Monday, March 27, 2023

10th anniversary collapse of Rana Plaza garment factory Bangladesh: 1100 dead

Webinar on Global Company–Trade Union Agreements: A proxy for regulatory compliance & due diligence

As someone who has worked on and off in the borough for 30 years (I was there today) and been a trade union representative for most of this time on the Tower Hamlets Council Pension Committee (then its Pension Board), I can remember the shock of hearing about the collapse of the Rana Plaza factory. 1100 workers dead and many more injured in the quest for super cheap clothing for British and other Western retail stores.

Newham also has a significant Bangladesh community but I am sure that everyone was horrified at these needless deaths. The role of local trade unions is key to avoiding future disasters. I am more than happy to be chairing this important meeting.

Register here

"19 April at 3pm UK / 4pm CET

Next month marks the 10th anniversary of the collapse of Rana Plaza garment factory complex in Bangladesh, in which over 1,100 garment workers were killed. In the years since the tragedy, several promising initiatives have taken shape, involving collaboration between global labor unions and multinational brands, binding agreements and remedy mechanisms. These are part of an emerging model of supply chain industrial relations, and they include the International Accord for Health & Safety in the Textile & Garment Industry and ACT on Living Wages.

Learning lessons from the failures of “social auditing” and factory certification schemes, this newer model is centered on workers’ rights and company accountability for violations of these rights. Negotiated, binding agreements can also serve as a reliable proxy for investors for regulatory compliance as mandatory human rights due diligence (mHRDD) laws emerge.

And yet, despite its failures, social auditing persists, and proposed mHRDD laws even risk being weakened if such “private voluntary regulation” is allowed to substitute for true due diligence.

Against this backdrop, IndustriALL has commissioned a technical brief that delves into negotiated, binding agreements between business and trade unions, making the case that, besides reducing human rights risks to workers, they can mitigate business risk for investors in the new regulatory landscape. IndustriALL and LAPFF are pleased to invite you to an investor webinar on 19 April at 3pm (UK), where we will present the brief and hear worker and investor perspectives on this model.

The webinar will be chaired by Cllr John Gray from the Local Authority Pension Fund Forum and will include speakers from Due Diligence Design, Aviva Investors, IndustriALL Global Union and Bangladesh Garment & Industrial Workers Federation (BGIWF)."

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