After the Rana Plaza factory disaster in April 2013, global buyers formed the Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh and, separately, the Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety to improve safety standards in their source markets
Ready-made garment (RMG) factories face closure if their owners fail to complete safety upgrades by December, the government warned on Thursday.
State Minister for Labour and Employment Md Mujibul Haque issued the deadline at a National Tripartite Action Plan meeting held with factory owners at the Dhaka headquarters of the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA).
“I am earnestly requesting the RMG factory owners to complete safety remediation work by December this year,” Mujibul said.
“In case of failure to complete the remediation, the government will shut those factories.”
After the Rana Plaza factory disaster in April 2013, global buyers formed the Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh and, separately, the Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety to improve safety standards in their source markets.
Later, the Bangladesh government in cooperation with the ILO formed another platform – National Initiative (NI) – to inspect the factories not covered by Accord and Alliance.
“We do not want to be tough like the Accord, as it would hurt your feelings and cause financial losses,” Mujibul told these owners on Thursday. “But if you fail we will have no choice but to shut down your factory.”
The NI has so far inspected 1,549 factories. As of now, remediation of 755 RMG factories is in progress. Another 165 factories did not start remediation and 753 factories are closed.
Although safety inspections under the Accord and under the Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety were supposed to end by June 2018, the government has extended their tenures until December this year.
Labour and Employment Secretary Afroza Khan, BGMEA president Md Siddiqur Rahman and Department of Inspection for Factories and Establishment (DIFE) Inspector General Md Shamsuzzaman Bhuiyan were also present at Thursday’s meeting.