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Dhaka Tribune

Accord assures BGMEA of following law of land

Update : 23 Jun 2015, 08:01 PM

The Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh has assured Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) of duly following the law of the land during its operational activities in the country.

The assurance came at a meeting between BGMEA and visiting members of Accord Steering Committee held at BGMEA headquarters in the city yesterday.

“From now, the Accord will follow the law of land in its operational activities on structural integrity, fire and electrical safety in Bangladesh,” BGMEA President Atiqul Islam told the Dhaka Tribune, quoting the steering committee members. 

In recent time, there were some misunderstanding between the BGMEA and the Accord over some activities of the retailers’ platform, which went beyond its jurisdiction. 

“The misunderstanding between the Accord and the BGMEA has been arisen in absence of any representative of the clothing industry in the Accord Steering Committee,” said Islam.

During the meeting, both BGMEA and the Accord have reached a consensus on the fact that the gap has been created because of having no BGMEA representative in the steering committee, BGMEA Vice President Shahidullah Azim told the Dhaka Tribune after the meeting.

They also agreed not to generalise issues and to public information without any consultation, he said.

The BGMEA urged the Accord to include them in the steering committee to reduce miss understanding.

Both sides agreed to sit once a week to reduce any sort of misunderstandings or breaches through face-to-face conversation.

When Accord mentioned that the factory owners did not apply for any fund from it, the BGMEA leaders said: “The factory owners don’t want to seek any fund directly from the retailers as they feared that it could drive away the buyers.”

To avert this complexity, BGMEA leaders urged the Accord to put more pressures on buyers to pay fund for remediation, said Islam.

In this regard, he also alleged that the factory owners couldn’t implement Corrective Action Plans (CAP) due to fund shortage.

“An Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) committee will be formed soon as per the rules of Amended Labour Act 2013,” he further added.

According to BGMEA, Accords activities beyond law of land include threat to declare a factory non-compliant for not reinstating workers terminated as per law of the country, appointing outsiders as field resource people to raise safety awareness among the workers, Accord’s calls for election to of workers representative to the OSH committee in absence of trade union and advising brands to stop production and pull out orders before the decision of government formed review panel. 

The BGMEA also said installation of sprinklers in the RMG factories is not required as per the law of land, which the Accord is pressing for installation.

On the other hand, the Accord is pressurising the factory owners to make immediate detailed engineering assessment (DEA), which has been labeled as yellow in the inspection but it’s not required immediately as the situation is not so grave, claimed the BGMEA.

The Accord also noses on the workers benefits issues in case of factory closure due to safety concern and relocation, which is supposed to be settled as per country’s laws, it added.

The meeting was attended, among others, by Former BGMEA President Abdus Salam Murshedy, Anwarul Alam Choudhury, FBCCI Senior Vice president Shafiul Islam Mohiuddin, BGMEA Vice President Reaz Bin Mahmood, Executive Director of Worker Rights Consortium Scott Nova, Executive Director of Accord Rob Ways and Chief Safety Inspector of Accord Brad Loewen. 

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