AMSTERDAM – More than 30 major fashion brands have now committed to the Pakistan Accord, a binding safety programme based on the model of the Bangladesh-based International Accord for Health and Safety in the Textile and Garment Industry. The programme now covers more than 300 factories, with signatories including H&M, Inditex (Zara), Primark, Asos, C&A, Next, and PVH (Calvin Klein).
Said Christie Miedema, campaign and outreach coordinator at Clean Clothes Campaign: “More than 30 International Accord signatory brands have already signed on to the Pakistan Accord, including some of the largest buyers from the country, and we expect all other International Accord signatories who also have production in Pakistan to announce their commitment soon.”
Clean Clothes Campaign is now urging non-signatories, which include Levi’s and IKEA, to sign the Pakistan Accord.
Nasir Mansoor, general-secretary of the National Trade Union Federation in Pakistan said: “We know that brands like Levi’s and IKEA have failed to take responsibility before, by refusing to sign the Accord in Bangladesh. We hope they will reconsider now that workers in Pakistan finally have a chance at having safer workplaces. We call on all brands which produce in Pakistan, such as Levi’s, IKEA, Amazon and Kontoor Brands to follow the only reliable route of ensuring factory safety that exist in Pakistan. Just a year ago, four people died in a Levi’s supplier factory in Karachi, this has to stop.”
Unions in Pakistan have worked for many years to get a safety agreement for the garment and textile sector in which “workers grievances are heard and acted upon.” The Pakistan Accord will instate a complaint mechanism and to ensure factories are subjected to effective safety inspections.
Zehra Khan, founder and general secretary of the Home Based Women Workers Federation, said: “We are happy that garment and textile workers in Pakistan will no longer have to fear for their lives at work. Workers in other countries should not have to wait another ten years before also being brought under this effective safety agreement.”