The Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety is seeking immediate closure of five factories in Bangladesh–housed in four different buildings–over concern for worker safety, and has said it will pay more than 350 workers’ salaries while factories remediate.
The Alliance submitted the five factories to the National Tripartite Committee (NTC) Review Panel with a request that production be immediately suspended and the factories closed for remediation. Inspections revealed overloaded conditions and structural faults in the buildings.
“Ensuring that displaced workers are financially supported during the remediation process is critically important,” Mesbah Rabin, managing director of the Alliance said. “The Alliance is committed to providing compensation to workers while buildings are being enhanced and workers are being relocated to safer employment.”
Bangladesh’s Alliance has 26 members including Walmart, Gap, Sears, J.C. Penney, Macy’s and Target, to name a few. The Alliance will partner with BRAC, an international development organization, to disperse funds to the displaced workers. The money will come from the Alliance’s $5 million Worker Safety Fund, which helps provide two months of pay to workers displaced as a result of closures.
“While no one wants to see employees out of work as the result of a factory closure, ensuring that immediate safety issues are addressed is our top priority,” former U.S. Congresswoman Ellen Tauscher, Alliance Independent Chair, said. “No factory worker should have to put themselves at risk to earn a living, and we’re working to make sure that is a reality in Bangladesh.”