• Wednesday, October 22, 2014

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RMG Sector

Will rising minimum wage affect the RMG sector?

Will rising minimum wage affect the RMG sector?

MINIMUM wage for workers in Bangladesh garments industry is a hot button issue for both manufacturers and the Western retailers. At the recent Harvard University Conference on “Globalization and Sustainability of Bangladesh Garments Industry”, two issues dominated the discussions: wages and workers' safety.  The participants, while supporting the cause of workers' rights to...


Industries running below capacity

A Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics (BBS) study shows that the industry's inability to fully utilise its capacity is preventing it from contributing to the economy at the desired level. In fact, about one-third of the manufacturing units can utilise between 25 to 50 per cent of their total capacities, while 59 per cent can use 75 per cent of their potential.  Given that manufacturing makes the highest contribution to the nation's Gross Domestic Product (GDP) after the service sector,...


RMG inspection moving ahead

THE persistent  demand from international retailers' platform  for raising safety standards of our garments factories in the wake of certain disasters  has been moving the sector  on to a   corrective path. This is evidenced by the following revelation: Engineers of the Euro-sponsored Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh on an inspection tour here has found only '2 percent of the inspected factories unsafe for production and occupancy.'  As many as 1000 factories inspected for fire, electrical and and...

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...


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...


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...

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