WASHINGTON — The Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety said four new factories completed their corrective action plans while it has reinstated three garment factories that were previously suspended.
In addition, one new factory was suspended in November for “inaction on safety repairs.”
Global Fashion Garments Ltd., Global Outerwear Ltd., Ornate Knit Garment Industries Ltd. and Sajid Washing & Dyeing all achieved closure on their CAPs, the Alliance said.
The three companies that were removed from suspension were Shehan Specialized Textile Mills Ltd., Smart Jacket (BD) Ltd. and Smart Jeans Ltd.
“We are proud to recognize these factories for the tremendous strides they have made to ensure worker safety,” said Alliance country director Jim Moriarty. “These advances show that we are committed to working with factories that take safety improvements seriously and that compliance with our standard is achievable within our established time frame for factories that are committed to this process.”
The Alliance also revealed the suspension of one new factory — Stylo Fashion Garments Ltd. — for failure to make progress on remediation or remove lockable exits, bringing the total number of currently suspended factories to 102.
The Alliance is made up of 29 mainly U.S. firms, including Wal-Mart Stores Inc., Target Corp., Gap Inc. and VF Corp. The industry-led initiative was formed in the aftermath of the Rana Plaza tragedy that claimed the lives of 1,133 workers and injured more than 2,000, along with the separate Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh, comprised of 200 mostly European companies with two global unions, IndustriALL and UNI Global Union.
A coalition of labor and worker’s rights groups released a report in early October alleging the Alliance member companies are falling behind on commitments to make factories there safe, potentially putting workers’ lives at risk.
According to the report, “Dangerous Delays on Worker Safety,” of 175 Alliance factories examined independently by the coalition, 47 percent were found to have “major” structural problems that have not been corrected, 62 percent lacked viable fire exits and 62 percent did not have appropriate fire alarm systems.
At the time, Gap, an Alliance member, defended the steps it has taken to make the factories it uses in Bangladesh safer and reaffirmed its commitments as part of the Alliance.
Similarly, the Alliance later released a statement defending its commitment to improving safety in Bangladesh’s garment industry, noting that nearly 1.3 million workers in Alliance-compliant factories are “safer than prior to creation of the Alliance.”
“The Alliance and our member companies share the same ultimate goal as the Accord: creating a safer future for the garment workers of Bangladesh,” said Ellen Tauscher, independent chair of the Alliance. “We remain committed to working collaboratively with the Accord, the National Action Plan and other key stakeholders to achieve this goal over the next 18 months.”