WASHINGTON — The Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety said it has suspended operations at three more factories it said failed to make progress on remediation.
“Ensuring worker safety is our top priority,” said Alliance country director Jim Moriarty. “Factories with which we do business must undertake repairs in order to meet our safety standards, or they lose their right to make garments for our member companies, without exception.”
Hemple Rhee Mfg. Co. Ltd. was suspended for failing to provide evidence of remediation. Shamsher Apparels Ltd. was suspended for failing to submit design documents and failure to provide evidence of remediation, and Mike Fashion Ltd. also failed to submit design documents and provide evidence of remediation, according to the Alliance.
The Alliance did not name the brands for which the factories were making products. Overall, the Alliance has cut ties with 83 factories in Bangladesh.
The Alliance, made up of 28 mainly U.S. firms, including Wal-Mart Stores Inc., Target Corp., Gap Inc. and VF Corp., 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 Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh, comprised of 200 mostly European companies with two global unions, IndustriALL and UNI Global Union.
The Alliance, now at the halfway point of its five-year initiative, performs independent inspections on the structural, electrical and fire safety of all factories from which its members source.
Factories receive corrective action plans aimed at helping address safety issues and achieving compliance with the Alliance’s safety standards. The group also provides technical advice and access to low-cost loans to assist factories with remediation. It said it is on track to remediate all critical safety issues in its active factories by 2018.
“To date, half of all safety issues in Alliance factories have been corrected, and 28 factories have completed all necessary repairs outlined in their corrective action plans, two years ahead of schedule,” the group said.
Last month, the Alliance said it had completed safety inspections at 100 percent of the factories its members use, trained 1.2 million workers in fire safety at least one time and completed 50 percent of factory repairs.
The group’s safety progress report released in April noted that 677 factories out of an estimated 850 Alliance factories were active at the time. Of 36 factories recommended to the Government Review Panel for closure, one has relocated to a new structure and 13 were actively undergoing repair; the remaining 22 were either closed permanently or suspended by the Alliance, and more than 6,500 displaced workers had been compensated.