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Dhaka urged to intervene on RMG factory safety issue

Mar '19
Pic: Industriall-union
Pic: Industriall-union
IndustriALL and UNI Global unions and Accord signatory brands recently wrote to Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and commerce minister Tipu Munshi requesting their intervention in resolving the impasse after talks between Accord, the government and an employers’ body failed on the conditions for transition of Accord’s functions to the government.

Dhaka continues to insist that the Accord on Fire and Building Safety leaves Bangladesh by a fixed date, regardless of whether there is a competent safety authority to replace it.

Accord’s lawyers conveyed the failure of the negotiations at a hearing of the appellate court on 18 February, according to an IndustriALL press release.

Citing the importance of these matters to the country and economy of Bangladesh, the chief judge of the appellate court ordered the parties, which include the Bangladesh Garments Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA), to continue the discussions to reach a solution and ordered a further extension to April 7.

The letters state that a premature closure of the Accord office would mean that the Accord would need to be implemented through alternative means, and would have immediate negative and damaging consequences.

A substantial number of factories that have not completed remediation work would no longer be eligible to produce for Accord member brands, generalised system of preferences (GSP) benefits would be put at risk, and the viability of brands placing orders in Bangladesh garment factories would be in doubt, the letters said.

The Bangladesh Government has so far published no reports on factory remediation progress or follow-up inspections, and remediation deadlines for factories inspected by the government have passed in some cases by years, said the press release.

IndustriALL urged the Bangladesh Government to end the uncertainty caused by failed negotiations and more court-mandated time extensions, and come to the table with a real commitment to a credible and responsible transfer of Accord functions based on genuine readiness of the government to take over. (DS)

Fibre2Fashion News Desk – India

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