Garment owners seek more time to fix flaws
Garment makers yesterday called upon the factory inspectors of Accord and Alliance not to close any unit if faults are found during inspection.
Factory owners also requested the inspectors to give them time to fix the flaws.
A number of factories were shut for failing to withstand safety checks since February 20 when the inspection began, the garment makers said at a meeting at the office of Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association in Dhaka.
Many owners could not pay salaries and arrears to their workers and were losing work orders from international buyers as their factories were closed down without giving them any time, they said.
During an inspection on Saturday, the engineers of Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh, a platform of 150 retailers and brands, asked the owner of Softex Cotton Private Ltd in Mirpur to shut down the unit immediately.
Last week, Accord engineers also asked the authorities of Jeans Care in Tejgaon to close the factory as some flaws were detected in the building.
However, the Jeans Care factory was reopened later following suggestions by a review panel on the inspection that the unit will take some corrective measures right away.
More than 40 percent of the garment factories in Bangladesh will have be closed down if the inspection goes on in the present manner, a factory owner said at the meeting where Commerce Minister Tofail Ahmed was also present.
Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety, a platform of 27 North American retailers, will start factory inspection from March 12.
“You (the inspection agencies) will have to give us more time as we are not ready for such a tough inspection,” BGMEA President Atiqul Islam said.
Buyers should pay the workers who became jobless due to the inspection, he said.
The minister said the government will soon form of a committee to identify the problems arisen out of factory inspection.
“Many workers will lose job if factories are shut indiscriminately,” Ahmed said.
He said the government will allow duty-free import of fire safety equipment to help the garment makers.