Oz retailers Kmart, Target sign accord to improve safety for B'desh factory workers

Sydney, June 8 (ANI): Australian retailers, Kmart and Target, have signed onto an accord to improve safety at Bangladesh factories, following the collapse of a factory that killed more than 1100 workers in April.

Oxfam labour rights coordinator Daisy Gardener said Kmart and Target were to be congratulated for signing, adding the pressure was now on Cotton On and Big W to follow suit, reports News.com.au.

Local Bangladeshi unions and international human rights groups have approached clothing manufacturers worldwide to join the global initiative for improved building and safety conditions following the disaster at Rana Plaza on April 24.

The agreement requires companies to conduct independent safety inspections, make their reports on factory conditions public and cover the costs for needed repairs.

It also requires them to stop doing business with any factory that refuses to make safety upgrades and to allow workers and their unions to have a voice in factory safety.

The Australian companies who manufacture in Bangladesh have not been connected to the Rana Plaza factory.

Kmart Australia managing director Guy Russo, who just returned from Bangladesh, after spending the week meeting with the retailer's team in Bangladesh, its suppliers and other key stakeholders, said the recent events in Bangladesh have been "tragic".

Target Australia managing director Stuart Machin said signing accord was "simply the right thing to do". Machin said senior members of Target's leadership team would be visiting Bangladesh in coming weeks to meet with factory owners and workers. (ANI)