Twenty-six companies, retailers and brands have united as The Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety (The Alliance), which has hired 15 staff to implement tougher safety checks on its supplying factories. “It is an honor to formalize our presence in Dhaka, which will help speed the achievement of our ambitious goals for garment factory safety,” said Jeffrey Krilla, President of the Alliance.
But the vision for the way forward is split. While the Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety doesn’t involve worker’s unions in its negotiations and prefers voluntary targets for improving safety, another group is developing alongside. The Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh (The Accord) is a legally binding agreement between international trade unions, Bangladesh trade unions, and over a hundred international companies which is campaigning for more accountable change. They criticize the work of The Alliance for being business as usual. “The Walmart/Gap scheme [The Alliance] preserves the very model that has failed workers for years and led to nearly two thousand deaths.”