Jim Moriarty, Country Director, Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety addressing a press conference at Lakeshore Hotel in the city
Dhaka: Seventy-one 71 Alliance factories have substantially completed their Corrective Action Plans—and we expect this number to more than double within the next few months.
In addition, 73 per cent of all required repairs across active Alliance factories have been completed—and this includes 64 per cent of all high priority repairs.
Jim Moriarty, Country Director, Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety was updating newsmen of the progress achieved at a press conference at Lakeshore Hotel in the city ahead of the Rana Plaza tragedy anniversary.
He said the Alliance suspended 142 factories for failure to make adequate progress on remediation—because we continue to maintain a no-tolerance policy for factories that fail to prioritise safety.
It has been nearly four years since the Bangladesh garment industry was marked by unspeakable tragedy. April 24, 2013 will forever remain one of the darkest days in Bangladesh history.
But Rana Plaza tragedy also served as the catalyst for tremendously important changes in the garment industry that are designed to ensure that garment workers will never again risk their lives just by going to work.
Moriarty said, at the Alliance, we have one goal: To improve safety at the factories from which our members source—and in which nearly 1.3 million workers make a living.
The Alliance re-trained 85 per cent of the Alliance workforce to ensure that new employees are covered—and those skills stay fresh for all of our workers.
He said, “We’ve also trained approximately 25,000 security guards to play a leadership role in protecting life—not property—should a building evacuation be necessary as a result of a fire or earthquake.”
“We have also initiated a new training program for third party security guard companies. These security guard companies especially provide security guard needs to garment factories. So far we have trained 17 well renowned security guard companies.”
Talking about the future, Moriarty, also a former ambassador to Bangladesh, said, “As we look to our transition beyond 2018, we will ensure that the confidential Helpline remains available to Bangladesh’s garment workers without interruption.”
“Finally, we continue to foster the development of Safety Committees in our factories in order to facilitate a more open dialogue between workers and factory management.”
Moriarty concluded by saying, “140 safety committees have now been formed in Alliance factories. We consider the development and training of these committees tremendously important, as they will ensure that workers have a voice on safety within their factories long after the Alliance sun sets.”