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23 July, 2018 00:00 00 AM
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RMG WORKERS’ SAFETY in BAngladesh

Alliance to leave by December

STAFF REPORTER
Alliance to leave by December

The Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety (Alliance), the platform of North American brands and buyers, will leave Bangladesh by December this year.

“Alliance will pack up its activities in Bangladesh by December next because our success so far reinforces, and our confidence is that Alliance factories will have substantially completed remediation and be well on the way to developing a sustainable culture of safety before the Alliance sunsets in 2018,” said Ambassador Jim Moriarty, executive director of Alliance.

“By December this year, all the factory remediation work will be completed. So we will not apply to the government to extend the agreement for a further timeframe,” Moriarty added.

Moriarty made these observations yesterday at a programme held to mark the launch of ‘Amader Kotha’ or ‘Our Voice’ at a hotel in the capital.

Addressing the programme, he said, “We launched a confidential, 24-hour, toll-free helpline to allow workers to report issues of concern without fear of retribution.”

‘Amader Kotha’ has given workers a voice on issues within their factories, from cracks in walls and active fires to verbal abuse and wage disputes. In most cases, it has put solutions within the reach of workers, he said.

“The ‘Amader Kotha’ helpline centre is now housed at Phulki,” said Suraiya Haque, founder and executive director of Phulki.

Some 500 calls have been addressed every day, encompassing complaints like abusive behaviour by supervisors and wage-related problems, she said. “We have received complaints from the mid-level management as well,” she said.               

“The ‘Amader Kotha’ helpline has become a valued asset for all parties,” said Doug Cahn, global project manager for ‘Amader Kotha’. “Factory managers learn about fixing problems quickly before they escalate. Brands and retailers have confidence that a system is in place to identify and resolve compliance issues without their direct intervention,” Cahn added. Again, workers also have a trusted system that they can rely on 24/7 to achieve results, Cahn pointed out.

Following the Rana Plaza Building collapse in April 2013 that killed more than 1,100 people, mostly garments workers, EU retailers formed the Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh, undertaking a five-year plan, while North American brands and retailers formed the Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety and the platform.

The government set up the Remediation Coordination Cell (RCC) to ensure long-term sustainability and fire safety. The RCC can monitor and oversee the remediation progress of factories under the national initiative and take over the responsibility of factories assessed by Accord and Alliance.

 

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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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