WASHINGTON — The Honorable Ellen O’Kane Tauscher, independent chair of the Board of The Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety (Alliance), has issued the following statement in response to a report by the International Labor Rights Forum, Clean Clothes Campaign, Worker Rights Consortium and Maquila Solidarity Network, that in several areas, misrepresents and oversimplifies the complexities of the Alliance and the Bangladesh Accord on Fire and Building Safety’s (Accord) efforts to improve worker safety in Bangladesh. It is important to note that the factories highlighted in the report are those producing products for both Alliance and Accord brands.
DHAKA, Bangladesh - The Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety announced today that it has suspended seven additional factories for failure to show evidence of remediation progress. Five of the seven factories were also cited by the Alliance for failure to remove lockable exits. The move brings the total number factories suspended by the Alliance to 104.
“Any factory that is unwilling or unable to make progress on the repairs required to meet our safety standards is removed from our list of Alliance-complaint factories, without exception,” said Jim Moriarty, former U.S. ambassador to Bangladesh and Alliance country director. “Ensuring the safety of workers in Alliance-affiliated factories is our highest priority.”
Laser Focus on Critical Safety Repairs and Establishment of Worker Safety Committees as the Alliance Enters Year Four
DHAKA – As part of its ongoing commitment to enforcing a culture of safety in its Bangladesh garment factories, The Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety (Alliance) today issued its third annual report, which reflects significant progress toward its goal of leaving the industry substantially safer as a result of the initiative.
The Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety is deeply saddened by news of the deadly boiler blast and fire at a packaging factory in Gazipur, in which at least 24 people have lost their lives and more than 70 have been injured. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the families, workers, and all those impacted by this tragedy.
This factory is not an RMG factory, and thus not aligned with any current safety initiative—which speaks to why factory safety reform is needed across all industries in Bangladesh to ensure every worker is protected.
We urge the government of Bangladesh to take further steps to implement the National Action Plan commitments to improve factory safety, and to ensure that such work extends beyond the garment industry to improve workplace safety in all enterprises of Bangladesh.
DHAKA, Bangladesh - The Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety announced today that four Alliance-affiliated factories completed all material components outlined in their Corrective Action Plans during the month of August, and the Alliance has suspended operations with four factories for failure to show evidence of remediation progress.
“We are pleased to welcome Reliance Box Industries (PKG), Radial International Ltd (Units 1 & 2), Mastrade International Garments Ltd and M/S Standard Group Ltd to our growing list of factories that have completed the repairs we required as part of the remediation process,” said Alliance Country Director Jim Moriarty. “And in suspending four additional factories from the Alliance compliant list, we reiterate our no-tolerance policy for factory inaction when it comes to workplace safety.”
The Alliance performs independent inspections on the structural, electrical and fire safety of all factories from which its members source. Each factory is then provided with a Corrective Action Plan designed to help it address safety issues and achieve compliance with Alliance safety standards. The Alliance also provides technical advice and access to low-cost loans to assist factories with remediation.
To date the Alliance has cut ties with a total of 95 non-compliant factories, and 38 factories have completed the critical repairs outlined in their CAPs. Across all active Alliance factories, 59 percent of all safety issues have been corrected.
DHAKA, Bangladesh - Today the Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety announced the appointment of its new Chief Safety Officer (CSO), Paul Rigby. Mr. Rigby brings nearly 30 years of fire safety experience, including principal-level leadership positions with the UK Fire and Rescue Service, the London Fire Brigade and NATO. A seasoned crisis and emergency manager, Mr. Rigby has been involved in the response, management and monitoring of more than 10,000 fires and emergency events in a range of civilian, military, foreign and domestic settings.
“We’re incredibly honored to welcome Paul to our team,” said Country Director Jim Moriarty. “He’s a proven change-maker who shares our passion for improving safety. We’re certain his wealth of knowledge and experience will propel our efforts to improve safety and help mitigate fire risk in Alliance-affiliated garment factories.”
Mr. Rigby comes aboard just months after former US Ambassador to Bangladesh Jim Moriarty returned to Dhaka as the Alliance’s country director—a new position focused on the expansion and sustainability of Alliance programs through key stakeholder engagement. Since the transition, Ambassador Moriarty has bolstered the Dhaka office through strategic hires and the internal promotion of several long-time staff members.
