Stay in Bangladesh, BGMEA urges Int'l retailers
Garment makers on Wednesday urged international retailers to stay in Bangladesh as the latter take measures to improve safety and workplace standard.
“We want continuation with our international retailers. It is not good, if any brand says it will leave Bangladesh,” Atiqul Islam, president of Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA), said after a meeting with visiting US Congressman George Miller at the trade body office in the capital.
The government and the garment makers are now working for introducing trade union at the factories, he said.
“We are also working to ensure better working conditions at the factories,” he said.
After 1,129 workers died in Rana Plaza collapse at Savar on April 24, the BGMEA members started to renovate their factories to avoid further tragedies, he said.
Former BGMEA president Annisul Huq said the whole sector is going through a change after Savar tragedy. Sometimes some accidents teach people how to sustain the business and the Savar tragedy is one of those, he said.
“The brands should also pay the right prices for garment items procured from Bangladesh,” Huq said.
The brands are selling a garment to $35 per piece which was outsourced at $5 per piece from Bangladesh, he said.
The garment makers urged Miller to pressure the retailers of the US, country’s single largest export destination, to pay higher prices for the garment items procured from Bangladesh, Huq said.
“Bangladeshi garment makers could realise how important a safe working condition is. I had a very productive view exchange with the garment makers,” Miller told reporters after the meeting.