Primark bows to pressure and signs safety agreement

13 May 2013 - 5:53pm

Retailers Primark and H&M have bowed to popular pressure and signed the Bangladesh Safety Accord after over one million people called on retailers demanding action to ensure disasters like this can never happen again through negligence.

The Bangladesh Fire and Building Safety Agreement is a landmark project, bringing together brands, supplier factories, trade unions and NGOs to end the appallingly unsafe factory conditions and ensure decent working conditions. The heart of the agreement is the commitment by companies to pay for the renovations and repairs necessary to make factory building in Bangladesh safe. This agreement will save lives.

Over 1,000 people, mostly female garment workers, were killed in the collapse of a building in Bangladesh which housed factories making clothes for Primark, Matalan, Mango and other major brands.

Ruth Tanner, campaigns and policy director at the anti-poverty charity War on Want, said: “Thanks to global campaigns led by labour organisations and supported by hundreds of thousands of people around the world, Primark has followed H&M and Zara's Inditex by signing up to the Bangladesh Safety Accord.

“This is a crucial victory in the fight for companies to take responsibility for the workers who make our clothes.

“Safe working conditions for garment workers must be assured.

“A tragedy like the Rana Plaza disaster cannot happen again.”

The rest of the industry has until Wednesday to do the same, following a deadline set by a global alliance of trade unions and workers' rights campaigners, to ensure factories are safe.


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