12 Sep Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety Names President
The Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety named human rights expert and attorney Jeffrey Krilla as its president. The coalition represents 20 North American apparel companies, retailers and brands.
While a lawyer at Dentons US LLP, Krilla co-chaired the firm’s Africa Committee and was the member of its Public Policy and Regulation practice. Prior, Krilla served as Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights and Labor. There he created the Department’s first-ever Office of International Labor Affairs and Corporate Social Responsibility. He also co-chaired the Secretary’s Global Internet Freedom Task Force, working with technology companies and a coalition of nongovernmental organizations to press governments around the world on Internet freedom of speech issues. He represented the State Department during free trade agreements to ensure the inclusion of labor provisions that address worker safety and the right of assembly. He also led the Department’s efforts to address supply chain issues in the electronics and apparel industries.
“Jeffrey’s experience championing the rights of workers around the globe makes him the ideal person to lead the Alliance as it seeks to rapidly improve the lives of workers in Bangladesh,” said Ellen O’Kane Tauscher, Alliance Chair. “His extensive foreign policy experience and his deep understanding of this issue will guide the organization as it strives toward its goal of inspecting all Alliance factories by next summer.”
“I’m excited to join an organization that is already making real progress in improving the lives of Bangladesh garment workers,” said Krilla. “Just nine weeks after being formed, the Alliance has already achieved some significant milestones and has been a part of fruitful discussions with key stakeholders, including the ILO and the Accord, on developing common safety standards that will transform conditions of our workers.”
The Alliance continues to make significant progress since it launched in early July. Today, September 10, the Alliance achieved key milestones, including:
Developed a draft set of common fire and building safety standards. As part of the Alliance’s commitment to transparency and collaboration, the draft standards were shared in advance of and discussed at the ILO-convened meeting in Dhaka on September 7.
Developed a fire and safety training curriculum framework for use by factory managers and employees.
In process towards collaborating with partners on the ground to develop a training program for workers, and a means for reporting workplace concerns.
Last week, the Alliance was part of an ILO-moderated discussion in Dhaka. A draft of the Alliance’s common set of fire and building safety standards were shared with the ILO, Accord, BGMEA, BUET and the Bangladeshi Ministry of Labour and Employment in advance of the meeting. Through continued discussions and acts of transparency, the Alliance aims to make progress toward identifying a common, shared set of standards that will ultimately serve to make garment factories in Bangladesh safer.
About The Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety
The Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety was founded by a group of North American apparel companies and retailers and brands who have joined together to develop and launch the Bangladesh Worker Safety Initiative, a binding, five-year undertaking that will be transparent, results-oriented, measurable and verifiable with the intent of improving safety in Bangladeshi ready-made garment (RMG) factories. Collectively, these Alliance members represent the overwhelming majority of North American imports of RMG from Bangladesh, produced at more than 500 factories.
The Alliance provides apparel companies and retailers the unprecedented opportunity to come together and put forward concrete solutions to issues that impact the global apparel and retail industries. The current group of 20 includes the following companies: Canadian Tire Corporation, Limited; Carter’s Inc.; The Children’s Place Retail Stores Inc.; Costco Wholesale Corporation; Gap Inc.; Hudson’s Bay Company; IFG Corp.; Intradeco Apparel; J.C. Penney Company Inc.; The Jones Group Inc.; Jordache Enterprises, Inc.; Kohl’s Department Stores; L. L. Bean Inc.; Macy’s; Nordstrom Inc.; Public Clothing Company; Sears Holdings Corporation; Target Corporation; VF Corporation; and Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.
Supporting associations include: American Apparel & Footwear Association, BRAC, Canadian Apparel Federation, National Retail Federation, Retail Council of Canada, Retail Industry Leaders Association, and United States Association of Importers of Textiles & Apparel. In addition, Li & Fung, a major Hong Kong-based sourcing company which does business with many members of the Alliance, will serve in an advisory capacity. More information about the Alliance can be found at www.bangladeshworkersafety.org.