• Saturday, March 07, 2015

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Bangladesh Worker Safety

Fast-track factory inspections

The Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety, a group of 26 North American retailers, yesterday urged the experts of the national tripartite initiative to complete inspections of garment factories under its purview without further delay. Completion of all factory inspections is necessary to get a clear picture of the industry, said Mesbah Rabin, managing director of Alliance. Around 52 percent of garment factories lie beyond the purview of Alliance and Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh, he said. “But their progress...

Setbacks still remain in factory safety: Alliance

The Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety, a platform of 26 retailers from North America, has identified 45 problems in each of the 587 factories it has inspected so far. Fire and safety standards remain the top problem of the factories inspected, Alliance said. Each factory owner needs to spend around $250,000 to remedy the faulty factories and 50 percent of the factories have already been remedied, Mesbah Rabin, managing director of Alliance, said at a media briefing in Dhaka.   “Together, Alliance...

Only one factory shuts after inspection by Alliance

Only one garment factory was shut out of 600 units inspected by Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety, a platform of 26 US-based retailers and brands. Alliance was tasked with inspecting 605 factories and the process will be complete this week, said Rabin Mesbah, managing director of Alliance's Bangladesh operations. However, the platform, which started inspection in the first week of March, recommended closure of seven factories, but a review panel allowed five units to continue production, while a decision on one...

Alliance reveals flaws in 30 garment factories

Alliance reveals flaws in 30 garment factories

Engineers of 26 US retailers and brands under the Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety have so far closed down one factory in Chittagong, a year after the Rana Plaza collapse killed 1,138 people. The platform has suggested the review panel close down five more garment factories. The Alliance that started with seven teams on March 12 inspected 508 out of the 626 factories in Dhaka and Chittagong. “We are at the final stages of our inspection,” said Rabin Mesbah, managing director of the Alliance, signalling that inspections would be complete by July 10. “Alliance and Accord members have 300 common factories to buy clothes from. We have agreed to avoid repetition.” The platform published...

Bangladesh looks for 29 cents

A year on from the April 24, 2013, Rana Plaza factory collapse in Bangladesh, the world's attention largely seems to have shifted away from the problems in the garment industry that were exposed by the tragedy. There has been some tentative progress to improve conditions for workers. But serious challenges remain if the 1,132 deaths in that accident aren't to be in vain, let alone repeated. The government in Dhaka and the foreign retailers who buy garments from Bangladesh have...

RMG industry: Post-Rana Plaza

IT is more than one year now since the horrific Rana Plaza disaster that claimed at least 1,135 lives and left hundreds more missing, wounded or incapacitated. The scale and gravity of the disaster generated a chorus of condemnations from all around the world and mobilised global opinion to revamp and improve building structures and working conditions within the industry. It was a wake-up call! International Labour Organisation (ILO), in this regard, acted quickly and negotiated, within the first ten...


Changing workers' lives

AS we all know too well, April 24 is a day that changed Bangladesh forever. The women and men who lost their lives or suffered devastating injuries at Rana Plaza one year ago today were doing what so many dream of doing -- they were earning a living and securing a brighter future for themselves and their families.  That this dream turned to a nightmare for so many makes the story all the more tragic. The collapse at Rana Plaza...


Ship-breaking death traps

WE are shocked and outraged at the death of four workers from a gas cylinder explosion at Sitakund ship-breaking yard in Chittagong. The point to note is that they were apparently untrained having been  picked up and put straight on to the job, may be with some imprecise instructions at best. Nobody also made sure that they had put on safety gears.  True to our culture of passing the buck, however, the owner's representative has blamed it on the workers!...


Concern over worker safety

THE European Union (EU) is reportedly yet to be satisfied over the progress of steps, taken so far to ensure labour rights, safe and improved working conditions in our readymade garment (RMG) sector. There is a gap in the 'all-out approach' for transforming our factories in to fully compliant ones, and what we need to do is bridge the deficit. One of the major drawbacks is lack of unity to work for a common goal. Our RMG manufacturers should realise...

Garment units reel from safety threats

Most garment factories have structural flaws due to poor implementation of laws, a global alliance of retailers said yesterday. Around 74 percent of the garment factories were established before the enforcement of the Bangladesh National Building Code, said Mesbah Rabin, managing director of Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety, a platform of 26 North American clothing retailers. “Most factories do not have any drawing design, soil test reports, electrical line outlines. We, therefore, are facing challenges in inspecting factories,” he said yesterday...

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