WASHINGTON — The Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety suspended operations at six more factories in August for failing to show evidence of remediation progress.
But four new factories made significant progress on remediation and successfully “completed all material components outlined in their corrective action plans,” the Alliance said Thursday.
“We are pleased to welcome Reliance Box Industries (PKG), Radial International Ltd. (Units 1 & 2), Mastrade International Garments Ltd. and M/S Standard Group Ltd. to our growing list of factories that have completed the repairs we required as part of the remediation process,” said Alliance country director Jim Moriarty. “And in suspending four additional factories from the Alliance compliant list, we reiterate our no-tolerance policy for factory inaction when it comes to workplace safety.”
The total number of factories suspended since last reported came to six factories.
BYZID Apparels Ltd. was suspended for failing to submit design documents and evidence of remediation, while Hi-Fashion Ltd. and Fortune Fashion Ltd. were suspended for failing to provide evidence of remediation and failure to remove lockable gates.
Three companies — Asian Apparels Ltd., Campha Outdoor Ltd. and Knitex Apparels Ltd. — were suspended because they closed old locations.
The Alliance did not name the brands for which the factories were making products.
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, which 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 a little beyond 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, the Alliance has cut ties with a total of 95 non-compliant factories, and 38 factories have completed the critical repairs outlined in their CAPs. Across all active Alliance factories, 59 percent of all safety issues have been corrected.
The Alliance has completed safety inspections at 100 percent of the factories its members use, which fluctuate by season, but were at about 677 in July. It has trained 1.2 million workers on fire safety and is in the process of providing “refresher” courses to about 600,000 workers. In addition, 22,000 security guards working in Alliance factories have received safety training, Moriarty said in a press briefing on the group’s quarterly report in July.