US casualwear giant Gap has outlined proposals to improve building and fire safety standards in its apparel factories in Bangladesh.
The chain will implement a four-part initiative that will see it appoint a qualified independent chief fire safety inspector to conduct inspections and write formal remediation plans; launch a Worker Support Program with a fund of up to $2m to pay employees of its long-standing high-volume factories for days missed through remediation work; provide factory owners with “accelerated access” to up to $20m in capital for safety improvements, and continue to work with the Bangladesh government, US government and the International Labour Organization to promote change.
Bobbi Silten, senior vice president of global responsibility at Gap, said: “We believe the time has come to take action, and hope others in our industry will step forward with similar plans that will significantly improve fire safety in the apparel factories in Bangladesh.”
The retailer said its initiative built on steps taken to improve fire safety and education in the country over the past two years. It follows a series of fires at garment factories in Bangladesh, which killed more than 50 workers.