RMG Sustainability Council to be formed by Nov 25
RMG Sustainability Council (RSC), a tripartite compliance and safety monitoring body of the apparel sector, will be formally formed by November 25 as agreed upon by brands, union leaders and factory owners yesterday.
Rubana Huq, president of the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA), along with the RSC steering committee’s other members announced this after two days of meetings at the Four Points by Sheraton in Dhaka.
The RSC will mainly conduct inspection, monitoring and certification for factories, brands and retailers globally.
So the RSC will also take over all activities and staff of Accord, the European platform of more than 200 retailers and brands formed after the Rana Plaza building collapse in April 2013. The legally binding platform had a five-year tenure, which was extended several times upon its request to courts. As per a court order, it is scheduled to leave the country in May next year.
All parties agreed that the RSC will be formed in a legal way.
“The parties discussed a wide range of issues to ensure a smooth transition of the Accord and its functions (related to inspections, remediation, training and safety complaints mechanism) to the RSC by end of May 2020,” said Edward David Southall, head of global sourcing of LC Waikiki, on behalf of brands.
“The RSC is an unprecedented national initiative, uniting industry, brands and trade unions to ensure a sustainable solution, based on a unified compliance standard, to carry forward the significant accomplishments made on workplace safety in Bangladesh,” said Southall.
The RSC will also work for building industrial relations, skills development and maintaining environmental standards, he added.
“The parties agreed on the importance of jointly developing the Memorandum & Articles of RSC and a ‘Transition Agreement’, drafts of which will be prepared following an agreed timetable,” Southall said in a joint statement.
“The BGMEA and the Accord look forward to continuing the constructive discussions that took place over the last two days and commit to work together to ensure that RMG factories in Bangladesh are made safe and stay safe,” he also said.
Huq said the draft of the RSC would be prepared by next month. “We did not face any conflict when all parties agreed to form the RSC,” she said.