became world leading news with more than 300 workers deaths in two factory fires in Pakistan. CCC has been campaigning on safety issues in Bangladesh since the collapse of the Spectrum factory in 2005, which left 64 people dead and involved high street brand Zara. The program has the potential to save the lives of hundreds of thousands of workers currently at risk.
 
The program allows for independent building inspections, worker rights training, public disclosure and a long-overdue review of safety standards. It is transparent as well as practical, and unique in being supported by all key labor stakeholders in Bangladesh and internationally.
 
The labor signatories are now calling on all major brands sourcing in the industry to sign on to the initiative in order to ensure its rapid implementation.
 
 
 

Author Michael B. Stack, CPA, Director of Operations, Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. is an expert in employer communication systems and part of the Amaxx team helping companies reduce their workers compensation costs by 20% to 50%. He is a writer, speaker, and website publisher.  www.reduceyourworkerscomp.com Contact mstack@reduceyourworkerscomp.com

 

 


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