Retail Council of Canada recognizes and supports the challenging work of both Alliance and Accord in Bangladesh

TORONTO, Oct. 11, 2013 /CNW/ - Retail Council of Canada (RCC) recognizes and supports the work of both the Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety (Alliance) and the Accord on Fire and Building Safety In Bangladesh (Accord) especially in the wake of recent tragic events in Bangladesh.

"RCC is saddened by the tragic loss of life at Aswad Composite Mills in Gazipur, Bangladesh.  Our thoughts are with the families of the victims," says Diane J. Brisebois, President and CEO.  "This new tragedy underscores the importance of the work currently being carried out by both the Alliance and the Accord," says Brisebois.

RCC will continue to work vigilantly with its members and all stakeholders to address these issues.

To-date, the Accord:

  • Has made public a list of nearly 1,600 factories covered by the pact, which represents over 2 million workers, and also includes building safety information in order to prioritize factories for safety inspections;
  • Is finalizing the appointment of the Chief Safety Inspector and has appointed Sean Ansett as interim executive director;
  • Has provided a strong role for the International Labour Organization (ILO) who act as independent chair to enhance implementation of both the NAP and Accord programme; and,
  • Are continuing initial inspections (which will be completed in 9 months as of July 2013), and plans for renovations and repairs put in place where necessary.

The Alliance:

  • Has prepared and shared a common set of fire and building safety standards for garment factories in Bangladesh by working with fire and building safety experts, aligning with Bangladesh National Building Code and National Tripartite Plan of Action;
  • Developed a safety training curriculum framework that will be used with factory managers and employees, and is looking for third parties in Bangladesh to help with implementation;
  • Completed factory inventories and shared information with Fair Factories Clearinghouse; and,
  • Raised $100 million for affordable capital for building safety for business projects to factories to accelerate pace of improvement.

"The work carried out to-date will lay the foundation for the future safety of workers in Bangladesh.  There is an imperative need for all of us to continue to work together to prevent such tragedies from occurring again." says Brisebois.

About Retail Council of Canada
Retail Council of Canada (www.retailcouncil.org) is the Voice of Retail. Founded in 1963, RCC is a not-for-profit association which represents more than 45,000 stores of all retail formats, including department, grocery, independent merchants, regional and national specialty chains, and online merchants.

SOURCE: Retail Council of Canada

For further information:

Sharon Armstrong
Senior Vice President, Marketing and Communications
416 467 3747
Cell 416 574 2552
sarmstrong@retailcouncil.org


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