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Accord to cease operations from May 2010

Set up by top European clothing brands to check worker safety standards in Bangladesh, Accord will close operations in May, more than six years after the collapse of a garment factory prompted the intervention by retailers. With its five-year mandate long expired, Bangladeshi manufacturers have been demanding Accord shut shop, as they feared the group would widen its scope to areas such as workers rights.

Recently, Accord and Bangladeshi garment manufacturers signed an agreement to set up a new Ready-made Garment Sustainability Council (RSC) to take over the work of the Accord by May 31. Retailers, unions and manufacturers will have representatives on the council, a national initiative, which will carry forward the work of Accord to ensure safety in factories.