Employers around the world have closely followed developments surrounding the tragic collapse of the Rana Plaza building in Bangladesh that killed more than 1,000 people.
The International Organization of Employers (IOE), part of USCIB’s global; network, issued a statement reiterating its deep regret and sadness, and expressing solidarity with the victims and their families. “Efforts must now be intensified to ensure that these kinds of tragedies are not repeated,” the IOE said.
The problems culminating in the Rana Plaza collapse affect more than one sector of Bangladesh’s economy, not just the garment sector, the IOE noted. “Fire safety, and issues of health and safety generally, are applicable across sectors and across business size, whether it produces for export or for domestic consumption.”
The IOE voiced support for the action plan the International Labor Organization created as the result of a high-ILO level mission to Bangladesh, following broad tripartite consultation with the Bangladesh Employers’ Federation, workers representatives and the Bangladesh government.
The IOE “calls on donor governments to provide the ILO with the resources necessary to implement the plan of action and in doing so to respond to the needs of constituents in Bangladesh that they have themselves identified.”
According to Adam Greene, USCIB’s vice president for labor and corporate responsibility, lasting change can only come from within the country, with the national government working directly with the social partners in Bangladesh. “That is why we fully support the ILO-lead National Action Plan and will support a Better Work program in Bangladesh after the government makes the necessary labor law reforms,” he said.
A joint initiative of the ILO and the World Bank, with strong support from the IOE and USCIB, the Better Work program brings together governments, employers, workers and global companies to address working conditions in supplier factories. The program assesses compliance with international labor standards and national labor laws, posts reports online and provides targeted remedial training to improve compliance with labor standards.
Staff contact: Adam Greene