Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety whose five-year-term draws to a close at the end of the year has decided to look for a way to carry forward its inspections, safety monitoring, training and helpline services.
According to a press statement, the Board of Directors of the 29-brand Alliance was in Dhaka last week to discuss plans to form a successor safety monitoring organization (SMO). Initially, the plan was not to extend the five-year term and to place the Alliance’s work in the hands of local stakeholders like the BGMEA (Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association) and trade unions.
Alliance Executive Director, Ambassador James Moriarty said Alliance member brands are ready to collaborate with the Bangladesh Government and the BGMEA to establish an independent, credible, locally led organization that will continue our important work. “We have seen progress in our talks to date, and we are encouraged by momentum toward a collective agreement on a sustained safety effort,” Moriarty added.
Safe garment factories protect millions of workers, and they are critical to maintaining Bangladesh’s standing as a world leader in garment production,” Moriarty said.
Moriarty also said, “We are confident that reaching a multi-stakeholder agreement is the best way to continue supporting the safety and wellbeing of RMG workers across Bangladesh.”
Since 2013, the Alliance has brought about a sea change on safety within Alliance-affiliated factories. Remediation across more than 600 factories is 90% complete; 1.4 million workers in nearly 1,000 factories have access to the 24-hour Alliance helpline; 1.5 million workers have been trained in fire safety, and democratically elected Worker Safety Committees have been established in nearly 200 factories.