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AMSTERDAM – ASOS has become the first and, so far, only brand to sign up to proposals to extend the work of the Bangladesh Accord. At present, the work of the Accord is being carried out by the domestic RMG Sustainability Council in Bangladesh. The RSC is presently the implementing agent of the Bangladesh Accord as part of an agreement which ends on 31 May, after which time the RSC will fully supersede the Accord.

Unions claim the RSC, which brands have signed up to, lacks the teeth of the Accord, the main reason for this being that it is not legally binding. NGOs and unions are also concerned a local body would likely have too much influence from government and factory owners and lack the independence of the Bangladesh Accord.

However, there is strong opposition to the Accord from within Bangladesh. Many factory owners believe it has already outstayed its welcome and that a local body should now be fully entrusted to oversee factory safety issues.

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