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...