May 27. - U.S. Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs says Bangladesh must transform garment industry to ensure no more workplace fatalities. Sunita Rappai reports.
Rescue workers in Bangladesh carry away another body from the scene of a collapsed garment factory last month. The tragedy - the world's deadliest industrial disaster since Bhopal in 1984 - left more than 1100 people dead. It was the latest in a series of deadly incidents at factories in Bangladesh and has cast a global spotlight on the country's industry safety standards. On Monday, U.S Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Wendy Sherman told a news conference in Dhaka that key players should work together to transform the industry. (SOUNDBITE) (English) U.S UNDER SECRETARY OF STATE FOR POLITICAL AFFAIRSWENDY R. SHERMAN, SAYING: "This is the moment that the government in the lead, along with the business sector, labour and consumers, with support from the international community can really make a difference and ensure that the very strong brand that is Bangladesh will continue forever - and even get better." Sherman, who is meeting with a number of key figures on her trip, said it would take a sustained effort to bring change. (SOUNDBITE) (English) U.S UNDER SECRETARY OF STATE FOR POLITICAL AFFAIRSWENDY R. SHERMAN, SAYING: "This is hard to sustain, but in order to solve the problem one must sustain the effort to get to the result that every worker every day deserves to make sure that they have a safe workplace and that they can support their families and their futures." Western retailers and brands are still struggling to assess safety risks at thousands of Bangladesh garment factories following the April 24 building collapse. Their task is made tougher by the lack of robust safety rules, a shortage of necessary training and equipment, and widespread corruption.