• Friday, September 19, 2014

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RMG Sector

Ensuring fair trade in RMG sector

Ensuring fair trade in RMG sector

ON Eid day, as most Bangladeshis were enjoying joyful moments with their friends and families, some 1,600 workers of Tuba Garments factory were on a hunger strike in the capital demanding their arrear wages and festival bonus. While the news was covered by the major media outlets there was no action from the...

Made in Bangladesh: Still sells

DURING my recent visit to the United States, I visited several renowned department stores in Connecticut and Maryland. I am very proud to say that all the stores had very large collections of clothes made in Bangladesh. It has always been my pleasure to buy clothes made in Bangladesh. For unknown reasons, many people of Bangladeshi origin avoid buying home made products. Gifts are not often appreciated at home if they are made in Bangladesh.   It may be noted...

Editorial

RMG labour unrest

THE incident at Tuba group is a typical example of how we managed to turn an isolated incident of workers' disgruntlement over pay issues into a national issue. With the deployment of high-handed measures in an effort to forcibly clear the premises of what was essentially a peaceful gathering of workers, we have managed to put the international spotlight back on the RMG sector. Overnight, an incident of agitating workers in a single factory has become a national issue...

Continued EU market access

GOING by what the outgoing head of the EU delegation William Hanna has stated, the duty free access Bangladesh gets to the EU market has proved to be a tremendous opportunity for exports. Indeed, EU remains the country's single largest export market, with exports going up by a significant 57 per cent over the last three and a half years. It speaks volumes for the quality of our products and the RMG sector as a whole. That said, for...

Harvard Conference on Bangladesh

Whither Bangladesh Garments Industry?

IT is January 2020 and the mood in the country is euphoric. Bangladesh's ready-made garments industry had a banner year in 2019, reaching the target of $50 billion dollars export level. What is even more remarkable about reaching this economic milestone is that Bangladesh was able to reach the export target against all odds, given that the American government had for years refused to lower the tariff on Bangladesh garments imports, and there was constant pressure from international quarters...

We have grown indeed…

THINGS change. Ever since the US signaled that Bangladesh has to do a lot more for labour in the RMG sector, your columnist has been losing her sleep. More? In less than one year, labour laws have changed, minimum wages have shot up, factories are being inspected, retailers are tightening their grip on compliance … and yet we need to do more? Look at Myanmar, which suffered sanctions from the US way back in 2003 and is a star...

Editorial

Unrest over arrears in pay

EVERY year, readymade garments (RMG) workers clash with management over arrears in pay and bonus when Eid festivities approach. The most recent incident took place on July 9 when nearly 500 workers blocked the Kuril Bishwa Road in the capital city for nearly two hours over alleged non-payment of two and a half months' salary and Eid bonus. And as expected, law enforcers handled the situation using means at their disposal that left many workers injured and public and...

Editorial

Progress on safety in RMG sector

A survey carried out by the Bangladesh Institute of Development Studies (BIDS) which took into account approximately 12 per cent of factories and an equal percentage of Bangladesh Knit Manufacturers and Exporters Association members has come up with some interesting findings. Though substantial progress has been made in factories to improve workplace safety, there remain critical areas that are yet to be addressed. However, with more than 8 out of 10 factories surveyed having approved factory layouts and more...

The charade and bluster over GSP

THE Rana Plaza disaster killed 1,100 garment workers, a tragedy that was the product of a long period of policy paralysis and neglect. It has finally led to some soul searching and a glimmer of hope for a better future for that vital industry has appeared. But we have a long way to go and one should have thought this is where policy makers would devote their energy. It looks as if there are far more important matters that have...

RMG: Workers' safety paramount

THE victims of Rana Plaza tragedy need immediate support, both material and moral. But this will not suffice to prevent similar incidents in future. Lot more needs to be done to make RMG factories safe. Following every tragic incident, we failed to carry out even the immediate and short-term imperatives, let alone the long-term actions. We fail to respond to the needs of endangered human lives, or to understand the importance of safe workplace. What has been done during the...

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