“We are tremendously grateful to Mark Chubb for his service to the Alliance as its first Chief Safety Officer,” Ambassador Moriarty said. “Mark’s technical expertise and passion for the Alliance mission have led to tangible advancements in garment factory safety. We wish him well as he returns to his family in the United States to pursue other opportunities.”
With less than two years remaining until the Alliance sunsets in 2018, Mr. Rigby will play a critical role in working with factory owners to achieve remediation of the issues most critical to life safety.
DHAKA, Bangladesh— As part of its on-going mission to improve safety in its affiliated garment factories in Bangladesh, the Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety announces that within the last month, four additional factories have completed all material components outlined in their Corrective Action Plans, or CAPs. They have also suspended operations with eight additional factories for failure to show evidence of remediation progress.
“We commend Park (Bangladesh) Company, Olio Apparels, Fountain Garments Manufacturing and Unitex International for their commitment to making their factories models of worker safety,” said Alliance Country Director Jim Moriarty. “Conversely, our suspension of eight new factories demonstrates that those unwilling or unable to address critical safety issues will no longer be welcome as partners in our supply chain.”
The Alliance performs independent inspections on the structural, electrical and fire safety of all factories from which its members source. Each factory is then provided with a Corrective Action Plan (CAP) designed to help it address safety issues and achieve compliance with Alliance safety standards. The Alliance also provides technical advice and access to low-cost loans to assist factories with remediation.
To date the Alliance has cut ties with a total of 91 non-compliant factories, 32 factories have completed the critical repairs outlined in their CAPs and 57% of all safety issues in Alliance factories have been corrected.
DHAKA - Today, the Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety (Alliance) provided its quarterly progress update on factory remediation and worker empowerment initiatives. Below are the remarks of former U.S. Ambassador James Moriarty, Alliance country director.
Media interested in obtaining a recording of the teleconference should contact Guillermo Meneses.
Additional information about the Alliance and our initiatives to improve safety in Bangladesh’s RMG industry can be found on our website at www.bangladeshworkersafety.org.
Remarks of Ambassador Moriarty:
Good morning everyone and thank you for joining our second quarterly call to discuss progress updates from the Alliance.
DHAKA, Bangladesh - The Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety issues the following statement in response to the tragic events which unfolded in Dhaka this past weekend.
“In the wake of last week’s violent attack in the diplomatic area of Dhaka, our thoughts and prayers remain with everyone affected, including the victims, the loved ones of those who lost their lives or were wounded and members of the community who have been rocked by this attack.
While each individual member company of the Alliance is responsible for their own global sourcing decisions, the Alliance will stay the course in Bangladesh despite this unspeakable tragedy. We believe improving safety for the millions of men and women who make a living in Bangladesh’s garment sector is a moral imperative—and while we are taking steps to ensure the safety of our staff and contractors, our work to improve safety in garment factories will continue.”
DHAKA, Bangladesh - Today, the Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety released the statement below following the shooting and hostage situation in the diplomatic area of Dhaka:
“Our thoughts and prayers are with the hostages, those who have lost their lives and have been wounded and their families during this tragic attack. All Alliance employees and contractors are safe, and we hope for a quick and peaceful resolution.”
- ALLIANCE FOR BANGLADESH WORKER SAFETY ANNOUNCES THAT TWO NEW FACTORIES COMPLETE CORRECTIVE ACTION PLANS (CAP)
- Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety Statement on Pakiza Group Factory Fire
- Alliance Statement on Rana Plaza Third Anniversary
- Protecting and Empowering Bangladesh’s Garment Workers
- NFPA Assesses Alliance Remediation Efforts
- Alliance Statement on the Pretty Sweaters Factory Fire
- Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety Statement on the February 2 Fire at Matrix Sweater Ltd.
- Alliance Statement on the January 24 Gazipur Chemical Factory Fire
- Statement on the Third Anniversary of the Fire at Tazreen Fashions Ltd.
- The Alliance Annual Report, 2015