We will continue to work towards proper living wages, workplace safety, and protection against discrimination.
In 2013, Helly Hansen signed the 2013 Accord agreement, which was a legally binding and independent agreement between global brands, labor organizations, unions, and textile companies. The aim was to ensure that the textile factories in Bangladesh are safe workplaces.
Inspections were done on electrical installations, fire safety equipment, and building structures, and reports and remediation plans were created together with the factory.
To maintain and expand the progress achieved under the 2013 Accord, over 190 brands and retailers signed the 2018 Transition Accord with the global unions, a renewed agreement which came into effect on June 1st, 2018.
As its name suggests, the 2018 Transition Accord was committed to handing over its functions to a national regulatory body, the Government of Bangladesh’ Remediation and Coordination Cell (RCC). The 2018 Transition Accord provided support and Capacity Building of the RCC to become ready to take over Accord functions. A Transition Plan was developed that included a gradual handover of Accord inspections and monitoring of remediation functions at RMG factories.
On the 1st of June 2020 the functions of the Bangladesh offices of the Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh transitioned into the RMG Sustainability Council (RSC), a permanent national organization with equal representation from RMG manufacturers, global apparel companies, and trade unions representing garment workers.
The RSC will initially conduct its workplace safety programs at the 1600+ RMG factories covered under the Accord but is envisaged to eventually cover all RMG exporting garment factories. The RSC aspires to also encompass industrial relations, skills development, and environmental standards.
Since mid-2013, Bangladeshi RMG factories have made significant improvements in workplace safety. More than 1200 Accord covered factories have completed more than 90% of the remediation of their Corrective Actions Plans.
Through the work of the RSC, covered factories will be able to complete their CAPs and ensure that all outstanding safety issues are remediated and verified as correctly fixed, and that the labour-management Safety Committees in the factories are equipped and empowered to monitor and address workplace safety on a daily basis.
The RSC will operate within the regulatory framework of the laws of Bangladesh, closely co-operating with and supporting the relevant regulatory agencies of the Government of Bangladesh.
At the beginning of 2019, Helly Hansen rolled out the Worker Engagement program called QuizRR. This program aims to improve working conditions through education, using a digital tool for scalability.
The tool is built up by modules and is presented to the workers in a quiz form. Improvements can come as further employee involvement, problem/ conflict solving, skills and capacity building, and nomination and representatives' election.
With Quizrr, our supply chain partners can improve working conditions and, at the same time, steer their business in the right direction.