Newsletter July 2016

Bangladesh Accord newsletter for signatories, factories and other parties interested in the Accord’s factory safety programme.

Inspections
The Accord now has more than 100 engineers on staff, conducting between 400 and 500 follow-up inspections each month. Each factory is on average visited once every three months.

Company signatories and factories can expect an initial inspection within 3 to 4 months after a factory is first listed with the Accord.

Remediation
The pace of remediation at Accord covered factories has further increased over the last months. 64% of all safety issues from initial inspections are now reported or verified as fixed.

Better progress can be seen in electrical remediation (80%), followed by fire (60%), and structural (40%).

15 factories have completed all remediation from their initial inspections.

34 suppliers have been terminated under the Accord Article 21 notice and warning process for failure to implement workplace safety measures. The majority of all factories remain behind schedule in their remediation.

More detailed information on remediation progress can be found on the Accord progress page, in the latest quarterly aggregate report and the July factsheet all available on the Accord website.

Safety Committee Training Programme
In May 2016, Michael Bride commenced his work as the Accord Head of Training. In this post, he will lead the safety committee and safety training activities of the Accord

The Accord Safety Committee Pilot Programme is reaching completion in 40 factories where there is a registered trade union. More than 200 training sessions have been held and 25 factories have completed the full 7 session Safety Committee training curriculum.

The Accord has now moved from the pilot program to the full roll-out of the the training articles of the Accord.

The Accord has commenced the Safety Committee and Safety Training (SCST) program in 20 factories that participate in programs under Better Work Bangladesh and the Ethical Trading Initiative. The Accord is currently reviewing submissions from signatory companies to identify an additional 30-40 factories for the training program.

We look forward to the cooperation and active support of all Accord signatory companies as we embark on the large scale implementation of this important work of the Accord. For those signatories who have not replied to the solicitation on factories for the safety committee training program (sent June 2, 2016), we kindly request that you do so.

Safety Complaints
The Accord has published an overview of health and safety complaints filed through the Accord occupational safety and health (OSH) complaints mechanism. Almost 100 complaints have been filed since September 2014. Of these complaints 30 fell outside the OSH remit, or were addressed outside the Accord complaint process. Of the complaints that fall within the OSH mandate of the Accord, 50 have been resolved by the Accord and the safety concerns were addressed. The remaining complaints are still in progress or have been closed/withdrawn.

Stakeholder Engagement/Events
On May 15th, the Accord organised a press conference in Dhaka to mark its third anniversary. The press conference was well attended by local (Bangla and English) media outlets and received significant local and international media coverage. The Accord highlighted the remediation completion and its safety committee and safety training work as key priorities for the years ahead.

On May 19th, the Accord participated in a session on health and safety reporting at the GRI Global Conference.

On May 22nd, the Accord participated in the IndustriAll Global Union World Conference on the Textile, Garment, Shoe and Leather Industries.

On June 8th, the Accord participated in a session on Multi-Stakeholder Initiatives at the OECD Global Forum on Responsible Business Conduct.

On June 24th, the Accord participated in a seminar on Global Supply Chains and new forms of Transnational Company Agreements (TCAs) of the German business association BDA.

The Dutch Government invites Accord signatories to the Conference on Sustainable Sourcing in the Garment Sector (SSGS) scheduled to take place on 29th September 2016. For further information, please contact: DHA-CO@minbuza.nl

Governance
Minutes from the latest Steering Committee meeting (29th June 2016 in London) will soon be available on the Accord website.

New Steering Committee Member:
Last month, the Accord welcomed Marissa Pagnani from PVH as the new Company Board and Steering Committee member.

We would like to thank departing board member Melanie Steiner for her contributions to the Accord Steering Committee and wish her well in her future endeavours.

Signatory Events
The second Company Caucus of 2016 was held in London on 1st July. Company signatory representatives discussed Accord governance matters, were updated on the latest Accord training and remediation activity and given a general update on Accord remediation processes and current key policies.

Usage of Accord Intellectual Property
The Accord has noticed multiple instances of usage of our logos and other intellectual properties in an unauthorised manner.

No factory in Bangladesh, inspected by the Accord or otherwise, is authorised to use our logo for any purpose.

The Accord requests that any instances of our logo being used without permission be removed immediately from any and all materials, visiting cards, brochures, mail signature line, website or any other publications.

We thank you in advance for your cooperation with us on this matter.