US, European groups to start factory checks in two months
Full-fledged inspection of garment factories by the European and American alliances, held-up until now due to political upheaval, will take off in two months, said the stakeholders.
“There were disruptions due to the shutdowns and blockades. But we are now in the final stages of appointing four teams to conduct the inspections,” Rob Wayss, executive director of Bangladesh operations of the Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh, a coalition of over 80 mainly European retailers.
The inspections, of more than 1,500 factories, will start early next month, he added.
Meanwhile, an official of the Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety, a coalition of 22 major North American retailers, said their inspections of around 700 factories will start in the first week of March.
The alliance, too, is wrapping up its appointment of 15 teams to conduct the inspections, he added.
However, inspection by BUET teams under government tutelage is underway, with 150 factories examined since November 22 last year.
“Our inspection was disrupted due to the political crisis, but we did not stop as it was necessary,” said Mikail Shipar, labour secretary, adding that the 30 inspection teams did not find any major fault in the designs of the buildings and fire safety in the factories.
The teams will inspect more than 2,000 factories across the country.
The inspection teams submitted reports of 80 factories to the ministry yesterday, which will be presented in the next tripartite meeting, Shipar said.