Controversial remarks by the head of the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) have been described as “inflammatory and unacceptable” by the Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety.

BGMEA president Atiqul Islam said those raising concerns internationally about the alleged harassment of workers in Bangladesh garment factories should be prosecuted for sedition – remarks described as “outrageous and unacceptable” by the US State Department.

Now Alliance chair Ellen Tauscher has also moved to condemn Islam’s remarks, saying: “As an organisation that is deeply committed to protecting and supporting workers in the Bangladesh garment industry, the Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety finds Mr Islam’s remarks inflammatory and unacceptable.”

However, she added that the Alliance was “pleased” to see a written apology from Islam, which also restated BGMEA’s intolerance of worker intimidation.

And Tauscher said that only a partnership with a broad group of stakeholders, including garment manufacturers, would succeed in achieving “real and lasting change” in Bangladesh.