Joint Initiative Seeks to Improve Conditions for Garment Factory Workers in Bangladesh

Published July 17, 2013

Last week, EU Trade Commissioner Karel De Gucht launched a joint initiative for improving conditions for workers in Bangladeshi garment factories. The initiative, called the Sustainability Compact for short, will focus on issues such as reforming the Bangladesh labor law to strengthen workers’ rights, recruiting additional factory inspectors, and improving building and fire safety in Bangladesh. Also present at the launch in support of this initiative were Bangladeshi Foreign Minister Dr. Dipu Moni and International Labor Organization Director-General Guy Ryder, as well as representatives of Bangladeshi manufacturers, major European importers, trade unions, and others.

This initiative follows the Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh, an agreement signed in May by over 80 major fashion and retail brands sourcing garments from Bangladesh and trade unions IndustriALL Global Union and UNI Global Union. The Accord is working on establishing a fire and building safety program in Bangladesh over the next five years. View the Accord document as a PDF.

Job Opening: Chief Safety Inspector

The Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh is seeking a chief safety inspector to recruit, train, deploy, and manage an inspectorate in Bangladesh to protect the safety and health of four million garment factory workers. According to the job description, this is a high-level position and the safety inspector will divide his/her time between Dhaka, Bangladesh, and an office in Europe. All interested candidates can obtain the full job description by e-mailing The application period closes July 30.