Safety, compliance lead garments sector In Bangladesh
Bangladesh decided to amend its labour law and the Bangladesh Export Processing Zones Authority Law to comply with the European Union (EU) recommendations.
The EU had earlier called on Bangladesh to show tangible progress on labour rights to avoid temporarily losing the generalised system of preferences (GSP) benefit.
In the same month in November, the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) wrote the labour ministry to form a minimum wage board for readymade garment (RMG) workers.
Besides, the BGMEA urged the government early this year to establish two new industrial zones near Dhaka and Chittagong.
The cabinet committee on economic affairs in December approved a proposal from the Bangladesh Textile Mills Corporation (BTMC) to restart 13 textiles mills.
BDT 15,200 crore will be allocated to purchase new machinery to replace the existing ones and run these mills.
Digital RMG Factory Mapping in Bangladesh (DRFM-B), a major first-of-its-kind initiative to map all apparel factories and disclose location and data on garment factories, was also launched.
The project is being implemented by Dhaka-based BRAC University’s Centre for Entrepreneurship Development (CED), coordinated by BRAC USA, with the BGMEA as a strategic partner, along with lead funding from C&A Foundation.
Trade union representatives are now better aware of how these SOPs have to be implemented, according to the ILO office in Dhaka.
ILO feels this will help facilitate freedom of association in the country and offer greater clarity and transparency in the process.
The labour ministry welfare fund, created with 0.03 per cent of the export volume of the industries under BGMEA and Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BKMEA), is solely aimed at providing financial support to the workers’ families.
According to Accord on Fire and Building Safety Alliance’s latest findings, 85 per cent of all required factory repairs have been completed.
80 per cent of high-priority repairs have been done while overall remediation has made 80 per cent progress at RMG factories under Accord inspection, reports, Fibre2fashion.
The ILO concluded a comprehensive labour inspection training programme in June, training 239 inspectors in boosting working conditions and worker safety.
The EU announced in May that the Sustainability Compact, a joint initiative of the Bangladesh Government, the EU, the United States, Canada, and the ILO that promotes improvements in factory safety and labour rights in Bangladesh's RMG manufacturing industry, has made fantastic progress.