All parties agree on common action plan
Three separate platforms, formed to inspect Bangladesh's garment factories and ensure fire and building safety, have agreed to follow a common action plan drawn by the government, officials said yesterday.
Of the three, two are global initiatives -- one led by IndustriALL, an international trade union, and the other is North American Alliance, a platform of 20 US-based retailers and brands.
The third one, initiated by the government, will be led by Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology.
Initially the platforms that emerged after the deadly Rana Plaza collapse had a plan to inspect the factories under their own guideline.
"But a factory can be inspected thrice if we go for the previous plan, as the three platforms will follow separate inspection rules," Labour and Employment Secretary Mikail Shipar said.
This will lead to production suspension in factories for a long time, the official said.
Reaz-Bin-Mahmood, vice-president of Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association, said IndustriALL in a recent meeting has agreed to follow the common guideline for factory inspection.
“Yes, we have agreed to the National Action Plan for factory inspection. A circular will be published soon in this regard,” said ZM Kamrul Anam, a coordinator of the IndustriALL Bangladesh Council.
The North American Alliance has agreed much before, Mahmood said.
Labour Secretary Shipar said the government will not allow anybody to inspect factories if they do not follow the common guideline.
All the three parties will sit in a meeting next week to prepare a common checklist for factory inspection, he said.
Shipar also said the ministry has already formed 30 expert panels led by Buet to start factory inspection from September 15.
The secretary said IndustriALL and North American Alliance will inspect 1,750 factories, while the Buet-led panels the rest of the 4,000 factories currently in operation.