Accord, Alliance to leave Bangladesh next year
Accord and Alliance, the two western buyers' platforms working to improve workplace safety in Bangladesh readymade garment sector, will leave the country at the end of the tenure on May 31, 2018 if remediation of factory buildings is properly completed.
The platforms reached consensus in this regard during a meeting with Commerce Minister Tofail Ahmed in the capital today.
"Workplace safety has been improved significantly in the country's RMG sector as no accident like Rana Plaza takes place during the last few years," said Tofail Ahmed at the meeting.
The minister said the RMG sector is going for green building for garment factories. There are already 67 green buildings and there will be 280 more buildings for the factories, he added.
During the meeting, both the sides decided to constitute a Remediation Coordination Cell with representatives from ILO, BGMEA, global brands and trade unions to oversee workplace safety situation in RMG sector. A steering committee will be formed to run the cell.
Labour and employment minister will watch over the steering committee and the cell. The Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety is a consortium of North American brands and buyers, and the Accord is a platform of European brands and buyers. The two platforms started working in Bangladesh after the Rana Plaza accident.
Alliance officials said they will leave Bangladesh after the end of the tenure on May 31, 2018. But the Accord officials said after the end of the tenure they will stay here for six more months as a transition period and during those six months, it will act as 'Transition Alliance'.
During the meeting both sides decided to review the progress of the remediation of RMG factory buildings in January 2018. A second review will be made on May 31, 2018.
Factory owners had to invest money from Tk 5 crore to Tk 20 crore for remediation of their factory buildings.
The labour and employment ministry will also monitor the activities of some labour organisations so that they cannot act against the interest of the country's RMG sector.
State Minister for Labour and Employment Mujibul Haque, Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) President Md Siddiqur Rahman, Commerce Secretary Shubhashish Bose and representatives of Accord and Alliance attended the meeting.