Dhaka, Bangladesh (PRWEB) May 02, 2014
The Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety (Alliance) in partnership with BRAC has begun dispersing funds directly to workers displaced by the closure of factories due to safety concerns. The Alliance established a $5 million Worker Safety Fund that, among other things, helps support workers displaced by such closures with two months of pay, in partnership with factory owners.
“While no one wants to see employees out of work as the result of a factory closure, ensuring that immediate safety issues are addressed is our top priority,” said former U.S. Congresswoman Ellen Tauscher, Alliance Independent Chair. “No factory worker should have to put themselves at risk to earn a living, and we’re working to make sure that is a reality in Bangladesh.”
To date, the Alliance has submitted four buildings—which together hold five factories—to the National Tripartite Committee (NTC) Review Panel with the recommendation for immediate suspension of production and closure for remediation. Alliance inspections have revealed overloaded conditions and structural faults in these buildings, raising immediate concern for the safety of workers in these factories. The Alliance and its partners will keep workers updated as remediation continues.
“Ensuring that displaced workers are financially supported during the remediation process is critically important,” said Mesbah Rabin, managing director of the Alliance. “The Alliance is committed to providing compensation to workers while buildings are being enhanced and workers are being relocated to safer employment.”
To date, the Alliance has inspected more than 450 factories, with the goal of completing inspections of all 640 factories from which its members source by July. In addition to funding and conducting these inspections and helping cover the salaries of displaced workers, several Alliance member companies have made $100 million in affordable capital available to factory owners to help cover the cost of factory improvements. The Alliance successfully advocated for the Bangladesh government to eliminate current tariffs on sprinkler systems and fire doors, which threaten to put critical improvements out of reach for many factory owners.
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About The Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety
The Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety was founded by a group of North American apparel companies, retailers and brands who joined together to develop and launch the Bangladesh Worker Safety Initiative, a binding, five-year undertaking that will be transparent, results-oriented, measurable and verifiable with the intent of improving safety in Bangladeshi ready-made garment (RMG) factories. The Alliance provides global apparel companies and retailers the unprecedented opportunity to come together and put forward concrete solutions to issues that impact apparel and retail industries worldwide. More information about the Alliance can be found at http://www.bangladeshworkersafety.org.