The Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety says it has so far sought the immediate suspension of production in five factories following concerns about the safety of the buildings where they are located.

The factories are situated in four buildings, whose details have been submitted to the National Tripartite Committee (NTC) Review Panel with the recommendation that they are closed for remediation.

Alliance inspections have revealed overloaded conditions and structural faults in these buildings, raising immediate concern for the safety of workers in these factories.

The collective, which includes 26 companies such as The Children's Place, Macy's, Nordstrom, Gap and Fruit of the Loom, says it has already begun dispersing funds to cover two months' pay for more than 350 workers displaced by the closure of three factories. The Alliance will bear half of the cost while the factory owners will cover the rest.

"While no one wants to see employees out of work as the result of a factory closure, ensuring that immediate safety issues are addressed is our top priority," said former US Congresswoman Ellen Tauscher, Alliance independent chair.

"No factory worker should have to put themselves at risk to earn a living, and we're working to make sure that is a reality in Bangladesh."

To date, the Alliance has inspected more than 450 factories, with the goal of completing inspections of all 640 factories from which its members source by 10 July.

In addition to funding and conducting these inspections and helping cover the salaries of displaced workers, several Alliance member companies have made $100m in affordable capital available to factory owners to help cover the cost of factory improvements.