River Island to sign Bangladesh safety accord
River Islands has become the latest clothing retailer to sign up to the Bangladesh accord, a union-backed agreement designed to improve workplace safety in the country, following the Rana Plaza factory collapse which killed over 1,000 textile workers earlier this year.
River Island was one of eight remaining UK retailers being targeted by the Trades Union Council to sign up to the Bangladesh fire and building safety accord, which has already been backed by most of the big names on the UK high street including Zara, Next, Primark, New Look and Debenhams.
River Island’s signature follows an extensive push this month by unions and other campaigners for the retailer to change its position.
The move now commits River Island to join with around 90 brands and retailers in funding inspection and safety training in over 1,700 factories across Bangladesh.
The spotlight now falls on the seven other UK-based brands which have not signed the accord which include Peacocks, Jane Norman, Bench, Bank Fashion, Republic, Matalan and Mexx. The TUC said it intends to step up its campaign, using UK consumers to keep up pressure until the last few companies agree to sign.
TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady said: “We’re pleased River Island has stepped up to its responsibilities for its workers’ safety in Bangladesh. The few remaining brands outside the accord now need to consider their position even more urgently. No-one’s life should be worth as little as a few extra pence on a t-shirt.”
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