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'Remediation works in Bangla RMG factories incomplete'
16
Apr '16
Only half of the remediation works in readymade garment factories under the Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety have been completed, as recommended by the experts to ensure workplace safety. The other half of the faults identified at the RMG factories are still unaddressed, the Alliance said in a progress report.

The Alliance, a group of major North American apparel brands, said in the Progress Report April 2016, that so far, factories listed with the group have carried out 49.5 per cent of the repairs required. The Alliance said it has completed inspection of 677 of the factories.

As of March 2016, a total of 24 RMG factories have fully implemented the remediation process prescribed by the global retailers' platform, said the progress report titled Protecting and Empowering Bangladesh's Garment Workers.

In the past three years, the Alliance has achieved significant progress in realizing its commitment to ensure the safety of workers at Bangladesh's ready-made garment factories, said Ellen O'Kane Tauscher, independent chair of the Alliance.

She said the Alliance has continued to partner with the government review panel to enforce safety standards. It has already cut ties with 77 factories due to structural defects and insufficient remediation progress, she said.

“By rescinding the sourcing rights from these factories, we have sent a strong message that we will not do business with those that fail to comply with Alliance safety standards,” Tauscher said, adding that as a result of these efforts, the Alliance-affiliated factories are now considerably safer.

“Our investments in worker training mean that millions of workers are empowered to protect themselves—and steady progress on factory remediation has coincided with a substantial drop in fire incidents and deaths since our work began,” she said.

The Alliance which was set up after the Rana Plaza tragedy in 2013, is a legally binding, five-year commitment to improve safety in Bangladeshi ready-made garment (RMG) factories, is now at the halfway mark.

“Having reached the halfway mark of our five-year initiative, much of the hard work of remediation lies ahead and our commitment now is more important than ever,” Tauscher said.

The progress in remedying factory safety issues is significant, but remains slower than projected due to political unrest, lack of qualified engineers, the time-consuming yet required import of vital safety equipment not available in Bangladesh, the report said. (SH)

Fibre2Fashion News Desk – India

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