Pakistan: Factory fires raise concerns over industry backed social auditing and SA8000 Certification
All components of this story
Author: Social Accountability International
SAI and at Social Accountability Accreditation Services (SAAS) are horrified by the fire at Ali Enterprises in Karachi, Pakistan, on September 11, in which nearly 300 workers died and many more were injured…SAAS was informed by RINA, a global certification body based in Genova, Italy, that RINA had issued an SA8000 certification to the Ali Enterprises factory on August 20, 2012. ..SAAS, the accreditation agency that oversees the certification aspects of the SA8000 system, immediately began an investigation into the circumstances surrounding the certification…expect a full report to be issued in early 2013. In the interim, both SAI and SAAS have been working to take action to improve the overall SA8000 system.
Author: Declan Walsh & Steven Greenhouse, New York Times
…[F]or Arshad and Shahid Bhaila, the industrialist brothers whose factory burned to the ground in September, killing at least 262 workers, there are some comforts…As Category B prisoners…Despite survivors’ accounts of locked emergency exits and barred windows that prevented workers from leaping to safety, the Bhailas’ lawyer says their SA8000 certificate, issued [by] Social Accountability International…proves they were running a model business…But after the Karachi fire and the more recent factory inferno in Bangladesh that killed 112 people, that contention raises a crucial question: Does industry-backed “social auditing,” which purports to safeguard the lives and working conditions of some of the world’s poorest workers, really work?