Apparel Sourcing Intelligence - Worldwide

Bangladesh Alliance future begins to firm up

Bangladesh Alliance executive director Jim Moriarty said in late March that 88% of factory remediation is complete, with 84% of items most critical to life safety covered.

322 affiliated factories have completed all material components in their corrective action plans and are considered substantially remediated. Of the 290 Alliance factories that required structural retrofitting, 264 have fully completed the task, implying that their foundations, columns and beams can now meet the imposed load demands required of an industrial building,

Similarly, 118 out of 141 factories needing installation of sprinkler systems for fire safety have completed the task. Nearly all affiliated factories have now upgraded their outdated electrical systems, and nearly all have installed fire doors that provide an escape route for workers, he said.

Alliance has trained more than 1.5 million workers to identify potential safety dangers in their factories and to protect themselves in the event of an emergency. Over 27,000 security guards have also been trained in the skills necessary to protect life in the case of an emergency, he said.

With the Bangladesh Alliance due to wind up at the end of 2018,, Moriarty stressed that for these gains to be sustained over the long-term, they must be owned and led locally in future.

Some outlines are now clear.

A Safety Monitoring Organisation (SMO) will provide a similar service  at first: its organisation funded by US importers, but factory-specific costs (such as inspection and remediation) paid directly by factories themselves.  The BD government wants its Remediation Coordination Cell, (RCC)  then to take over, but there is little confidence in its current preparedness.

The issue is likely to become highly controversial over the next few months