The garment factories housed in the collapsed Rana Plaza in Savar have links to companies in the United States and Washington, with whom they will discuss what roles they can play to improve the working conditions in Bangladesh. “We understand that businesses operating in this building appear to have links to numerous companies in the US and Europe, and so we’ll continue to engage with US companies to discuss what roles they can play in improving working conditions, including in Bangladesh,” said acting Deputy Spokesperson of the US State Department Patrick Ventrell while replying to a question at the regular briefing on Wednesday.
He also said, “The US actively engages with the highest levels of the Government of Bangladesh, with exporters, and with buyers on the issues of workers’ rights and safe working conditions.”
He added, “We have an ongoing dialogue with US buyers led by Assistant Secretary Blake and by our Acting Assistant Secretary for Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor. And so we continue to speak with many US companies about workplace safety and the role that buyers can play in improving working conditions.”
Asked if the US government had identified those companies, Ventrell said, “Some of these companies are already identifying themselves. I know it’s a complex supply chain in terms of who has bought what goods from which supplier, but some of the companies have been identified.”
“But we discuss these issues broadly with companies that operate in Bangladesh and, as I’ve said, we’ve raised the issue with exporters, with buyers, and directly with the government. And we do that at the assistant secretary level and the ambassador level regularly,” he said.
-with The Independent input