Patrick Zahn, CEO of the German manufacturer KiK Textiles and Non-Food GmbH, will launch a new initiative to improve building safety of its Pakistani suppliers on February 2 in Karachi. KiK has invited its 30 Pakistani suppliers to participate in an inspection of building safety, electrical safety and fire prevention conducted by U.S. based engineering company Elevate.
KiK will carry the costs for the initial examination. These inspections conducted by experts will provide suppliers with an accurate view on how their factory performs in safety aspects according to international standards. The implementation of the suggested corrective measures as well as the responsibility for the overall security of the factory will ultimately remain solely with the factory owners. “We want to create a working environment at our Pakistani suppliers in which no one should fear fires, building collapses, or other accidents that could be prevented with reasonable health and safety measures”, explains Patrick Zahn.
“Pakistan remains an important procuring country for KiK. The fact that we start such a project here shows how we care for supplier development”, adds Zahn. While in Karachi, Patrick Zahn will also meet with representatives of the Pakistan Institute of Labour and Research (PILER). In September 2016, the International Labor Organization (ILO) together with KiK and trade union representatives concluded an arrangement for the compensation of the victims of the Ali Enterprises factory fire. According to this arrangement, KiK pays 5.15 million US Dollar for long-term financial assistance to those affected by the fire.
The money has since been transferred. Including the emergency assistance paid immediately after the incident, KiK’s share to the overall financial package sums up to 6.15 million US Dollar. The recent ILO arrangement goes back to an agreement with PILER in 2012, in which KiK has obliged itself to provide further assistance and take appropriate measures to enhance building safety of its Pakistani suppliers. The meeting with PILER will be accompanied by a signing ceremony to mark the fulfillment of the PILER agreement. “Immediately after the incident, we have stressed that we stand ready to help. KiK has promised: We will not let workers down.