Factory inspections cost 11,500 jobs
A total of 11,500 workers have so far lost their jobs after authorities were forced to close down nine garment units over safety concerns following bad inspection reports.
Shahidullah Azim, vice-president of Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA), said the factories -- five in Dhaka and four in Chittagong -- can reopen after appropriate remediation, which can take six to twelve months.
The remediation can take up to hundreds of thousands of dollars for each factory, so the BGMEA has sought for financial assistance from the international retailers.
Mikail Shipar, secretary to the ministry of labour and employment, said the steering committee of the Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh, a platform of around 150 retailers mostly headquartered in Europe, met with him yesterday to discuss the matter of financial assistance.
“The Accord officials said they are ready to assist the garment owners for remediation of buildings, but the question they raised is how they would remit such a huge sum of money to Bangladesh.”
Shipar suggested they raise the per unit price of garment items but the retailers said it would be a time-consuming process -- the garment makers need immediate financial assistance for factory remediation.
Roy Ramesh Chandra, general secretary of IndustriALL Bangladesh Council, Bangladesh chapter of the IndustriALL Global Union, said the Accord steering committee members will hold meeting in Dhaka today to discuss the progresses of inspection and the issues of financial assistance.
The steering committee members will also discuss how to overcome different barriers in the inspection, he added.