Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety

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Alliance Highlights Remediation Progress, Worker Survey Findings in New Report

For Immediate Release: September 8th, 2015
Contact: Guillermo Meneses +1 (202) 445-1570 / media@afbws.org

 

Achievements in factory safety, remediation financing and worker empowerment
noted for Alliance’s second year

Washington, D.C - The Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety (Alliance) today launched its second annual report, detailing progress on factory safety and unveiling findings from a university-conducted impact assessment of its worker safety training program.

In its second year, the Alliance focused intently on factory remediation. As of July, more than 500 factories had their first of two remediation verification visits (RVVs), which give Alliance staff the opportunity to verify factory managers are making progress and ensuring repairs meet Alliance standards. Most factories had completed 21 to 80 percent of repairs by the time of the first RVV, and six factories had passed final inspections. As of July 2015, Alliance Members were sourcing from 662 active factories representing an estimated 1.2 million workers.

Alliance Membership Elects New Board of Directors and Board of Advisors Members

For Immediate Release: July 22, 2015
Contact: Guillermo Meneses +1 (202) 445-1570 / media@afbws.org

 

New York, NY - At its second annual Members’ Meeting, the Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety (Alliance) today elected Tapan Chowdhury, founder of Square Textiles Limited and former president of the Dhaka Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and Simone Sultana, chair of BRAC UK, to serve on its board of directors.

“The Alliance Board is focused on more strategic engagement in the coming years of the Alliance, and the realignment of the board to include the members elected today reflects this focus,” said The Honorable Ellen Tauscher, independent board chair of the Alliance. “Tapan Chowdhury is a respected leader in Bangladesh and brings valuable government and private sector experience, across a wide spectrum of industries including the ready-made garment sector to the Alliance Board. Simone Sultana is a valued Alliance partner and will assist us in ensuring that the Alliance-BRAC association continues its groundbreaking efforts to provide direct support to factory workers in Bangladesh. We are very pleased to have both of them join the Alliance board of directors.”

The Alliance also elected two new members to its board of advisors, including Rumee Ali, former Managing Director of BRAC Enterprises & Investments; and Vidiya Amrit Khan, Director of Desh Garments Ltd. and Director of Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA). The Alliance board of advisors provides expertise and counsel to the Alliance board of directors and senior leadership, and the Membership relies on their guidance and counsel to inform their efforts to bring about safe working conditions for garment factory workers in Bangladesh.

More information on Alliance leadership can be found here.

Alliance Statement on Collapse of Cement Factory

On March 12, 2015 a cement factory in Mongla, Bangladesh collapsed. At least four workers were killed and dozens more were injured. The Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety and our member companies express our condolences to the families of the workers. Although we have made tremendous progress to improve safety in the ready-made garment sector, significant safety challenges remain in factories across numerous sectors in Bangladesh. We urge the government of Bangladesh to immediately undertake a safety review and expedite the hiring of building and safety inspectors to ensure that all workers in every sector of the Bangladesh economy are protected, and prevent future tragedies.

Alliance 18-Month Update

MARCH 9, 2015
ALLIANCE 18-MONTH UPDATE

 

Dear Colleagues,

For millions of people, the Bangladesh garment industry is the path to a better life. Not only a path to earning a living, but also providing their families and their country unprecedented economic opportunities. The spirit and resilience of the women and men working in ready-made garment (RMG) factories has spurred unprecedented growth in the sector and Bangladesh’s economy. This growth has laid the groundwork for Bangladesh to reach new levels of development that would not have otherwise been possible.

The changes in Bangladesh—brought about by tragedy—have transformed the global RMG industry. Now there are common goals when it comes to safety standards, worker safety and worker rights. The RMG industry will be forever changed by the developments in Bangladesh and the unprecedented public-private partnerships focused on the worker.

In July 2013, the Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety (Alliance) was formed to ensure that no garment worker would have to choose between safe working conditions and a paycheck. I am extremely proud of the efforts undertaken by the Alliance and member companies to improve the safety of RMG factories, ensuring every garment factory is inspected, every employee is trained and empowered, and remediation is undertaken by every factory owner.

Although there is much more work to be done, I want to take this opportunity to highlight the Alliance’s major achievements since 2013 and our priorities for this year...

Download the complete report here: English / Bangla

Alliance Names New Chief Safety Officer

For Immediate Release: March 2, 2015
Contact: Guillermo Meneses +1 (202) 445-1570 / media@afbws.org

Dhaka, Bangladesh—The Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety today announced the appointment of fire safety expert Mark Chubb to serve as chief safety officer. In this role, he will oversee fire safety operations and training in Bangladesh and guide remediation efforts in all factories from which Alliance Members source.

“Mark will ensure that the Alliance continues to bring world-class expertise to factory remediation and fire safety programs for Bangladesh garment workers,” said Alliance Independent Chair Ellen Tauscher. “His role as an advisor will be critical to factories from which the Alliance sources, as they ensure compliance with our strict standards.”

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