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Bangladesh textiles union settles $2.3m safety case

A union representing Bangladeshi textile workers has settled a $2.3m (£1.65m) case with a multinational apparel brand, following accusations of delays in rectifying hazardous factory conditions.

The company, which cannot be named under the terms of the settlement, agreed to pay the fine following the introduction of the Bangladesh Accord for Fire and Building Safety, set up in the wake of the Rana Plaza disaster which killed 1,135 people, according to The Guardian reports.

The settlement was hailed as “groundbreaking” by Christy Hoffman, UNI Global Union’s deputy secretary general. UNI Global Union, alongside IndustriALL Global Union, brought the case against the brand. This is only the second case brought under the agreement – the first affected a company using 200 factories in Bangladesh and was subject to a tight confidentiality agreement.

Topshop, H&M, Marks & Spencer, Tesco and Uniqlo are all signatories to the accord, but there is no evidence any were involved in this case. The unnamed brand will pay $2m (£1.43m) to fix issues at more than 150 garment factories in Bangladesh, and a further $300,000 (£214,773) will be paid to the unions.

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