Commentary: 10 years after Bangladesh manufacturing facility collapse, quick trend nonetheless comes with lethal dangers

A marketing campaign for full and truthful compensation for households of victims was launched instantly, facilitated by the Worldwide Labor Group, a United Nations company. Inside just a few months, two initiatives had been designed to deliver garment factories in Bangladesh as much as worldwide requirements: The European-led Accord for Fireplace and Constructing Security, and the American-led Alliance for Bangladesh Employee Security.

Whereas the 2 initiatives differed in some vital methods, each shared the widespread purpose: To enhance constructing and hearth security by leveraging the buying energy of the member corporations. In different phrases, Western manufacturers would insist that manufacturing companions rise up to straightforward or take their enterprise elsewhere.

Altogether, the 2 agreements coated about 2,300 provider factories. The coalitions performed manufacturing facility inspections to determine structural and electrical deficiencies and developed plans for factories to make enhancements.

The initiatives additionally laid the groundwork to kind employee security committees and to coach staff to recognise, clear up and forestall well being and questions of safety. Member corporations put aside funds for inspections and employee coaching, negotiated industrial phrases and facilitated low-cost loans for manufacturing facility enhancements.

Each had been five-year agreements: The Alliance was ceased in 2018, whereas the Accord operated for just a few extra years earlier than handing operations over to the regionally created Readymade Sustainability Council in June 2020.


The onus and expense of constructing these enhancements, nevertheless, had been largely to be borne by the suppliers – a considerable monetary burden for a lot of factories, particularly contemplating the low price and slim revenue margins of the garments they had been producing.

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Underneath the Alliance and the Accord, 1000’s of factories had been inspected for constructing and hearth security, figuring out issues similar to lack of fireside extinguishers and sprinkler programs, improper hearth exits, defective wiring and structural points.

On the finish of 5 years, each initiatives reported that 85 per cent to 88 per cent of questions of safety had been remediated. Round half of the factories accomplished greater than 90 per cent of preliminary remediation, whereas greater than 260 of the unique 2,300 factories beneath the initiatives had been suspended from contracting with member corporations.

As well as, greater than 5,000 beneficiaries, together with injured staff and dependents of victims, had been compensated by the Rana Plaza Association, receiving a mean of about US$6,500. General, I imagine that these initiatives have been profitable in bringing questions of safety to the forefront.

When it comes to infrastructure enhancements, nevertheless, whereas there was first rate progress, a lot nonetheless must be achieved; for instance, the initiatives coated nearly one-third of all of the garment factories in Bangladesh. Importantly, neither addressed firm sourcing practices.

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