The Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety has opened its office in Dhaka, thus, officially launching its local operation, and ensuring an on-the-ground presence to facilitate its effort to bring improved fire and structural safety to Bangladesh garment factories.
The Alliance—an historic coalition of global apparel companies and their partners—will unify efforts to dramatically improve garment factory safety conditions in Bangladesh following a string of deadly factory fires and collapses.
“It is an honor to formalize our presence in Dhaka, which will help speed the achievement of our ambitious goals for garment factory safety,” said Jeffrey Krilla, President of the Alliance, in a press release.
“We are proud of the progress the Alliance has set in motion to improve conditions for workers in Alliance factories. We are committed to working alongside our Bangladesh allies to ensure a new standard for safety in the garment industry,” he added.
“The garment factory tragedies of the past year have resulted in tragic losses of human life,” said Mohammad Atiqul Islam, president of the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) and a member of the Alliance’s Board of Directors.
“The BGMEA is proud to stand with the Alliance as we identify and implement solutions that will prevent these tragedies from happening in the future,” he added.
Addressing the inaugural ceremony of the Dhaka office, Srinivas B Reddy, director of the International Labour Organization (ILO) Office in Dhaka, said, although commitments have been made for inspecting the factories, “time is really sensitive”.
The new office would function with 15 staff, who will support the inspection of the readymade garment factories.
The Alliance has set itself a target to inspect at least 600 garment manufacturing units across Bangladesh for safety conditions before July 14, 2014.
The Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety was founded by a group of North American apparel companies, retailers and brands who joined together to develop and launch the Bangladesh Worker Safety Initiative, a binding, five-year undertaking that will be transparent, results-oriented, measurable and verifiable with the intent of improving safety in Bangladeshi ready-made garment (RMG) factories.
The Alliance provides global apparel companies and retailers the unprecedented opportunity to come together and put forward concrete solutions to issues that impact apparel and retail industries worldwide.