January 13

Another View: Editorial jumps to conclusions about L.L. Bean-backed safety accord

The retailer and other firms are committed to a legally binding, transparent effort on behalf of Bangladeshi workers.

Your Jan. 9 editorial, “Our View: Tougher factory safety deal better choice for L.L. Bean,” was deeply disappointing. Your commentary unfairly characterized the efforts of The Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety and prematurely judged member companies’ decision to participate in this work.

about the author

Ellen O. Tauscher is chair of The Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety in Washington. She is a Democratic former U.S. representative from California.

I agree that the recent tragedies in Bangladesh garment factories must never reoccur and that it is incumbent on all partners – including the Bangladeshi government, factory owners and Alliance member companies – to ensure that workers don’t have to put their lives at risk to make a living. I also believe that a successful outcome must include the voice of the Bangladeshi worker, and that we must take collective action to prevent future tragedies from happening. That is exactly why The Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety was formed.

The Alliance was founded on the principles of transparency and collaboration and created to ensure our member companies contribute to the shared responsibility required to keep workers safe. This initiative is legally binding and, among other directives, provides affordable access to $100 million in capital to support factory improvements.

We’ve set up mechanisms so that the public – at home and abroad – can track our progress and hold us accountable to our commitments. A detailed overview of our five-year action plan and monthly factory disclosures can be found at www.bangladeshworkersafety.org.

I applaud all of our members for their unwavering commitment to address worker safety in Bangladesh. It is because of their support of this initiative that we will improve the lives of the garment worker.

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