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US pushes for B'desh RMG workers' safety and rights
10
Aug '15
Marcia Bernicat
Marcia Bernicat
The US will continue to engage with Bangladesh to strengthen the readymade garment (RMG) sector of Bangladesh by ensuring workers' right and safety, according to American Ambassador Marcia Bernicat.

"Together with you (BGMEA), the other international partners and the brands, I am confident we are building a better and more productive RMG sector and demonstrating to the world that business success goes hand-in-hand with workers' rights and safety," the Bangladesh media quoted her as saying while addressing the opening ceremony of BGMEA Expo in Chittagong.

Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) organized the three-day expo to unveil a roadmap towards attaining the $50 billion export target.

"We absolutely want to continue this partnership and help BGMEA reach its goal of exporting $50 billion by 2021" added Bernicat. "This is an ambitious, but very possible goal," she said, adding, "But, we also know that certain things must occur for it to happen."

Berincat said the US has worked closely with the Bangladesh government, brands, factory owners, and unions to strengthen workers' safety and labour rights, and to foster a stronger industry.

She said a lot of progress has been made over the past two years as Bangladesh has registered more than 250 new unions, created a public online database of inspected factories, and trained over 100 new labour inspectors.

Besides, more than 2,000 factories have been inspected for electrical, fire and structural conditions by the Bangladesh Government, the Alliance and the Accord.

"But, now the really hard work remains to be done, in particular in the area of labor rights," opined Bernicat.

Describing the employees as the most important asset, she said: "They want and need your (BGMEA) business to succeed as much as you do."

She also said that the US will work with two Bangladeshi banks to fund a $22 million credit guarantee to facilitate loans from those banks to BGMEA for safety improvements in readymade garment factories. (SH)

Fibre2Fashion News Desk – India

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