Monthly Archive: January 2015

Amader Kotha: The Factory Perspective

By Quamrunnessa Babli and S.M. Nurul Azam

In December, we invited Alliance factory representatives to share their experiences with the Alliance Worker Helpline, Amader Kotha. The helpline provides workers a number to call if they want to report safety concerns, with the calls answered by live operators. Since July 2014, the helpline has been introduced to nearly 300 factories through trainings where (1) workers learn when to use the helpline and receive materials with the helpline number, and (2) factorie2014-12-10 16.30.16s provide internal contacts that helpline representatives call if issues are reported from their factory.  When we first launched, some factories were not eager to participate – though many supported the use of the helpline for safety issues, they were also concerned that workers might abuse it to report other concerns (or even false allegations). Five months and 6,000+ calls later, we invited factories back into the Alliance office to give us their feedback on the helpline, both the good and the bad. Here are some key findings that came out of that conversation. (more…)

Worker Compensation: What happens to workers when factories close?

When our 28 members joined the Alliance, they signed a Member Agreement that outlines the commitments each company agrees to uphold throughout the tenure of Alliance membership. Responsibilities include the creation of a Worker Safety Fund, part of which is used to support workers that are temporarily displaced due to factory safety concerns or remediation activities. After a critical safety coIMG_20141211_100910ncern has been identified, the factory may have to suspend partial or full production based on the inspection findings and recommendations of the National Tripartite Committee Review Panel. In order to reduce the impact these closures place on workers, the Alliance shares in the compensation to workers so there is no loss of income while the factory is being remediated. This compensation also helps support workers during their employment search if the factory is permanently closed. Supporting worker compensation is an important initiative of the Alliance because it ensures workers will receive their wages or separation benefit while also reducing the burden placed on factory owners, who are already facing potentially high remediation costs. To date, the Alliance has disbursed hundreds of thousands of dollars (USD) to more than 4,300 workers at four factories.