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Bangladesh: Accord gets relief from court, to stay till May

Accord has been allowed by the Supreme Court to stay on in Bangladesh till May 19, 2019. After that an appeal filed by Accord challenging a high court judgment that asked the agency to stop its activities in Bangladesh will be heard.

Accord’s tenure, of more than 200 retailers formed to enhance garment factory safety in Bangladesh after the Rana Plaza collapse in April 2013, originally ended in May last year. The platform of mostly Europe-based retailers has been insisting on a three-year extension to see through the remediation works in its 1600 sourcing factories -- a demand that the government and garment factory owners are not willing to entertain. Pressure has been mounting on Bangladesh to let Accord continue operations.

Nearly 200 investors and the Clean Clothes Campaign have been spearheading demands for an extension of Accord’s tenure and have called upon global partners to coerce action against Bangladesh on the Accord issue. But apparel industry leaders are unwilling to let it stay on in Bangladesh any longer. They say Accord has forced many of them to undergo expensive remediation work, but even after such expensive remediation work, buyers, though they are happy with the compliance work, are not paying a fair sum to enable factories to recover their costs.