Peacocks and Jane Norman parent company Edinburgh Woollen Mill has signed up to the Bangladesh Fire and Building Safety Accord, following months of pressure from campaign groups.
The business, which has rejected reports that it had garments manufactured in one of the factories that recently burned down, signed up ahead of planned action outside EWM stores on Saturday (November 23) to push it to join 114 other signatories to the Accord.
By signing, EWM has joined a binding contract that commits it to removing hazards and improving working conditions, with initial inspections to be completed by April next year. Each business is expected to invest $2.5m (£1.64m) over the next five years as it meets the requirements.
Global consumer watchdog SumOfUs.org, the Trade Union Congress (TUC) and Labour Behind the Label (LBTL) welcomed the move.
Martin Caldwell, UK campaigner for SumOfUs.org, said:“Only legally binding programmes that are accountable to workers can guarantee that the clothes we buy aren’t being made in death traps.
“Consumers around the world have made it clear that they care about workers’ safety, and we hope that other companies will listen now that several of their top competitors have signed on to the Bangladesh Fire and Building Safety Agreement.”
He added: “Now that Edinburgh Woolen Mill is leading the way on workers’ safety, we can only hope that Asda and Gap follow their competitor’s lead” said