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Some of the world's largest retailers have agreed to a first-of-its-kind pact to improve safety at some of Bangladesh's garment factories following a building collapse that killed more than 1,100 workers in the country last month.
The move comes just days shy of a deadline imposed by workers' rights groups that said they would hold street protests and otherwise increase pressure on clothing brands that did not sign the agreement by Wednesday.
H&M, a trendy Swedish chain that's the largest clothing buyer in Bangladesh, said that it would sign a five-year, legally binding factory safety contract. Within hours, C&A of the Netherlands, British retailers Tesco and Primark, and Spain's Inditex, owner of the Zara chain, followed.
The agreement requires that the companies conduct independent safety inspections, make their reports on factory conditions public and cover the costs for needed repairs.
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