Supporting Garment Workers in BangladeshWalmart is working with other retailers, government leaders and the private sector to promote supply chain safety in Bangladesh.
Walmart and more than 20 major global retailers formed the Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety, chaired by former U.S. Rep. Ellen Tauscher.
Our Commitment to Worker Safety in Bangladesh
Walmart is committed to safety in our supply chain worldwide. Walmart’s Responsible Sourcing program is dedicated to verifying that suppliers are complying with our rigorous standards for suppliers; strengthening labor and environmental practices in factories and farms producing products for sale at Walmart; and implementing policies and initiatives that treat workers with dignity and respect.
Given the unique safety problems facing the ready-made garment industry in Bangladesh, we recognize the need for heightened attention and programs that ensure adequate building maintenance and fire safety infrastructure. See a timeline of our involvement in Bangladesh.
Since undertaking this important work we have made several key enhancements to our Responsible Sourcing program including; joining other brands and retailers to launch the Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety; partnering with Bureau Veritas (BV), a world leader in assessment and certification services to complete four phase inspections for every single factory in Bangladesh that produces goods directly for Walmart suppliers; with the Alliance, completing fire safety training for one million Bangladesh factory workers and management; and committing more than $15 million to improve the safety of factories in Bangladesh and empower workers through a number safety training initiatives.
Recently, Senators Olympia Snowe and George Mitchell of the Bipartisan Policy Center (BPC) commended the progress of The Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety since its inception in 2013. You can read a letter outlining their comments, here.
We are also continuing to build upon our existing programs in Bangladesh. For example, we are providing job skills training for more than 17,000 workers in 34 factories in Bangladesh through our Lean manufacturing program. We are also continuing our work on empowering the women who work in Walmart’s supply chain factories through our Women in Factories program. This program is teaching over 60,000 women critical life skills.
Increasing Transparency in the Supply Chain
We recognize that no single organization or company can bring lasting change to the ready-made garment industry in Bangladesh. True reform requires the industry, non-governmental organizations, worker organizations and government to work together for change. We believe that transparency is vital to reform and helps all stakeholders understand and address factory conditions. Because of this, Walmart is posting results of its enhanced safety assessments in order to provide information to partners committed to real change.
work with the Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety, funds are available (if needed) to help factory owners make needed
remediations and to support workers who may be temporarily displaced by safety remediation projects. More information
on these funds, as well as the Alliance and its programs, can be found here.