Inditex SA (ITX), Calvin Klein-owner PVH Corp. (PVH), U.K. clothier N Brown Group Plc (BWNG) and three other companies will team up with union members to oversee the implementation of the Bangladesh fire and building safety accord.
A representative from each of the companies will work with six members from the IndustriAll union for garment workers, the UNI global union representing retail workers and two non-governmental organizations, IndustriAll general secratary Jyrki Raina said. A separate steering committee to oversee governance, transparency and disputes is still to be decided.
More than 40 companies have now signed the accord, which commits to improving worker safety at Bangladesh’s 5,000 garment factories. The deal requires signatories, including the two largest clothing retailers, Hennes & Mauritz AB (HMB) and Zara-owner Inditex, to continue orders with suppliers for two years while also potentially funding factory upgrades.
The so-called design committee, which will meet June 3, has until July 8 to hire the safety inspector to lead factory inspections, work on training coordinators and to identify high-risk facilities. It will also look at how the signatories set up the steering committee and how they elect their representatives.
“There is a clear will and mechanism for rapid implementation,” Raina said.
Other members of the design committee include Otto Group, a German online retailer, European clothing chain C&A, and hard-discounter Aldi.
A separate delegation of union officials arrived in Dhaka May 26 to meet with government officials, unions and employers group the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association to agree on how the pact will work, Raina added.