The country’s readymade garment (RMG) industry has earned global recognition for strides in safety, sustainability and workers’ wellbeing, said BGMEA President Faruque Hassan.
"Starting from the elimination of child labour in mid-nineties, and the emerging compliances issues, including timely payment of wages, assurance of minimum wage, overtime, hygiene at the workplace, and so on”, he said.
“The industry has responded well on all the issues of compliance and workers’ rights”, Mr Hassan added.
The Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) president made the remarks while addressing a seminar on inclusive business, held in the capital on Saturday.
Dutch-Bangla Chamber of Commerce and Industries (DBCCI) organised the programme, according to a statement.
The BGMEA President said after the tragic building collapse in 2013, a paradigm shift had taken place in the areas of structural, fire and electrical safety at the workplace with the support from international brands, donors, namely ILO, and the Bangladesh government.
Besides, the Labour Law was amended twice in 2013 and 2018, and the Labor Rules was promulgated in 2015 to ensure workers’ well-being and safety at the workplace, he added.
The formation of a safety committee in every factory has been made mandatory.
The workers' participation committee has also been made mandatory through elections.
A central fund has been created under the government’s supervision, where garment factories are contributing $10 million of their export receipts to be used for the workers’ welfare purposes, he said.
Mr Hassan further said the industry earned global recognitions through these unprecedented measures over the years.
Citing a recent survey report by Hong Kong-based supply chain compliance solutions provider, QIMA, he said Bangladesh's RMG industry has been ranked second in “Ethical Manufacturing”.
Faiyaz Murshid Kazi, director-general of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs attended the programme as the guest of honour.
Jamal Uddin, Inclusive Business Advisor at SNV, made the keynote presentation at the seminar.
DBCCI President Md Anwar Shawkat Afser made the concluding remark in the programme.
Shaikh Saif Al Rashid, CEO, Apon Wellbeing Ltd.; Tawhida Shiropa, Founder and CEO, Moner Bondhu; Mamunur Rahman, Founder, Ella Pad; Md Jalalul Azim, CEO, Pragati Life Insurance Ltd; Syful Alam Mallick, Compliance Manager, South Asia, Auchan took part in the seminar as discussants.