Penn to Require Licensees of Apparel to Sign Safety Accord
The University has accepted a recommendation from its Committee on Manufacturer Responsibility to require all licensees that sourced, produced or purchased collegiate apparel in Bangladesh to become signatories of The Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh and abide by its requirements as soon as possible. This Accord establishes a fire and building safety program by which manufacturers and retailers must abide to improve working conditions.
As part of the license issuance and renewal processes, Penn will verify whether apparel licensees source, produce or purchase collegiate apparel in Bangladesh and will ensure that they are signatories of the Accord prior to granting or renewing a license.
As a result of the well-documented safety hazards affecting the lives of collegiate apparel workers in Bangladesh, the Worker's Rights Consortium (WRC), one of Penn’s monitoring agencies, encouraged colleges and universities to require their apparel licensees to sign the Accord. Penn administration relies on its Committee for Manufacturer Responsibility, which is comprised of representatives from Penn’s faculty, students, staff and administrative leadership, to actively evaluate and monitor the labor activities and socially responsible practices of University licensees. The Committee, under the auspices of its faculty chair, makes recommendations to the University administration regarding its findings. The Committee unanimously voted to approve a resolution that encouraged the University to make this decision.