In Bangladesh, factory progress seems to be falling right in line with setbacks.
The Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety said on Wednesday that 10 more of its member factories achieved “substantial completion” of their corrective action plans, but the announcement also highlighted nine newly suspended factories that haven’t reached anywhere close to substantial completion of their corrective actions.
On the positive side, the 10 more factories that have reached completion brings the total that have improved their facilities based on Alliance recommendations for safety and security to 76. The number is less than 11 percent of the Alliance’s more than 700 member factories making for brands like Target, Walmart, Macy’s and Hudson’s Bay Company.
“We commend these factories for making concrete commitments to worker safety by achieving substantial completion of their Corrective Action Plans,” Alliance country director Jim Moriarty said. “Their laser focus on remediation is reflective of a broader push that has transformed safety in Bangladesh’s RMG industry and directly translated to lives saved.”
On the less positive side, the nine factories that were suspended bring the total suspensions since the Alliance took shape in 2013, to 146. Alliance members agree not to source from any factory that the program has deemed unsafe, which would naturally extend to the suspended facilities.
Those nine factories, which have all been suspended between March and April, were mainly cited for failure to make adequate remediation progress, though one was also suspended for failure to provide evidence of relocation and another for lack of communication.
Maestro Apparels, Y.B. Garments, Tariq Azim Textile Mills, Masco Printing and Embroidery, Eastern Dresses, Starlight Knitwear, Rupa Fabrics, Rupa Knitwear, Clear Tex Industries and Farr Ceramics, make up the list of newly suspended facilities.
Bangladesh has been in the news of late surrounding the four-year anniversary of the Rana Plaza tragedy that set much of this added transparency and due diligence in the garment sector in motion. Naturally, some tout the nation’s progress, while others express concern that not enough has been done.
For now, Bangladesh is facing scrutiny from the European Union, which threatened in March to pull the country’s current free trade privileges under the bloc’s Everything But Arms (EBA) program.