As investors shareholders engaged in dialogues with retailers, we are heartened by last week’s announcement that global unions and companies signed an agreement to extend the Accord for Fire and Building Safety for an additional three year period in force after May 2018. This is great news! Investors, including those from SGI, have played an important role in supporting the Accord, assessing its progress and recommending areas to be strengthened going forward.
ICCR’s statement applauding the agreement is found here.
SGI members signed onto the April 2017 investor statement on the 4th Anniversary of the Rana Plaza Tragedy. Our recommendations included:
- Accord companies and trade union representatives agree to extend the Accord for the period of time needed to remediate systemic issues that still threaten worker safety and livelihood.
- Broaden the current scope of the Accord to include; i) a focus on freedom of association and collective bargaining and integrate this into the Complaints Mechanism process and ii) additional parts of the supply chain where similar risks exist such as washing, dying, fabrics, leather and home textiles.
The new agreement responds positively to these recommendations. Over the past four years, investor activism has made a difference in providing support and urging further action to make sure that garment factories are made safer now and in the future.