Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety

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Four More Alliance Factories Achieve Substantial Completion of their Corrective Action Plans; Operations Suspended in Fifteen Others

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December marks busy month of factory remediation progress and accountability measures

DHAKA, Bangladesh—The Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety announced today that during the month of December, four additional Alliance-affiliated factories completed all material components outlined in their Corrective Action Plans (CAPs), bringing the total number of graduated factories to 50.

Factories achieving substantial completion of their CAPs in December include Arrow Jeans (Pvt) Ltd, LCB International (BD) Limited, Smart Jeans Ltd, and That’s It Sweater Ltd. Smart Jeans Ltd is the first Alliance-affiliated factory to complete required remediation after being suspended and subsequently reactivated.

Alliance Statement on the Detention and Interrogation of Labor Leaders in Bangladesh

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We are deeply troubled by reports of the detention and interrogation of nearly a dozen labor rights leaders by the Bangladesh government. The Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety strongly supports the rights of workers to organize in accordance with the laws of Bangladesh. Our Member Agreement formally asserts the right of workers to refuse to work in dangerous conditions, and we support and encourage the right of workers to unionize in Alliance-affiliated factories.

We consult closely with our Board Labor Committee—comprised of five trade union leaders—on all matters related directly to workers. And by July 2018, we will have established Worker Safety Committees—groups of workers trained and empowered to monitor on-site occupational safety and health issues—in all 600+ Alliance factories.

Four More Alliance Factories Achieve Substantial CAP Completion

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Reinstatement of three suspended factories in recognition of progress and Suspension of one factory for inaction on safety repairs round out Alliance November updates

DHAKA, Bangladesh - The Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety announced today that four additional Alliance-affiliated factories have completed all material components outlined in their Corrective Action Plans (CAPs), bringing the total number of graduated factories to 46. In addition, three factories previously suspended by the Alliance have been reinstated in recognition of remediation progress.

Global Fashion Garments Ltd., Global Outerwear Ltd., Ornate Knit Garment Industries Ltd. and Sajid Washing & Dyeing all achieved closure on their CAPs, and Sheehan Specialized Textile Mills Ltd., Smart Jacket (BD) Ltd. and Smart Jeans Ltd. were removed from suspension.

Alliance Statement on Deadly Fire at Cigarette Lighter Factory, Dhaka

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The Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety is deeply saddened by news of the deadly fire at a cigarette factory in Ashulia, Dhaka, in which one person has died and more than 30 have been injured. We understand that the workers, many of them young women under the age of 20, remain in critical condition as a result of their injuries. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the families, workers, and all those impacted by this tragedy.

This is not an RMG factory, and thus not aligned with any current safety initiative, which further begs the need to ensure every worker in Bangladesh is protected, no matter the industry, and that safety reforms span across all Bangladeshi factories.

 

Alliance Continues To Improve Safety in Bangladesh Garment Industry

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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.

Alliance Suspends Operations with Seven Additional Factories

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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.”

Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety Third Annual Report September 2016

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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.

Alliance Statement on Tragedy at Gazipur Packaging Plant

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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.

Four More Factories Achieve Substantial Completion of their Corrective Action Plans, Alliance Suspends Operations in Four Others

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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.

More information on our suspension process can be found in the Alliance Members Agreement, and the complete list of suspended factories can be found here.

Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety Appoints New Chief Safety Officer

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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.

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