Workers are critical in driving and sustaining workplace safety—and in order for them to play an active role, they must be supported by worker representative structures and communication channels that are trusted, credible, and effective. The Alliance is committed to providing factory workers with the opportunity to voice safety concerns, and to ensuring and supporting the establishment of (democratically-elected) Safety Committees in accordance with the Bangladesh Labour Rules.
The Alliance currently has two initiatives focused on empowering workers to voice safety concerns so that they can be addressed.
Alliance Worker Helpline
The Alliance Worker Helpline—Amader Kotha in Bangla—is a 3rd party reporting channel that allows workers to anonymously report safety concerns so that they can be addressed in a timely manner. The Helpline offers an innovative approach to workplace problem solving that enhances communication between factories and workers in the Bangladesh RMG sector. Workers use mobile phones to report safety (and other) concerns to Amader Kotha, and reach trained Helpline staff 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The collected information is then shared with and validated by factory managers. Any serious safety concerns are verified by Alliance engineers. In the event that action is necessary, factories respond to the issues raised by workers, and the Helpline staff inform the callers of the action(s) taken. The result is a communication channel that improves factories’ awareness of safety and worker issues, preserves worker confidentiality, and allows workers to gain confidence that their concerns will be heard—and acted upon. More information, newsletters, and call reports from the Helpline can be found here.
The Alliance Member’s Agreement includes a commitment to support the establishment of democratically elected worker representative structures where occupational safety and health issues can be identified, communicated to management, and effectively addressed in all factories producing for Alliance members. The new Bangladesh labor law requires factories to establish occupational safety and health committees, and released the accompanying labor regulations in September 2015.